BY WATCHING ADAMS STAFF – 3/14/16
In a presentation made by President Beverlee McClure at the February 29th Faculty Senate meeting at Adams State University (ASU), McClure described spring 2016 enrollment declines. For more on this, see ASU Enrollment in Decline. “What we are doing now is not working” McClure explained. She went on to discuss marketing plan initiatives such as Guaranteed Tuition in order to raise enrollment. She also made repeated mention of ASU’s 2008 fall semester enrollment as being the target for filling the budget shortfall.
Faculty Senate President Dr. Christina Miller asked for clarification on the number of students necessary to address budget shortfall and a proposed 1% raise for ASU employees.
Dr. Miller: Just to make sure that I’m understanding, so um, we need 144 new students to handle the shortfall and all the new requests.
President McClure: Correct.
Dr. Miller: And then add to that the 22 necessary for the 1% raise for everybody?
President McClure: No. That incorporates the 1%.
Dr. Miller: That incorporates that? Okay, great.
President McClure: I was just breaking it down by 1% so that you could just see.
Dr. Miller: And so we get those 144 students, um, what are we going to do to get ready to uh, to service those 144 students?
President McClure: Well it’s actually going to bring you back to where you probably were a few years ago. So one of the interesting things about how we look at enrollment is, you can compare your enrollment from this fall to last fall, not taking into account that the fall before that you were down, and the fall before that you were down, and the fall before that. So really you really need to get back up to the 2008. So it will bring us back up to our 2008 enrollment level. So we’ve got some capacity and that’s a great question because capacity is an issue because we have to put that in our matrix. We have some capacity because of the decline since 2008 to get us back up and then we’re gonna have to start asking those to do this math, “how many more do we have to hire, what do we have to build, what do we have to add?”
Many faculty and staff in attendance were confused by this 2008 citation, and understandably so. According to Colorado Department of Higher Education (CDHE) data that tracks the enrollment of on-campus, degree seeking and non-degree seeking students, 2008 was among the lowest-enrolled years in recent ASU history. View these reports here.
In previous years, CDHE Data shows enrollment of resident and non-resident students in 2004 as 2,628, 2005 as 2,770, 2006 as 2,604, and 2007 as 2,481 – fluctuating and then dropping. Beginning in 2008, ASU’s fall enrollment dipped to a low of 2,411 but then rose in 2009 to 2,803, rose in 2010 to 2,923, rose again in 2011 to 3,019, and rose again in 2012 to 3,033 – the exact opposite trend of McClure’s claim of successive drops after 2008.
Indeed, A September 9th, 2011 ASC news article proclaims: “ASC smashes enrollment records for third year running.” These enrollment increases were widely-known and the subject of much campus-wide celebration in the 2009-2012 era.
After the Faculty Senate meeting concluded, President McClure reiterated that she believes that campus enrollment should return to 2008 levels.