Post Classifieds

University sends clear message

By Randi Johnson
On February 16, 2010

Texas A&M University-Commerce's marketing and communications department has received $300,000 in budget from the university in an effort to reach prospective students and maintain good relationships with alumni.

"Marketing the university is a constant process of reaching out to our constituents and telling our story," said Dr. Dan Jones, President. "We have a wonderful mission that focuses on extending educational opportunity to students whose lives are transformed by their experiences here in Commerce."

Commerce invests a good deal of time and money to market the university in a way that appeals to students in surrounding areas and encouraging them to attend.

"We want our students to have an authentic experience and be able to relate to something that was special to them while they were here," Assistant Vice President in Marketing and Communications Randy Jolly said. "Some people could say it's the relationships with their instructors, the activities they are involved in, but what we want our students to leave here with is something good to say about A&M-Commerce."

Commerce markets the entire university by using the media resources available such as newspaper, magazine, billboards and many others, in hopes of ultimately getting a return on their investment to prove the marketing efforts have paid off.

"The future of our university is tied to our ability to serve the educational needs of a rapidly growing population," Dr. Jones said. "To do that, we have to grow as a university, and we accomplish that by reaching out and informing students, families and communities about the tremendous opportunity we offer. Marketing is a key element of the way we do that."

In marketing the university, critical decisions must be made in order to utilize the budget efficiently and effectively.

"We take half the budget to spend on who A&M-Commerce is," Jolly said. "The remainder we use for other entities, for example, we have 60,000 veterans that have the potential to attend here, and we then market towards them in hopes they will decide to come to the university."

The university has set several goals they wish to see happen over the next few years.

"We have set a goal of five percent enrollment growth each year for the next five years," Dr. Jones said. "In recognition of the fact that the Hispanic population of the region we serve is growing rapidly, we have also set a goal of achieving designation as a Hispanic-Serving Institution within three years, in which meeting this goal will mean more than doubling our Hispanic student enrollment from its current ten percent to twenty-five percent."

Another one of Commerce's many goals they have set for themselves over the next 2-3 years is gaining more active alumni to help with scholarships, endowments, by reaching out to them to give back to the university.

"We have a small percentage of active alumni, so our goal is to reach out to them to give back," Jolly said. "Students are our most important commodity, as well as our alumni."

Something else the university is striving towards is appealing to students through social networks such as Facebook, Myspace and Twitter.

The university's marketing efforts are already starting to show some noticeable dividends.

"Our marketing and recruiting efforts have made tremendous progress in a relatively short time," Dr. Jones said. "The staff in our Marketing and Communications Department consists of incredibly talented, creative people who are always coming up with new ideas. They have won a number of awards and A&M-Commerce is recognized within the A&M System as a top performer in this area."

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