Keene State College held an all-campus meeting on Friday, January 31, from 1:30 to 3:00 p.m. in the Redfern Arts Center main theater.
KSC President Melinda Treadwell opened the all-campus meeting by thanking the audience for attending. Going forward, Keene State College hopes to hold an all-campus meeting each month.
“We, as a campus, need to find ways to watch, be engaged, be advised. This is a shared enterprise,” Treadwell said. “We need to be more transparent.”
Treadwell spoke about the awards and recognition that Keene State College has received. She also spoke on the importance of liberal arts colleges.
“If we think about the economy of the future and the technology needs of the future, the best investment for a student is a liberal arts education,” Treadwell said. “Losing our identity is what puts us at risk.”
Treadwell spoke about the importance of ensuring that Keene State is student-centered.
“Those students who are engaging and leaning in at Keene State love it here,” Treadwell said. “This is why we’re here. We have to be sure that what we do is serving those students.”
Keene State College endured budget cuts in 2018. A three-phase plan was introduced on February 16, 2018, to adjust the campus to a $2.4 million budget deficit. Treadwell spoke about the three-phase plan and how the goal of this plan is to help the college adjust and sustain this new budget going forward.
“These are the ways we can go from where we are today to the college of the future that we need to be,” Treadwell said.
Chief Enrollment Management Officer MB Lufkin spoke about the enrollment changes at Keene State in light of the KSC Sustainability and Vitality Plan.
“The work of my team has been focused on the Sustainability and Vitality Plan, specifically focused on admissions and retention,” Lufkin said.
Lufkin explained the improvements in enrollment seen at Keene State. Using graphs, MB presented enrollment data collected from this month.
“We have more admitted students because we have more applications submitted,” MB said. “Where we’ve seen progress is in the admitted students area.”
Keene State introduced several social marketing and search campaigns to increase the online and graduate program admissions.
“Our LinkedIn campaign was the most successful campaign,” Lufkin said.
Lufkin also explained the advances in technology that Keene State is considering. The college hopes to make changes to the website in order to create an internal website interface.
“The goal here is to have an understanding of the level of sophistication that is needed to compete in today’s higher ed enrollment market,” Treadwell said.
An academic program strength assessment is being introduced to identify future needs and areas of improvement. In order to identify new revenue streams, Keene State College is looking to further develop partnerships with nearby schools and local businesses.
“We need to look more carefully at what we’re doing, why we’re doing it and how we’re doing it,” Treadwell said.
Treadwell spoke about the challenges Keene State faces when working on the Sustainability and Vitality Plan. The main challenges facing the plan are difficulty with engagement and difficulty with communication.
“We will not be successful if we’re fighting with each other as we’re working through this,” Treadwell said.
In order to combat the challenges facing the campus, Treadwell spoke about introducing more advisory and engagement opportunities.
The last 15 minutes of the all-campus meeting were opened for audience questions.
One audience member asked about the consequences of not meeting the deadline for the Sustainability and Vitality Plan.
Treadwell explained that if the deadline isn’t met, the board will step in, but the college won’t go bankrupt.
“We are not at risk of closure,” Treadwell said. “We will not blow up.”
Another audience member asked about how one can share their feedback.
The campus plans to create a strategic advisory group and utilize focus groups and surveys. The strategic advisory group is in the process of being created, but Treadwell stated that more will be shared in the next few weeks.
Kelly Regan can be contacted at