DSU enrollment reports questionedQuestions regarding the accuracy of Dickinson State University’s enrollment reports have been raised and the North Dakota University System is reviewing the matter, NDUS Chancellor Bill Goetz said.
Questions regarding the accuracy of Dickinson State University’s enrollment reports have been raised and the North Dakota University System is reviewing the matter, NDUS Chancellor Bill Goetz said.
“We have expectations that our campuses are all reporting appropriate, accurate enrollment and that is in policy and if we have any reason to believe they are otherwise providing inaccurate information, then we take a look at it and conduct a review just as we are in Dickinson,” Goetz said. “Certainly, as we get into the review process, there may be other issues that we will look at but we haven’t totally defined that at this point.”
He would not say what may be inaccurate and is unsure when the review will be completed.
“The review process is underway and as soon as I have a written report in final form and there is a comfortable feeling, a comfort in the fact that we have all the necessary information we need to reach a conclusion, that’s when the report will be made available,” Goetz said. “Certainly it’s not going to take months, but we should have something in the not too distant future.”
DSU is the only NDUS college being reviewed for possible enrollment inaccuracies, he added.
The issue arose while the National Survey of Student Engagement, an outside company which conducts surveys of campuses nationwide, was surveying DSU, Goetz said.
“We’re looking at enrollment reporting that took place the summer 2010 and fall 2010,” Goetz said.
DSU President Dr. Richard McCallum would not comment to The Dickinson Press, but said any information from him could be found in his annual performance evaluation documents.
In a letter dated May 26 from Goetz to McCallum, Goetz asked McCallum to answer a number of questions in writing to help him prepare an evaluation.
One of the questions was “Describe your view of the recent issue of enrollment
McCallum’s response was, “as you know, I have repeatedly apologized for the mistakes that were made during our fall semester enrollment process. You will recall that we corrected the NSSE database error within 24 hours of discovery. We continue to be willing to make any additional corrections that you recommend.”
He cited “slip-ups” due to faculty departure and reassignment as factors contributing to the issue.
“However, these mistakes were human errors and not intentional,” McCallum wrote in his response.
He added “the academic integrity of these classes was not jeopardized and no policy violations occurred.”
McCallum also referred further questions from the Press regarding enrollment reports be handled by Marshall Melbye, DSU director of academic records.
“They’re accurate as far as I’m concerned, as far as whatever the system generates,” Melbye said. “The system generates the numbers and I have no way to verify the accuracy of the numbers other than trust what the system tells me because it’s a totally automated system.”
Students mostly enroll themselves into the university’s system, though some need help, he said.
“So those registration forms are sent into the university here and then they’re processed by the admissions office and then we have to put them on manually,” Melbye said.
He is unsure if or how enrollment information could be altered.
“Any alteration would have to occur on the inputting side when you’re recording students into it, but the ones that we work with, as far as we know, they’re all legitimate numbers and all legitimate students,” Melbye said. “No names are made up and simply put in the system.”
Part of review NDUS is conducting deals with who handled DSU’s enrollment information, Goetz said.
Enrollment reports affect federal reports that “have bearing on issues such as fiscal issues,” Goetz said.
NDUS staff members Bill Eggert, director of internal audit and risk assessment and Michel Hillman, vice chancellor for academic and student affairs are conducting DSU’s review.
However, Debra Anderson, NDUS director of public affairs and marketing said it’s inappropriate for them to comment until the review is finished.
Alex McCormick, director of the NSSE, said he could not comment on the matter.