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Did SCSU Overshoot President Potter’s ‘Right Size?’
by Silence Dogood

When pressed about SCSU’s declining enrollment, President Potter has repeatedly stated that he’s ‘right sizing.’ No one in the press has pressed him on just what the right size is. The data in the figure below is from the Office of Strategy, Planning & Effectiveness.

It shows that in four years, from FY10 to FY14, enrollment has dropped by 2,715 FYE or 18.0%. At the end of FY14, SCSU’s enrollment was 279 FYE lower than it was in FY00.

For FY15, it appears that SCSU is headed to its fifth straight year of FYE enrollment decline and fourth straight year of declines over 5%. The figure below is from the Office of Strategy, Planning & Effectiveness and shows the annual percentage decline in enrollment from FY11 to FY14.

If the enrollment is down another 5% for FY15, SCSU’s FYE enrollment will be 11,762. It’s anyone’s guess as to how far you would have to go back to have an enrollment total lower than 11,762.No one, except President Potter, knows what the right size is for SCSU. And apparently he’s not telling because there is no enrollment management plan other than he’s ‘right sizing.’ However, at the Budget Advisory Group meeting on September 18, 2014, it was announced that SCSU was going to increase enrollment by over 900 FYE for FY16.

This would be historic growth. All the way back to 2000, the largest year-to-year growth occurred from 2001 to 2002 and it was only 683 FYE. Maybe President Potter is confusing headcount enrollment with FYE enrollment again. The only other times SCSU has experienced enrollment changes near 683 FYE was from FY11 to FY12 when enrollment dropped 1,038 FYE, FY12 to FY13 when enrollment dropped 885 FYE, and FY13 to FY14 when enrollment dropped 673 FYE.

The University of Colorado saw explosive growth in applications this fall. The growth seems to correspond to the fact that Colorado became one of two states to allow recreational use of marijuana. Perhaps President Potter is planning on expanding the community garden to cultivate a new crop to entice enrollment. One thing is for sure, with the new focus on growing programs and increasing enrollment 900 FYE, SCSU must have overshot President Potter’s target for SCSU’s ‘right size.’ If SCSU has to grow 900 FYE to hopefully reach President Potter’s ‘right size,’ SCSU would have to grow 7.7% while reversing losses of 6.9%, 6.4%, 5.1% and over 5%. Perhaps President Potter has been visiting Colorado on his trips to China or he’s confused growing SCSU’s enrollment by 900 FYE with SCSU losing 900 FYE. I’m taking bets on Colorado.

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