It’s been awhile since we talked about St. Cloud State’s enrollment crisis. Frankly, there wasn’t much to write about after the 10-day report. By the way, President Potter still hasn’t reported those figures. We’re a month into the fall semester so it’s time for the 30-day report.

Right from MnSCU’s database, here’s what’s happening:

According to MnSCU’s figures, St. Cloud State’s enrollment is down another 5.6% this fall. That’s following a 4.5% drop last year and a 6% drop the year before that. I don’t have the exact percentage of the enrollment drop from 2010-2013 but it’s close to 16%.

For those keeping track at home, that means St. Cloud State has literally lost millions of dollars of tuition revenue the last 3 years. They’ve lost lots of student fee revenues, too.

Talk to a professor and they’ll tell you that enrollment is the lifeblood of a university. When enrollments increase, tuition revenue obviously increases. According to the person I’ve talked with about enrollment, money appropriated by the legislature for higher education has a 2-year delay.

First, a university’s FYE enrollment determines what percentage of the Higher Education omnibus bill appropriations it gets. Next, a university’s enrollment figures from 2 years ago determine how much money they get from MnSCU. Since SCSU’s enrollment had just suffered its first drop, they won’t get hurt as much with this year’s Higher Education appropriations as they’ll suffer in 2 years.

Still, St. Cloud State is feeling the sting. While the MnSCU budget appropriations don’t hit hardest until 2 years from now, the tuition revenues are affected immediately. At Thursday’s Meet & Confer meeting, SCSU Provost Devinder Malhotra told the Faculty Association that they’re cutting $2,900,000 from the budget. Those cuts will most likely be to cut fixed-term and adjunct professors.

That’s a shoddy way of doing business in most places. At SCSU, it’s just business as usual.

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2 Responses to “Fresh from MnSCU”

  • Nick says:

    Potter will be nothing more than a footnote when he either gets fired or retires from St. Cloud State. And it looks like neither the Democrats or Republicans want to fund Aviation at the post-secondary level. Why is not Dayton not stepping in to prevent SCSU’s Aviation program from completely going away?

  • walter hanson says:


    This is Mark Dayton. AFSCME hasn’t complained. His ex-wife hasn’t complained. They will have to complain to get Dayton to act!

    Walter Hanson
    Minneapolis, MN

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