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The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

Chabotar’s report sheds light on important college departments

President Kent Chabotar issued a report to The Beacon on Jan. 22 that gave a detailed update regarding important news from each department.


Institutional Advancement handles fundraising and alumni communications for the college. Working closely with Chabotar, they help raise millions of dollars to keep the lawns mowed and the electricity on, and much more.

According to Chabotar’s report, more people are giving this year, but in smaller amounts.

“In January 2009, there were 16 active proposals pending with major gift prospects and a face dollar value of $16.9 million, compared to 38 now pending with an $18.7 million face value,” states the report. “The numbers indicate that we are presenting more proposals in the lower range of our major gift scale.”

The explanation is straightforward, according to Vice President for Advancement and Executive Director of Development Mike Poston.

“It is not that people are saying no, necessarily, they’re just not saying yes,” he said. “So I think what we have are a lot of good, solid donors to different colleges and universities nationally and at Guilford and they’re saying, ‘Yes, we believe in what you’re doing, yes, it’s a good investment in young people’s lives, but our resources are at a danger point and we’re not comfortable committing those right now.'”

Advancement works with two sides of fundraising. The first is the major gift side, which deals with donations of $25,000 or more. The second side is the annual fund, which encompasses smaller donations that add up to over a million dollars.

Advancement’s goal for the annual fund this year is $1.05 million and about 70 percent of that goal has been met.

“We feel that the annual fund is a point of optimism and still a ray of light, and I believe they’re going to meet their goal this year, if not exceed it,” said Poston. “A lot of that is because (Director of Annual Giving Emily Thompson) put in a very strong calling program, and those students are really so very effective at engaging our students.”

The students who work in the call center are given a list of names to contact and they typically raise about $270,000 per year.

There are also different sides to the gifts: restricted giving and unrestricted giving. Restricted giving is money that is geared to a specific purpose. About 90 percent of all giving is restricted.

“We also work with the donors who put all these restrictions on their gift to sort of make it a little more open,” said Thompson. “We encourage them not to do that.”

The bulk of restricted gifts raised goes toward scholarships.

Unrestricted giving is what Thompson wants in order to maintain the lights and heat and other things that students want and need at the college. Unrestricted giving can also be used for building renovations and other things on campus. The Archdale renovations, for instance, were funded by unrestricted giving.


Chabotar’s report also covers enrollment, which is at a record high for both CCE and traditional students.

According to the report, “Spring 2010 enrollment numbers are very strong. While numbers are unofficial until Feb. 1, we will likely generate about $500,000 of tuition revenue (net of financial aid) above the approved ‘worst case’ budget.”

Dean for Continuing Education Rita Serotkin works to recruit CCE students, while Vice President for Enrollment Services Randy Doss works to recruit traditional students. Because the two areas are so vastly different, Serotkin and Doss do not work together during the recruitment process.

Serotkin utilizes very different methods than Doss in an effort to recruit a different type of student than traditional students. There are no high schools to visit and no parents to e-mail. Instead Serotkin uses radio, television, newspapers, brochures, job fairs, education days and info sessions to advertise to adult students.

The typical thrust of the newspaper ads is, “It’s never too late to get your degree.” The brochures feature current or graduated Guilford students who talk about their experiences at Guilford.

While there is some “melt” with CCE students, Serotkin mentioned that it is typically because of illness or job loss and that most CCE students who leave Guilford prior to graduation do so with the intention of returning to finish out their degrees.

A survey run each year starting in 2001 has revealed that as of 2006, 58 percent of CCE students who started at Guilford in 2001 had graduated by 2006. Because CCE students typically are unable to take four classes per semester (the average number of credits taken by CCE is 10.5 per semester), it takes them longer to graduate.

Yet, according to Doss, most CCE students come into Guilford with transfer credits so they start as juniors or seniors rather than first-years.

Serotkin also distributes surveys to current students, which inquire about programs they’d like to see offered and majors that are only offered at night. She then looks at the top five and determines if they’re workable by talking to professors and analyzing cost.

For instance, the computer technologies major was implemented as a night major for CCE students after suggestions from those surveys. Nursing and engineering were also suggested, but unfortunately, they were determined to be too costly for Guilford to implement.

Traditional student recruitment, on the other hand, involves campus tours, visiting high schools (mostly only on the Eastern Seaboard), and e-mail communications with both parents and prospective students.

With the economy in its current state, there is a lot of hesitation on the part of parents right now to commit to a college.

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