Enrollments up statewide

By Marianne Renner

Universities statewide saw fall enrollment increases, resulting in major re-adjustments for some.

Eastern Illinois University experienced a 139 on-campus student increase from last year, jumping enrollment to 10,121.

Dr. Samuel Taber, dean of student academic services at EIU, said the smaller classes are affected the most. “They have more of a problem because of classroom size,” he said.

The increase has brought “about 100 more students than we are comfortable with,” he said.

Taber said more class sections were needed as a result of enrollment and a tuition increase has been proposed for EIU to account for them.

Southern Illinois University also had to increase class sizes after reaching a record-breaking 24,160 students, an increase of 899 from 1986.

Kirby Browning, SIU’s director of admissions and records, said SIU classrooms are very full.

“We’ve had to drop classes in some areas and add in others. It’s an adjustment process,” Browning said.

The adjustment process at Western Illinois University has affected both students and instructors.

WIU Registrar Alan DeRoose said because some upper-level classes were cancelled, instructors were transferred to 100 and 200 level classes.

“We want our freshmen to have the best experience possible here,” DeRoose said.

Enrollment at WIU was highest at the freshman level, with a 414 increase from last year. The total enrollment is 12,698, a 623 increase from last year.

Enrollment at the University of Illinois surpassed last year’s 36,330 by 10 students.

Pat Askew, U of I associate director of university admissions and records, said the number of graduates, not undergraduates, increased there.

All of the universities agreed that the increase was expected. “Students are finding it necessary to attend institutions of higher learning,” said Browning.

e said SIU was prepared for the increase and expanded classrooms as a result.

All universities also agreed that the budget cuts hindered their capability to accommodate the enrollment increase.

Some of the campuses are in the process of raising admission standards to deal with the large increases.