Mid-America Christian University overhauled its enrollment services this week in a move university officials say will help manage growth.
The university eliminated its enrollment management division, outsourcing that department's services to Cincinnati-based education consulting firm Hobsons.
Hobsons will be forming similar partnerships with other universities both in the U.S. and abroad.
Buddy Shoe, Mid-America's former vice president of enrollment management, will be heading up a division of the consulting firm.
He left his position at Mid-America in April.
The move took effect Sunday, with the beginning of the new fiscal year. The university's President John Fozard said outsourcing the department would save the university about $5.5 million annually.
Eliminating the department meant laying off 44 university employees, Shoe said. Hobsons hired 33 of them.
Part of the reason for the move is the rapid enrollment growth the university has seen in recent years, Fozard said.
The university's enrollment has more than doubled in the past three years, rising from 762 students in the fall semester of 2009 to 2,050 this year.
The university hopes to see that growth continue, Fozard said. University officials hope to reach a total enrollment of 5,000 by 2016 and 10,000 by 2020.
Those goals include online students, who make up roughly 75 percent of the university's enrollment.