I've been busy with more pressing & official service work during the last week, so haven't posted. Today I'll mainly just flag a couple of stories to provide a venue for comments.
I can't fully cut through the spin around enrollment numbers. We have 322 fewer students than last spring. The Chancellor is quoted as saying that the numbers are better than expected, but I don't quite follow her logic. She says that she expected at loss of about 360 students, given small class sizes (where class refers to things like the class of 2012, for example). But the newspaper stories don't fill in her logic; there are all sorts of possible complications regarding expectations. And of course the administration focuses on the good news stories,
noting colleges that are up (especially MCMA), but not analyzing the losses, leading one to suspect they are, as we would expect, putting out the most positive version of the story. I if my math is correct, we were down 220 students last fall (fall 2011 vs. fall 2010), so one would expect this spring to be down only 220, if we suffered no losses in addition to the losses normal over the fall/spring transition (via graduation and attrition). It thus looks like we lost 100 more students this spring.
There is also of course the larger context: the Southern notes that John A. Logan enrollment was down 5%. The success or failure of our recruiting & retention has to be measured in some large part by how well or badly our peers are doing (where I mean, mainly, Illinois universities rather than community colleges).
At any rate, we'll see what the Chancellor tells the faculty senate; at our last meeting she was frank about enrollment looking down.
Enrollment in the DE
Enrollment in the Southern
Pensions in the Southern
Program review in the DE (note the open forum on Thursday from 1-2:00 in the library auditorium)