Jenni Wiener, Campus Editor

First year applications to Miami University reached a record high of 18,482 this year, which is a 9 percent growth since fall 2010, but at the University Senate meeting Monday, Michael Kabbaz, associate vice president for enrollment management, said he plans to keep these numbers increasing.

Although this is the first year of his new position, Kabbaz already has major goals for the future.

“My first goal is to build enrollment management identity, organization and culture,” Kabbaz said to the Senate.

To do this, he said he plans on looking at market analysis, keeping data transparent and being more proactive.

“We want to proactively manage the undergraduate enrollment size and composition,” Kabbaz said. “The goal is to have 3,600 students enrolled in fall of 2012 and have our applicant pool exceed 20,000.”

As of Monday, 3,579 first-year students are enrolled this year. Of these, one in five students are the first in their family to go to college and one in four have a legacy connection to Miami. The acceptance rate also dropped from 79 to 75 percent because of the increase in number of applicants.

Kabbaz went on to say that Miami could get over 25,000 applicants, but he is focused on 20,000 quality students applying to the university. To bring in more interested quality students, he wants to reinstate a scholars program. Currently, a more than 10 percent of students are in the Honors Program, but Kabbaz wants to create a new scholars program that would partner with different academic disciplines and be specific to that discipline. For example, there could be a scholars program in the Farmer School of Business that would be specifically designed to that school or discipline.

Another goal Kabbaz has is to enhance and integrate Miami’s state, regional, national and international marketing and communication efforts to increase interest from prospective students, parents and other key influences.

“Over 60 percent of the students who visit Miami come here, so we need to increase visitors,” Kabbaz said. “I am all for balancing between the best and brightest students from our own backyard in Ohio with out of state and international students.”