For several years, enrollment officials at the University of Montana were mystified that prospective students were complaining about a lack of contact information from the school, as compared to MSU.

The CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software used by UM for the past several years had been malfunctioning, and not sending out information about UM to perspective students and their families.

Cathy Cole, the Vice President for Enrollment and Strategic Communications said when she first applied for the position, she conducted an experiment to gauge UM’s student contact for enrollment.

“There’s a pretty famous story on campus that I had signed my dog for it when I was a candidate for this position, and my dog never received any mail from the university, but now she is, but she has since passed on,” said Cole. “We didn’t know it was broken and the folks before didn’t know it was broken. The software itself told us it was sending things out, but actually things were not going out. I figured that out just a little while into my tenure here on campus and we put our brightest minds on it and they have absolutely fixed it, and now we are communicating with students in Montana and beyond.”

Cole was excited to share the news that the school saw a stabilization of its enrollment from fall 2018 to spring 2019, with an overall headcount census of 10,644 students.

While the University began fall semester with a lower number of students than the previous fall, it saw an uptick of 1.7 percent in the persistence rate of students from fall to spring semester, resulting in higher than anticipated tuition revenue for the University.

“When I arrived here in July, there was no doubt what my number one goal was and these numbers today prove that we have made progress in fixing our enrollment.”