I have decided to post the series of articles I’ve written thus far for Evergreen’s student newspaper, the Cooper Point Journal, regarding the college’s growth to 5,000 students by the 2014-15 academic year. These articles are all written as part of my work with the Enrollment Growth DTF. The first is below. I have edited out the contact information listed, since that isn’t really relevant to readers here.
Disappearing Task Force to Plan Campus Growth Charged
Peter Ellis, October 7, 2004
Evergreen, as a college, is growing. Washington State’s college enrollment continues to increase. As a public institution, Evergreen will do its part to accommodate that growth, and has committed to expanding its current enrollment count of around 4,100 students to a total of 5,000 students across all campuses. To help determine the shape of that growth President Les Purce and Provost Don Bantz charged the Enrollment Growth Disappearing Task Force (DTF) in June.
The charge of the DTF is “to recommend a growth plan that will guide us as we work toward an enrollment of 5,000 [full time enrollment] students by the 2014-2015 academic year”. As a result of yearlong work, the DTF will draft and present to the President and Board of Trustees a set of recommendations that will, if accepted, shape the growth of Evergreen as a college.
It is important to realize, however, that this DTF is not making the definitive plan for Evergreen’s growth; the power this DTF has lies only in its ability to craft and propose an enrollment growth plan, not to accept it or implement it on behalf of the entire Evergreen community. The responsibility of accepting and implementing this plan primarily lies with the Board of Trustees, President Les Purce, and the administrative units that operate the College. The question we are faced with is not whether we grow to 5,000 full-time students enrolled at Evergreen; rather, the question is how we make that growth both sustainable and effective. That we grow is a foregone conclusion, and was essentially promised to the State Legislature with the construction of Seminar II.
So what does this mean to Evergreen students? Apart from the obvious growth in the number of people who will be attending Evergreen, this planning could also affect the layout of the college curriculum at basic levels, including possible expansion of upper-division, lower-division, and graduate programs, and the potential addition of support staff to student support offices such as Academic Advising and Access Services (to name examples). These will not be the only areas considered by this group, but they are some of the more obvious areas where students would notice a change should the DTF choose to recommend such changes and the President and Board of Trustees choose to accept the DTF’s final recommendations.
As part of this DTF, it is my job to represent the student population of Evergreen in the crafting and planning of any growth proposal and to ensure that student concerns and issues are recognized and discussed. While the DTF as a whole has already determined the necessity of ensuring that every major party on campus – from faculty and staff to students – can provide input to this process, I intend to be particularly vocal in making sure that students understand the scope of the planning that this DTF is taking on.
I will be publishing a series of articles in the Cooper Point Journal as the work of this DTF continues so that the student population can remain informed as to the questions and concerns surrounding this important work. I invite any comments or questions you may have about this process.
In addition, the DTF is currently seeking one or two students to assist in this planning. I would be happy to answer any questions regarding such a commitment. Students interested in applying should contact Tracey Johnson in the Vice President of Student Affairs office.
Peter Ellis is the student representative on both the Enrollment Growth DTF and the Enrollment Coordination Committee.