Faculty senate addresses budget cuts, enrollment

Debby Hernandez, Administration Editor

Faculty senate members debated issues concerning budget cuts and enrollment during their meeting Tuesday.

James Conwell, a physics professor, asked if the money to budget academic affairs has increased or stayed flat.

Blair Lord, provost and vice president for academic affairs, said this area has previously been underfunded, but its budget had significantly increased since last year.

Lord responded that there are no vacant positions in academic affairs. “I believe we have a reasonable staff and budget,” he said.

Senate members also spoke about enrollment.

“For every one student not enrolled here, it is $10,000 that the university loses,” Conwell said.

Lord said he predicts total enrollment will be down this year.

He said lower high school graduation and more students going to out-of-state schools are some factors affecting low enrollment.

Chris Dearth, the admissions director, discussed his goals, which included communicating with more qualified students, delivering offers of acceptance quicker, and hearing feedback from faculty in helping to increase enrollment.

He said the admissions department has sent off 16 acceptance packets to urban prep academies students from Chicago.

Jeffrey Ashley, a political science professor, said emphasis on recruiting students from local schools is needed.

“It’s important we are in front of our local people,” he said.

Dearth said he will soon be reaching out to Charleston and Mattoon high schools to recruit students.

Enrollment information will be available after the 10-day census date, he said.

Grant Sterling, chairman of faculty senate, announced that openings are available for all faculty senate committees.

A Council of Academic Affairs representative will be speaking in the next faculty senate meeting to recruit members for the general education and learning goals committee.

The faculty senate will meet again at 2 p.m. on Sept. 9 in the Booth Library conference Room 4440.

Debby Hernandez can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].