Archive for Sunday, April 13, 2008

Victory: What’s in it for KU?

Stellar athletic year may boost enrollment, donations

Kansas University head football coach Mark Mangino, left photo, basks in his team's 2008 Orange Bowl victory, and KU basketball coach Bill Self, right photo, revels in his team's 2008 National Championship.

Kansas University head football coach Mark Mangino, left photo, basks in his team's 2008 Orange Bowl victory, and KU basketball coach Bill Self, right photo, revels in his team's 2008 National Championship.

April 13, 2008


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On the street

What benefits do you think the success of Kansas athletics will bring to Kansas University?

The most prominent is probably going to be the recruiting for our sports programs, especially football and basketball. But overall, it will mean more exposure for both the school and the state.

More responses

It's been a banner year for Kansas Athletics: an Orange Bowl victory for the football team and a National Championship for the basketball team.

In addition to promoting good feelings across campus, there's the chance that all of this promotion - something that a value can't easily be affixed to - will provide tangible benefit to the university.

A recent national study showed that the university that wins the basketball National Championship can expect an average 7 percent to 8 percent increase in enrollment. Just finishing in the football Top 20 - KU was ranked seventh in the final Associated Press poll - results in an average enrollment bump of 2.5 percent.

"Certainly, college administrators have known about this for a while, but I think this study helps to pin down what the average effects are," said Jaren Pope, an assistant professor in applied economics at Virginia Tech University, who conducted the study with his brother Devin Pope, an assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School.

The brothers compared information on freshman classes at 330 NCAA Division I schools with how the schools' teams fared from 1983 through 2002.

At KU, enrollment officials aren't so sure they are going to see any major jump because its basketball program has been nationally known for some time, and the championship came after the university's admissions deadline, said Gail Sherron, associate director of admissions and scholarship.

"Students who really truly had a strong interest we believe already had applied," she said. "We may get students from far away who have an interest in what KU has to offer - a strong collegiate environment, good athletics, good academics - who may think 'You know, this is a great choice.'"

The football team's strong finish did come before the admissions deadline, but Sherron said it didn't really lead to a spike in applications, but the university is meeting expectations.

What can't be determined, though, is how the victories on the field and the court will play out next year - and in August and September when KU's admissions counselors are at high schools around the country.

Good for giving

Of course, it's not just admissions that hopes to benefit from the Jayhawks' athletic success. The Alumni Association has included the basketball team in its advertising, even mentioning the victory in advertising on the popular Facebook social networking site.

The Endowment Association last week sent an e-mail from Robert Hemenway to the e-mail addresses of a number of alumni, encouraging them to make a donation to the university in honor of the team. Dale Seuferling, Endowment Association president, said the team would be involved in determining how that money is spent.

"We had inquiries from people asking what (they) can do, how they can honor the team," he said. "We decided to create a fund that bears the team's name."

Seuferling compared the idea of letting the team help decide how the money will be spent - it is expected to benefit students in some way - to similar campaigns that have been done in honor of recently retired faculty or university leaders.

"We'll give (the team) some ideas," he said.

Seuferling said he hoped that the victories would lead to a good year for the endowment association.

"Anything that's positive in the life of the university impacts giving," he said. "It's positive to have that much media attention. If you have an association with the university, you know about this team."

And that, everyone hopes, will lead to a bump for the university in all aspects of its operations.

- The Associated Press contributed to this report.


Retired_Caveman 10 years, 1 month ago

Of course, admissions are expecting to benefit, know they have a reason to raise the tuition costs for the increase of incoming freshmen.

Christine Pennewell Davis 10 years, 1 month ago

I would love to see Mangino and his boys in the parade today.

Sean Livingstone 10 years, 1 month ago

Retired Caveman,KU has the most valuable in-state and out-of-state tuition in the whole country. Princeton Review rates KU as one of the most affordable University in the whole nation (of course if you want to go to a lower quality ones, there are many which can offer you a lower rate). So please be realistic.

BrianR 10 years, 1 month ago

If the picture is any indication, perhaps the answer is citrus fruit and string?

ralphralph 10 years, 1 month ago

'citrus fruit and string' ...Sounds like a good menu plan for Mangino.

justthefacts 10 years, 1 month ago

The tuition at KU and all other state institutions began to go up and up when (and only when) the state legislature began to cut (and cut and cut again) the state support for such institutions. Bottom line, it takes a certain amount of money to run such a school. And the money has to come from somewhere - unless you want services, classes, extras to decrease or even see the school itself to go under. Like it or not, sports adds a lot of $ (directly and indirectly) into the mix. Tuition is only one of many revenue sources. When other sources provide more money to the mix, the tuition can be reduced or at least not have to be increased. The board of regents sent a STRONG signal to all state institutions this year; do not bring us a tuition increase (especially one higher then 6%) without compelling facts as to why it's absolutely necessary. Those who think they can get a better education somewhere other then Kansas are welcome to try.

deskboy04 10 years, 1 month ago

I am looking forward to watching next year's MU/KU football game at Arrowhead Stadium!

hckleberry 10 years, 1 month ago

'citrus fruit and string' :Sounds like a good menu plan for Mangino.Does that have anything to do with this thread? Never underestimate the stupid comments of some people!! Grow up!

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