Academic Senate addresses enrollment management



The Academic Senate discussed the next the steps it would take to address college size and dropping enrollment at its most recent meeting.

For over an hour Paul Jarrell, executive vice president, described the nature of these two beasts saying, “we have the means to provide [and] we are committed to having these programs… but the numbers must have a balance.”

The programs Jarrell is referring to are ones that offer a uniqueness to City College, like the Associate Degree Nursing Program. Jarrell explained there is no accurate way to equate a large lecture class like chemistry to the smaller more personal class sizes in the nursing program.

Academic Senate President Priscilla Butler explained this at the beginning of the discussion asking, “how many students do we need to keep the breadth and depth of our programs?”

Butler presented the proposed four step plan before the senate.

It starts with an amendment to the educational master plan. The amendment would establish how many students the college needs to have to sustain the status quo.

The second step on this plan is to review the progress made to the first goal after a year.

Next on the four part process is a report called the Abbreviated Strategic enrollment management plan. The plan will contain specific recommendations regarding college size and class efficiency.

The final step the senate plans to take is to tackle the issue before winter break submerges the issue.

Democratic institutions aren’t known for being quick to respond, however it’s imperative for the senate to act fast.

The debate surrounding college size was introduced to face the dramatic drop in enrollment, pushing City College to find ways to cut its losses through a holistic introspection. Controversy was sparked when the Board of Trustee’s circumvented the Senate and issued— then repealed— Board Policies 1300 and 3150.

The policies established a focus on local students and an optimal size for the college adopt in its mission statement.

During his presentation, Jarrell emphasized the value that international and non-resident students provide, however politics presents a large obstacle, a really big one.

“Our current government isn’t keen on international students. A lot of our Chinese students are having problems getting their visa’s approved” said Jarrell.

City College seems to be surrounded by lower enrollments and a growing budget deficit. The solution to one may solve the other, but for now the Academic Senate is mapping out the  unpredictable road ahead.