We decided to engage with Hanover after our president received an email from Hanover with a link to several whitepapers on higher education. We had already contacted EAB, a firm with which President Pietruszkiewicz had worked in the past, but we were not comfortable interviewing just one firm, so we contacted Hanover as well—and received a response within five minutes of leaving a request for information.
We came to Hanover with a unique set of circumstances: we had recently received a sizeable grant that could only be used for market research and study; we needed research fairly quickly, and we needed research that included very tailored inquiries into our market, including direct contact through surveys, focus groups, etc. Hanover was the only firm that offered all of these services in the timeline that we needed. We spent a lot of time contacting references—those provided by firms and those generated through posts to affinity group listservers. The reports on Hanover were glowing, and everybody that we talked to who had worked with both EAB and Hanover endorsed Hanover.
Our most important goal this year is to develop or begin developing more programs for adult and graduate students to help us diversify our student population, which, right now, is 91% traditional 18-22 year old students living on or near campus. We have received some grant support from the Lilly Foundation to do this and will be using data that we receive from Hanover to apply for more. We also aim to develop a strategy for program growth and program diversification, which will rely much on the data that we get from Hanover. For others considering an external partner, shop around, talk to people, have a very good idea what you want, and ask specific questions about what kind of data will be incorporated into the report.
Michael Austin, Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs