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Revitalizing the University of New Orleans Breakfast Briefing

Jul 26, 2016

Dr. John Nicklow, University of New Orleans President, spoke at the July 21st BGR Breakfast Briefing. Sponsored by IBERIABANK, the event attracted more than 100 professionals and civic and education leaders as Nicklow discussed his revitalization strategy for UNO.

Nicklow laid out his vision for achieving an aggressive goal of 12,000 students in the next 5 years. This includes retention through predictive analytics, strategic marketing and messaging, and innovation.

While Nicklow will not consider lowering admission requirements to grow enrollment, he is in favor of “a more holistic review of the student” to target students likely to succeed.

He also discussed his plans to adapt to the changing higher education environment in Louisiana, which includes reduced state funding for universities and a partially-funded TOPS program for the upcoming year. In discussing state funding, Nicklow explained that “for every dollar we get from the state, we actually give seventy-seven cents back to the state for mandated costs.”

Nicklow further explained that a recent UNO economic impact study “found that in 2014-15 UNO generated $470 million in economic impact for an 8 parish, metro New Orleans area.” UNO achieves this level of impact with only $27 million in state support. Using those figures, Nicklow concluded that for every $1 UNO receives from the state it produces $17 in economic impact, underscoring why the state cannot continue to cut university funding.

Nicklow observed that 82% of UNO alumni stay in the metro area. That fact, combined with the 17:1 return on investment, emphasizes the economic importance of resolving the challenges currently facing universities in Louisiana.