FVSU president: Enrollment decline creates a ‘domino effect’

FORT VALLEY, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Fort Valley State University faces an obstacle, which the school’s president says it will overcome. 

Student enrollment is at an all-time low for the state unviversity.

In fall 2011, more than 3,800 students enrolled. Administrators expect that number to drop to 2,400 this fall.

“There were a combination of factors,” says school president Dr. Ivelaw Lloyd Griffith. “Some of them within our university. Some of them within the state of Georgia that have led to the kind of results we have.” 

He adds the declines are reflective of the recent declines in high school graduation rates, and a shrinkage in number of people interested in living in the mid-Georgia region.

“We are victims of a number of circumstances, and those enrollment circumstances translate into budget.”

Administration cut 14 part-time jobs, less people are utilizing dorm space, and buying meal plans putting the university in a major financial predicament.

“We knew that we were going to have a shortfall in the budget. It turns out it 7.1 million dollars,” say Griffith.

He adds the issues started at the campus blaming its lack of good customer service, and other factors.

“The university was taking in students who didn’t meet our requirements…I stopped it,” says Griffith.

By next week, the Griffith says he will plan a meeting with the Student Government Association to create plans to address the issue around campus.

He says he’s hiring a bi-lingual recruit to reach out to the Hispanic population.

“We know we have a challenge to deal with. We’re going to face it, and we’re going to fix it,” says Griffith.

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