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Thread: OT: Bluefield State College

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    Default OT: Bluefield State College

    Former WLU President Robin Capehart has been selected as the President at Bluefield State College:

    https://www.bdtonline.com/news/capeh...95fb9b937.html

    Difficult task that will severely test his abilities. I note that Bluefield's enrolment has been down every year for the last five years totaling an 18% decline over that period.

    It will be interesting to see if he incorporates athletics as a way of increasing enrolment. He certainly seemed to love sports while at WLU.

    Speaking of WLU...Enrolment has been up at WLU for the last three years bucking the trend of declining enrolment at colleges nation wide. Only public school in the MEC to post enrolment increases in each year over that period. I would imagine that 2019 will see some pretty big enrolment gains given the current situation at WJU.

  2. #2

    Default Re: OT: Bluefield State College

    Quote Originally Posted by boatcapt View Post
    Former WLU President Robin Capehart has been selected as the President at Bluefield State College:

    https://www.bdtonline.com/news/capeh...95fb9b937.html

    Difficult task that will severely test his abilities. I note that Bluefield's enrolment has been down every year for the last five years totaling an 18% decline over that period.

    It will be interesting to see if he incorporates athletics as a way of increasing enrolment. He certainly seemed to love sports while at WLU.

    Speaking of WLU...Enrolment has been up at WLU for the last three years bucking the trend of declining enrolment at colleges nation wide. Only public school in the MEC to post enrolment increases in each year over that period. I would imagine that 2019 will see some pretty big enrolment gains given the current situation at WJU.
    I think Concord and Bluefield State have been unwilling to include all possible remedies, regarding the threat to their future. I realize that there is a rich tradition of BSU as a historically black college. But you have Bluefield College just across the state line in VA, BSU and Concord all in a very small geographical and sparsely populated area. If BSU and Concord don't look at every option, including merger to differentiate themselves and lower their overhead, then WVU Beckley will drain off their students, IMHO.
    Both of them have to be "the best" at something to act as a magnet, but not try to spread themselves too thin with many majors.

    Way back in the day, BSU used to get many of the Northfork Blue Demon players and played a very exciting form of basketball. (Northfork won 7 straight AA state titles and was often the best team in the state under Jennings Boyd). So maybe athletics is a way to boost enrollment, ala Urbana.

  3. #3

    Default Re: OT: Bluefield State College

    Quote Originally Posted by Columbuseer View Post
    So maybe athletics is a way to boost enrollment, ala Urbana.
    That strategy failed miserably at WJU (where some absurd percentage of their student body were student athletes).

  4. #4

    Default Re: OT: Bluefield State College

    Quote Originally Posted by Scrub View Post
    That strategy failed miserably at WJU (where some absurd percentage of their student body were student athletes).
    Only now has wju taken the painful steps needed to provide a chance at survival by cutting all but 8 majors.
    Have they lost critical mass with these cuts to attract sufficient numbers of students?
    Did they wait too long?
    Willing losing Jesuit affiliation hurt them?
    How can they justify the losses incurred by football if recruits are not interested in the limited majors?
    I think concord and bsu need to act now to avoid a similar situation instead of kicking the can down the road.

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    Default Re: OT: Bluefield State College

    Quote Originally Posted by Scrub View Post
    That strategy failed miserably at WJU (where some absurd percentage of their student body were student athletes).
    Don't know all the permutations at WJ, but it seems like they discounted tuition too much in a quest to get more butts in seats. As a public school BSC can't do the same.

    The trick with athletics driving enrolment increases seems to be that you can't make it the ONLY thing in your arsenal. It has to be part of a systematic process that draws people from across the spectrum. According to the article, BSC has a housing problem that is being addressed (new on campus dorm)...Capehart needs to move that forward and probably do even more to address this issue...probably a good idea to try and develop a robust donor base with a couple of whales that can fund some academic facilities either individually or collectively.

    With the recent addition of D&E, I am fearful that BSC will want to join the MEC as a way of drumbing up some media attention. BAD move to make them a full member although I wouldn't be opposed to adding them as an associate in a couple of sports (baseball? basketball?). Let them be an associate for a few years to see if they are really committed to improving athletically and see what's up then.

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    Default Re: OT: Bluefield State College

    Quote Originally Posted by boatcapt View Post
    Don't know all the permutations at WJ, but it seems like they discounted tuition too much in a quest to get more butts in seats. As a public school BSC can't do the same.

    The trick with athletics driving enrolment increases seems to be that you can't make it the ONLY thing in your arsenal. It has to be part of a systematic process that draws people from across the spectrum. According to the article, BSC has a housing problem that is being addressed (new on campus dorm)...Capehart needs to move that forward and probably do even more to address this issue...probably a good idea to try and develop a robust donor base with a couple of whales that can fund some academic facilities either individually or collectively.

    With the recent addition of D&E, I am fearful that BSC will want to join the MEC as a way of drumbing up some media attention. BAD move to make them a full member although I wouldn't be opposed to adding them as an associate in a couple of sports (baseball? basketball?). Let them be an associate for a few years to see if they are really committed to improving athletically and see what's up then.
    Agreed. Using athletics to drive enrollment only works when you're generating revenue. Heavy discounting is like using Groupon to sustain a business. At some point that 50% off discount starts cutting into your operating expenses when there aren't enough people willing to pay higher costs. For WJU, that discount is now to 55%. They advertise a sticker price of over $40,000 but the average student is paying just $18,250, a 55% discount.

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    Default Re: OT: Bluefield State College

    Quote Originally Posted by Fightingscot82 View Post
    Agreed. Using athletics to drive enrollment only works when you're generating revenue. Heavy discounting is like using Groupon to sustain a business. At some point that 50% off discount starts cutting into your operating expenses when there aren't enough people willing to pay higher costs. For WJU, that discount is now to 55%. They advertise a sticker price of over $40,000 but the average student is paying just $18,250, a 55% discount.
    Yea...WJ has to rein those discount %'s in if they want to have any chance of surviving. Either that or find a way to make massive cuts elsewhere. But once you've let those discounts get out, it is hard to pull them in. WJ is stuck between a rock and a hard place and the apparent loss of "Jesuit" standing isn't really going to help. Unless they come up with another Catholic related construct that is going to entice Catholic students, they are going to become just another expensive private school without much name recognition...hard sell when there is a much less expensive public school less than 10 miles away.

    Going to be tough for WJ to survive without DRASTIC and nearly IMMEDIATE changes.

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