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Today's Question: What else can MU do to adjust to high enrollment?

Saturday, August 29, 2009 | 5:08 p.m. CDT; updated 6:20 p.m. CDT, Saturday, August 29, 2009

COLUMBIA – MU student enrollment is at an all-time high, according to a report released by the MU News Bureau on Monday, with 30,831 students enrolled on the first day of classes.

Even though the freshman enrollment rate isn't as high as last year, a record percentage of students from last year’s freshman class — the largest in history — returned for their sophomore year at MU.

The campus bookstore reorganized to better meet more students needs.

“We added four cash registers upstairs … some more downstairs, and rearranged some things to make the lines move faster,” bookstore employee Megan Jaeger said.

Three new residence halls opened on campus — Dogwood, Galena and Hawthorn — but the MU Department of Residential Life looked again to off-campus housing to accommodate additional student demand, renewing arrangements with Campus View and Campus Lodge, said Frankie Minor, director of Residential Life.

Many large classes on campus are even larger, but academic departments have added more sections and support staff to satisfy demand.

The Office of the Vice Provost for Enrollment Management made additional funds available to the College of Arts and Sciences in response to last year’s “freshman surge” Michael O’Brien, dean of the College of Arts and Science, said.

What else can MU do to adjust to high enrollment?


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Comments

Jimmy Bearfield August 31, 2009 | 1:08 p.m.

Maybe the question ought to be, should MU do anything to adjust to high enrollment? In other words, what demographic trends will play out over the next decade? Are we near or at the peak in terms of high school graduates? Was there a baby boom in the mid-1990s that means more are on the way? Or did the number of babies born in the 1990s decrease as the decade wore on? Same question for birth rates so far this decade.

If there will be a decline in high school attendance, then it makes sense to lease apartment complexes rather than to build more dorms, or to staff up with more adjuncts than tenure-track faculty.

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