To the editor,
That SOU may not have grown lately is a misplaced concern. SOU successfully educated thousands when enrollment was much smaller than today. To state that SOU can’t do the job with a static enrollment is wrong, and it discounts the experience and academic achievements of former students who attended when SOU had a much smaller student body. It also discounts the efforts of the faculty and staff over past decades.
Arthur Kriesman, long time SOU professor who became involved in college and university certification, said that a University of 5000 was the optimum size to provide the best education and university experience. He implied that there was a diminished experience when universities grew large.
In the US too little attention and value are placed on the retention of smaller scale anything. In the last century the US grew by 200 million people resulting in the degradation of our paradises, a loss of social intimacy, crowding, fiscal strains, mountains of garbage, depletion of resources (especially water), and constant automobile traffic. Our elected representatives ignore that many problems including global warming are exacerbated by growth.
At some point Americans and Oregonians need to decide when we’ll have enough people. It is possible for a society to flourish without basing success on ever more people needing ever more goods, services, staffing, and housing, including SOU.