YOUNGSTOWN - Department heads at Youngstown State University are looking at potential budget changes in anticipation of a slight enrollment drop in the fall.
Ron Cole, director of university communications, said the planning process was put into place a couple of weeks ago after the current fiscal budget that was approved by trustees showed a potential 1 percent drop in enrollment.
"We put into place a planning process to look at what, if anything, would have to be done if it was more than the 1 percent decrease. The vice presidents and deans have been going through that planning exercise," he said.
According to published figures, the university has about 13,350 students and a 19-to-1 student to faculty ratio. The final enrollment count will be done two weeks after the start of the fall semester on Aug. 21.
Cole said it's hard to say what is causing the enrollment drop, but cited economic factors and increased competition as potential reasons. He also said that enrollment tends to be cyclical in nature; the university experienced an enrollment drop in the 1990s followed by an increase in the 2000s.
New university president Randy Dunn has said the main elements he will focus on include enrollment, stabilizing revenue and regional outreach, and Cole said a variety of initiatives soon will be underway on campus to boost enrollment.
By the numbers:
13,358 - YSU enrollment
19-to-1 - Student-to-faculty ratio
$3,950 - In-state semester tuition
$6,950 - Out-of-state semester tuition
10 percent - Four-year graduation rate
69 percent - Average freshman retention rate
Source: U.S. News and World Report
In a June meeting, trustees approved a $94 increase in tuition rates to $3,950 per semester for in-state students and $6,950 for out-of-state students.
"Over the next few months we'll have even more efforts and resources set aside to really beef up that area," he said.
Cole said no decisions have been made regarding budgetary changes or potential cuts.
"It's really premature to talk about what actions will be necessary until we get those enrollment numbers," he said.