Magazine article Diverse Issues in Higher Education

Plan Seeks to Grow Enrollment at Struggling Central State University

Magazine article Diverse Issues in Higher Education

Plan Seeks to Grow Enrollment at Struggling Central State University

Article excerpt

Central State University, the only historically Black public institution in Ohio and one of the state's smallest universities, may be hitting a growth spurt if state regents adopt what local papers call a "rescue proposal" for the school.

A task force of educators formed by the Ohio Board of Regents has developed a proposal called "Speed to Scale" that will allow CSU to more than triple its enrollment to 6,000 students in the next seven to eight years.

"We wouldn't use the word 'rescue' Central State, we use the word 'accelerate' Central State," says Dr. E. Garrison Waiters, the board's interim chancellor.

"[CSU] is an important resource for the state, but under the current way the state's funding system works, it really doesn't have much of an opportunity to get to its full potential," he says. "So we need to look at alternative ways to allow the university to reach its full potential for the state. And that's what we are working on."

The announcement comes a little more than a year after state legislators cut CSU's funding by $821,000, or 4.75 percent, for 2006--the largest percentage cut among Ohio's 13 public universities. The state is slicing another $588,000 for 2007. Earlier this year, trustees approved an increase in tuition and fees for the university, which has a long history of financial and enrollment problems.

CSU was slated for closure if it failed to meet the requirements of a 1997 state bailout, needed after the school amassed between $8 million and $11 million in debt. …

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