Sac State Misses Enrollment Goal ... But Just Barely


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(Sacramento, CA)
Thursday, October 4, 2007

When President Alexander Gonzalez gave his Fall Address in late August, just as classes got underway, he predicted Sac State would meet – or even exceed – its enrollment goal.  At a town hall meeting Thursday, though, Provost Joe Sheley’s news was mixed. 
 
“Yes we did not. (laughter) We didn’t do badly.”

In other words, the university missed its target – but just barely, by 1 percent for the fall semester, and likely just point-8 of a percent for the year as a whole.  That also means Sac State gained about 600 students this year. 
 
“We’re essentially where we were last year.  We’re essentially, therefore, where we were last year on budget.”
 
And that’s the key – because the Cal State system distributes money to its 23 campuses based on whether they meet their enrollment goals.
 
In other news from Thursday's town hall meeting:

Sacramento State administrators say they’re working on ways of notifying the campus if a dangerous incident occurs – like last spring’s mass shooting at Virginia Tech.
 
“We have to be really, I think, vigilant," said President Alexander Gonzalez.  "And not overreacting.  But on the other hand, if it’s a threat, we have to take those things seriously.”
 
Administrators said they’re looking at a lot of different ideas, from phone trees to emails to even text messages.
 
But all have problems.  For example, making 30,000 phone calls at once would overload the system; and many students don’t check their Sacramento State email addresses frequently, preferring personal ones like Yahoo or Hotmail.
 
Gonzalez says two Cal State campuses tried a pilot notification system involving text messages, but ran into problems.
 
One idea that is getting attention: installing lighted signs on and near the campus -- including at entrances and on local freeways.