New KWC chief making changes

Published: Saturday, June 11, 2011
By Dariush Shafa, Messenger-Inquirer

Just shy of two weeks after taking over the president’s duties at Kentucky Wesleyan College, Craig Turner has already begun making some changes aimed at bringing more students to the school.

Turner, who took over the president’s duties on June 1, has authorized two new positions for the admissions department, an assistant director and an admissions counselor. Turner said he also has given the go-ahead for some reorganization of space for the department, relieving a crowding issue and making the space less claustrophobic and more welcoming.

“We’ve got to try and do things that attract students,” Turner said. “We want to make a very positive first impression ... It needs to be a more receptive, open atmosphere.”

Turner said it’s little things like reorganizing office space that are just as important as major changes when it comes to improving things at the school.

“They’re not high-expense items. They’re really simple,” Turner said. “All that is small details, but it adds up in the long run.”

Turner said he decided to add staff, which does cost money, because of the potential return on that investment. The plan to ramp up admissions also includes recruiting alumni to help out.

“We’re going to go out a little bit farther. By adding staff, we can go out farther,” Turner said. “They (alumni) are our best marketing tool. They have great stories to tell about their experiences.”

Turner also said he has begun bringing in marketing consultants to help the college better promote itself to potential students and their families.

“We’re going to focus on what people have told me is a well-kept secret,” Turner said, referring to the quality of education and size of the school’s classes. “We don’t want to keep it a secret.”

Though the 2011-12 admissions goals have already been set, Turner said they will set the bar for upcoming years later.

“The goal of 2012(-13) will be higher than what we’re bringing in this year, simply because we don’t want to passively sit by,” Turner said.

Otherwise, Turner said he’s still taking time to meet with faculty, staff and board members, get acquainted with the college and determine what else needs to be addressed. Thanks to the strategic plan left behind by previous President Dr. Cheryl King, Turner said that process will go easier, but it will take time.

“It’s a really good plan. Right now, we’re going to try setting priorities and begin attacking parts of that plan,” Turner said. “We can’t do everything at once.”

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