Sometimes I feel like a used car salesman.
I guess it shouldn’t come as a surprise…but it did. Declining enrollments everywhere mean that marketing is everyone’s job, not just the marketing department. It’s more important than ever to keep the USF name front and center with prospective students and their parents.
In my 30-plus years in the workforce I’ve spent much more time in business than in academics. Most of those years were in the advertising/marketing/communication arena so I am much more comfortable in being a shill than many of my colleagues. Pity the poor math professor who knows how to make numbers dance but can’t quite gauge the influence of social media.
In truth, however, it’s not the professor’s job…at least it never was in the past. Teachers taught and admissions counselors put the butts in the seats. Decisions used to be based on academics first. The pervasiveness of the profit-and-loss culture, however, has made every decision dependent on academics AND money.
Please stop screaming at me. I get it. I’m out of a job if there are no students to teach. This isn’t a new concept. Back in my good ol’ days in radio there was a constant struggle between the on-air staff who thought that, without them, there would be no radio station and the sales staff who thought that, without them, there would be no revenue to pay those stinkin’ prima-donna announcers.
So, I get it. We all need to put on our plaid suits and start meeting our sales quotas.
Can I interest you in an extended warranty? How about rustproofing?
Now that I’ve raked our administrators over the coals, I feel compelled to point out that I truly believe an education from the University of St. Francis is a quality investment that will not lose half its value once you drive it off of campus. Being a salesman is a lot easier when you’ve got a quality product to sell. And I have a quality product.