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Released January 27, 2005

RECRUITING, CUSTOMER SERVICE GIVE
SOUTHERN MISS ENROLLMENT BOOST

HATTIESBURG – A vigorous recruiting effort and an emphasis on customer service have resulted in increased enrollment this spring at The University of Southern Mississippi.

Unduplicated enrollment at Southern Miss grew by 92 students, climbing from 14,099 students last spring to 14,191 students in spring 2005.

Unlike duplicated enrollment totals, which count students multiple times if they are enrolled at multiple locations, unduplicated totals count students only once for their enrollment at a specific location.

With 418 new students, the Gulf Park campus saw the greatest overall increase, growing from 1,733 students this time last year to 2,151 students this spring. The Hattiesburg campus netted 62 new students, increasing from 12,374 last spring to 12,436 this spring.

Southern Miss President Shelby Thames said the increased enrollment illustrates the public’s confidence that despite the university’s temporary SACS probation, “people have faith in our academic programs and delivery of education.”

“Students see we are taking care of business, and they are satisfied knowing we will have been removed from probationary status in December,” Thames said.

Dr. Joe Paul, vice president for student affairs, said he was “pleased but not surprised” with continued student growth at Southern Miss.

“The increased enrollment this spring is a reflection of the quality of our faculty and academic programs as well as our unique ability at Southern Miss to focus on the needs of the individual student,” Paul said.

Dr. Ken Malone, chief operating officer of the Gulf Park campus, attributes the growth to the efforts of many people at Southern Miss.

“We’ve increased academic offerings, made it easier for working adults to attend classes, eliminated administrative barriers outside of the classroom and increased classroom space. In short, we’ve all worked together to give the student more,” Malone said.

Malone added that support from outside of Southern Miss has also helped enrollment grow. “Coast businesses have encouraged and enabled more of their employees to attend Southern Miss. Private and corporate donations to scholarships and programs are way up, and state funds for a new teaching laboratory will allow more students to attend in the years to come,” he said.

Dr. Jay Grimes, provost of the Hattiesburg and Gulf Park campuses, said he was “ecstatic to see the numbers,” especially the robust growth on the Gulf Coast.

“Clearly, Southern Miss is offering a product that the students want,” Grimes said.

Dayonne McGuire, director of continuing education, said the increased enrollment is due to many factors, including increased academic offerings.

“We are also doing a better job at communicating to the community the quality programs, flexible formats, and continuous registration,” McGuire said.

For more information, call (601) 266-5020.

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April 1, 2005 11:10 AM