Southern University, the historically Black educational institution in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, has experienced a significant enrollment drop in recent years from 9,500 students to about 6,300 students. One reason for the decline was tougher admissions standards that were introduced several years ago. This drop in enrollments has placed severe financial strains on the university.
But there is good news to report. A year ago there were 900 first-year undergraduate students enrolled at Southern University. This year there are more than 1,200. Dr. Brandon Dumas, vice chancellor for student affairs and enrollment management at Southern University, told a local television station that “for years we had experienced enrollment declines but starting in Fall 2013 things began to stabilize and we’ve been working to sustain and maintain enrollment growth. At this rate we may eventually get back to an enrollment of 10,000.”
Some of the steps that have been taken to increase enrollments are improving student services, increasing efforts to recruit high achieving students, and offering in-state tuition rates to students from outside of Louisiana.
Dr. Dumas has developed the “Pathway to Prominence Tour,” a national recruitment tour designed to expose high school juniors, seniors, counselors, and teachers to the energy and educational opportunities at Southern University.
Dr. Dumas holds a doctorate in urban higher education from Jackson State University. In 2012 at the age of 26, Dr. Dumas became the youngest vice chancellor in Southern University history.