Student debt, success addressed at open forum


Maddie Leopardo/Iowa State Daily

Laura Doering, one of the candidates for Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Success, gives a presentation to her audience during the forum on Jan. 19. Doering is currently the Iowa State University registrar. 

Jake Dalbey

Laura Doering led the conversation at Thursday’s candidate forum for a new enrollment position by presenting her goals, which aim to address issues of student acquisition and keep future alumni happy while attending Iowa State.

Doering, a long-time Iowa State contributor and alumna, has been the university’s registrar since 2012 and is one of four candidates for the associate vice president of managing enrollment and student success position.

As a member of the registrar office since 1996, Doering has led many projects aimed to help students grow academically, including the ground level development of creating Iowa State’s current learning communities.

Signifying the natural interconnectivity of the position in relation to Iowa State as a whole, Doering sees the many moving cogs of the job as integral toward student success.

“I’ve had a lot of fun working with amazing and talented teams,” Doering said. ”This is something that really interests me in this position, being able to provide support and collaborate with a broader scale of individuals.”

Focusing on several important aspects of the job, Doering listed student retention, creating a diverse student group and creating conversations between unrelated colleges as focal points for her strategic enrollment management plan.

“I am the type of leader to communicate vision, and it will be a collaborative vision,” Doering said.

The vision involves every college on the Iowa State campus staying connected and up to date with news or new data collections. Doering hopes to partner will colleges to create new student success programs for areas of education that need more students and find ways to help colleges that are at capacity to control their population.

Citing the growing enrollment of Iowa State, Doering sees “building” as the step toward managing student numbers through building relations and communications.

Speaking hypothetically, Doering addressed a list of “wants” she would pursue if she gets the job. Among the most talked about was a proposed listening tour, in which not only students but also faculty and staff could voice opinions and concerns about enrollment/student success and be heard by administration.

Doering hopes the tour will bridge communication lines between students and staff in order to patch the growing issue of student debt and the achievement gap, two large focuses for her position.

Referencing unused transcript data as a way to help struggling students, Doering hopes to explore different methods of reaching Iowa State members.

“When we look at a transcript of a student who had a steady 3.9 GPA but then fell to a 3.2 the next semester, what happened?” Doering said. ”He had a bad semester so let’s find ways of using that transcript data to help them through that situation.”

Doering ended by showing off her “on time completion playbook.” The playbook is a multi-faceted plan that aims to address issues of debt and student failure through targeted intervention with specific student groups and data-driven analysis.

Open candidate forums will conclude with Erik D’Aquino from 11 a.m. to noon at the Soults Family Visitor Center.