Ronald Nowaczyk

Frostburg State University President Ronald Nowaczyk speaks during the annual State of the University presentation given at the school’s Woodward D. Pealer Performing Arts Center Thursday. (Photo by CTN - Steve Bittner)

FROSTBURG — Ronald Nowaczyk, Frostburg State University president, said increasing enrollment will be his top priority moving forward.

Enrollment was among several goals Nowaczyk highlighted Thursday during the annual State of the University presentation given at the school’s Woodward D. Pealer Performing Arts Center.

“Enrollment will continue to be my number one focus for the upcoming years at Frostburg State University,” said Nowaczyk. “It is critically important to continue growth of this institution.”

Liz Medcalf, FSU public information officer, said roughly 5,700 students were enrolled for the 2016-17 school year. She said the figure for 2017-18, which won’t be available until mid-September, is expected to be about the same. However, she expects that efforts to increase enrollment should yield positive growth in subsequent years.

Named FSU president in February of 2016, Nowaczyk praised the university’ s “diverse and vibrant” student population. He said he has been pleased with the school’s offerings, including programs for nursing, physician assistants, cybersecurity and teaching.

Nowaczyk said the university’s budget model will be changing.

“We will be changing from a historical incremental budgeting model to a performance-based model,” he said. “The incremental model is one in which you are in a very stable environment.”

Nowaczyk said the model is not effective during the “dynamic times” the university is currently in. He said the incremental model is utilized for budgets that remain similar year after year and funds are dispersed in an increasing or decreasing fashion depending on availability. He said the university will benefit greatly from a focus on performance-based budgeting.

Among several additions and improvements, Nowaczyk said upgrades to Annapolis Hall must continue. He also wants to increase the level of maintenance across the campus to further beautify the university grounds.

Nowaczyk said the school must continue to meet workforce needs and be prepared to face future changes in industry.

“We have the faculty at this institution that will help us navigate the changing needs in workforce,” he said.

Nowaczyk said Frostburg State should continue to be thought of as one of the top features when discussing Western Maryland.

He said words included in the university’s vision are appropriate for the coming years.

“Frostburg State University is a regionally acclaimed and nationally recognized academic institution that provides distinctive programs to support state and regional workforce needs.”

Follow staff writer Greg Larry on Twitter @GregLarryCTN.

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