Mead: Enrollment decrease ‘just a snapshot’

Caitlin Carter

WKU’s growth appears to have hit a snag.

According to agenda materials from Friday’s Board of Regents meeting, this year WKU has seen a slight decrease in enrollment as compared to the same time last year.

Winter term decreased by two students from last year and the spring 2011 semester is expected to have 115 less students than spring 2010.

While the decreases account for less than 1 percent of total enrollment in both instances, Ann Mead, vice president for Finance and Administration, said she no longer worries about the initial numbers.

“For several years I would panic when I looked at the spring receipts and think, ‘Oh my gosh, oh my gosh. We’re going to have to have a mid-year budget cut,’” Mead said on Wednesday.

Mead said the decreased enrollment can be attributed to graduates and transfers.

Such factors are taken into consideration when budgeting, Mead said. So she and her department make sure to budget conservatively.

Mead said that enrollment may increase after the Board of Regents meeting, though, because it often has in the past.

“Somebody is going to figure out what it is, but we have a fair amount of students make an enrollment decision pretty late,” Mead said. “So while they may have said the spring enrollment is down, that’s just a snapshot. We’ve got the rest of this week. We’ve got people who will make a decision on the first day of classes.”