If your teaching skills don’t convince students to re-enroll, then do you really think calling them on their breaks and begging will?

Ry Rivard at Inside Higher Ed reports:

Faculty at one public university are asked to get involved in student retention

The new interim president of the University of Southern Maine has advice for faculty amid an enrollment decline: Call students who have yet to re-enroll and get them to come back to campus.

Some faculty members were already doing this, but other professors are bristling at the directive from interim President David Flanagan, a former power company CEO who has been on the job just three weeks.

Southern Maine has been through a tumultuous period of budget cuts, prospective faculty layoffs and efforts by the new and previous administrations to eliminate programs. Faculty members, programs and the budget got a slight reprieve earlier this year and state system officials adopted a plan to dip into reserve money to shore up the college’s finances, but now millions of dollars are expected to be cut from the Southern Maine budget in coming years.

A big problem, according to the university’s administration, is enrollment. Southern Maine administration officials said this week that projected enrollment is about 7 percent below this time last year. The first day of classes is Sept. 2.

To cope with that, Flanagan is telling faculty members to call students who have not yet graduated to get them to sign up for classes if they haven’t already. At some universities, that job is left to student advising staff members, though some faculty also already do this.

“I know you and the whole faculty are deeply concerned with what can be done to reduce the number of positions and programs we have to forgo,” he said in an Aug. 15 email to faculty representatives. “Right now and for the next two weeks the single most important thing faculty members can do is to personally, directly call and contact past students who have not signed up to return in the fall.”