Things occur to a fellow after he’s finished writing, and the beauty about having my own blog is that I can add to it later if I want. I want to do that right now and add a postscript to my 6/17/2013 blog post titled “Did TSTC West Texas Leaders See the Enrollment Crisis Coming? No.” After I wrote another post, “TSTC West Texas’s Excuses for Falling Enrollment,” it occurred to me that one of the media articles I had linked in the latter post was closely related to the former. In a 1/2/2011 Abilene Reporter-News story, the paper said that TSTC officials claimed enrollment was “static” on purpose! The applicable excerpt from the story, titled “Big Country Community Colleges Keep on Growing,” appears below:
Officials said in September 2010 that Texas State Technical College remained static on purpose because all campuses are slated for major construction projects. Fall enrollment dropped from 1,326 last year to 1,285 this academic year.
Now that is quite a statement and an important indicator of TSTC West Texas administrators’ mindset at the time. As late as September 2010, the first month of Fiscal Year 2011, by the way, administrators had every campus “slated for major construction projects.” Implicitly, it was to accommodate more students, since they were supposedly NOT trying too hard to get many until after the construction. New construction or not, they’ve been mothballing buildings out there! Yep, I would say that crisis tippy-toed right up on ’em.
How it sneaked up on them when annual student headcount had been falling since 2008 (and is still falling) is beyond me.