UA system supports university-specific enrollment marketing efforts

Office of Public Affairs

October 18, 2019

This fall, a 2017 University of Alaska television and radio campaign was revamped with the goal of supporting the UAA, UAF and UAS student recruitment efforts as well as to reassure Alaskans that despite a long and exhausting budget battle, and the uncertainties created by restructuring discussions, all three universities, and all rural campuses, were open and accepting students.

The retooled campaign was created after a discussion with representatives from all three University Relations/Advancement offices which indicated that student recruitment marketing efforts were on hold due the restructuring discussion and uncertainty moving forward. The group requested clarification on whether they should go forward with university-level student recruitment. After UA President Jim Johnsen agreed that each university should be recruiting students, he also agreed with a recommendation that the system office offer support by revising the 2017 ad with a genetic "umbrella" message, and that each university would follow with its own student marketing campaign.

The media begin airing Monday, Sept. 23. Soon after, there were concerns  expressed that that the campaign was really about a consolidated university, or that it promoted a “one university” plan. The UAA Faculty Senate included the marketing campaign in a resolution demanding that the ads be taken off the air. At the heart of the concern was a section of the ad that referred to “campuses” in Anchorage, Fairbanks and Juneau, rather than using the word “universities.” Despite the University of Alaska being the legal name for the entire system, the faculty also raised concerns about that language.

The ad was taken off the air as soon as possible without incurring penalties [on Oct. 13]. The new script was revised with input and review from the University Relations/ Advancement teams at each university. The newly produced versions for TV, commercial radio,  public radio and movie theater, will begin airing on Oct. 21. You can watch the new ad HERE.

Each university, meanwhile, has its own student recruitment effort underway.