When SOU instructor and historian, Arthur Kreisman, was interviewed, he indicated that SOU would best serve students and the community if the enrollment remained at 5000 students.
At California public universities enrollments grew to where anonymity reigns. As young students try to find their way, they find themselves lost in classes of thousands in universities of tens of thousands.
Americans generally subscribe to the creed that bigger is better. But really only “better is better”. In business financial viability is tied to ever more growth, but in the academic world other things matter. Thus, we need a cap on enrollment at SOU. We shouldn’t equate stable enrollment with administrative failure.
But, the job of the SOU President will increasingly be that of fundraiser. The SOU administration needs to increasingly reach out to alumni, businesses and the community for money. SOU needs larger endowments, but we don’t need the President to obsess about an ever increasing “body count”.
SOU will face growth pressures because Oregon will grow. That is because nationally and in Oregon we continue to elect pro-growth people to Congress. But that doesn’t mean SOU should increase beyond 5,000 students. Nor should the City permit SOU’s campus to expand geographically.
SOU Language Student
Letter to the Editor- Medford Mail Tribune early 2000’s