Faculty Senate to review enrollment initiatives

Debby Hernandez, Administration Editor

The Faculty Senate will review the causes and solutions related to enrollment, along with the faculty hiring process at 2 p.m. Thursday in the Conference Room 4440 of Booth Library.

The senate will review Eastern administrators’ overview of some causes for the 23 percent enrollment decrease.

According to the administrative root cause analysis, one of the contributing factors of low enrollment includes a decrease in students attending colleges and universities in Illinois.

The analysis also states enrollment in Illinois community colleges has decreased by 9 percent, while many Illinois students who do go to college decide to attend out-of-state universities.

The growth of competition with the 300 higher education institutions in Illinois also contributes to the low enrollment, according to the analysis.

Eastern has also been affected by the decrease of students entering the teaching program, which previously has been about 40 percent of Eastern’s undergraduate enrollment.

According to the analysis, factors contributing to this include concerns of finding employment in this field, state certification requirements, and teacher salaries.

Solutions organized by Eastern administrators to increase enrollment numbers will also be reviewed.

One of the suggested solutions is to expand Eastern’s market by targeting specific groups such as students in and outside of Illinois, and establish partnerships with school districts.

Another solution is to increase efforts to live up to Eastern’s core values, which include having excellence in education and personal relationships.

In regards to low enrollment in the teaching program, administrators have suggested to expand the market by attracting not only students to the program but also current Illinois teachers seeking additional certifications, and by developing a multi-year marketing plan to promote teacher education.

Senate members will also address concerns about the process of hiring unit A and unit B faculty and the allocation of positions within each unit.

Department chairs are asking for specifications and possible revision on the matter.

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