UO departments head to Dallas to recruit

Fifty percent of current University of Oregon students have indicated that athletics was either important or very important in their decision to come to UO, according to Vice President for Enrollment Dr. Roger Thompson. Oregon is well-known in California and the states west of the Rockies for its sports, Thompson said, and events like the National Championship are helping spread the name to the Midwest and further.

The University of Oregon sent 25 deans, the Provost and Interim President Scott Coltrane to the National Championship game. Their goal: Meet prospective students.

At the Alamo Bowl last year, UO spent $20,000 on a recruiting event and enrolled six or seven students. If they graduate, those students’ tuition will add up to nearly a million dollars for the school, Thompson said.

The UO has been recruiting in Texas — mostly Dallas — for three years. In those three years recruitment from Texas has gone up 160 percent. This year, UO will spend $30,000 on sending those 25 deans, although the trip will end up costing the university more than $110,000, according to numbers gathered by The Oregonian.

But according to Thompson, the cost is worth it. Dallas has a growing number of high school grads — a projected 15,000 in 2020, over nearly 13,000 in 2009 — according to data from the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education. The state of Oregon, on the other hand, is projected to lose high school graduates during that time.

“There’s some advantages to going where the people are,” Thompson said.

In the past, members of faculty have criticized the university sending so many staff members to games, wondering if the administration needs to send so many athletics staff members and officers of administration while few to no faculty have the trip paid for.

Officers of administration going include the deans of the Honors College, School of Journalism and Communications, the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Education. The money for travel, expenses and lodging comes out of the budgets of each of these departments, so it is each department head’s choice whether or not to go.

What are they expecting the Nationals to yield?

“We’ll see,” Thompson said. “We know that among our students, 50 percent indicated that athletics was either important or very important in their college search process. They want to learn in the classroom, they want a good career, but they also want to cheer for their school’s team their entire life and be proud of their alma mater.”

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Scott Greenstone

Scott Greenstone

Rehabilitated ex-homeschooler, former Emerald Senior News Editor, editor-in-chief of The Broadside at Central Oregon Community College, and freelance blogger for Barnes and Noble.

Now I write campus politics. Easy conversation starters include Adventure Time, Terry Pratchett novels and Arcade Fire.