Up, up and dismay

The staff editorial is the majority opinion of the editorial board of The Murray State News.

“I do feel confident that by fall of 2012 we will hit that 11,000 mark,” President Randy Dunn said in an interview this week.

This is a far cry from the optimism we heard coming from the administration when the original 12,000 by 2012 initiative was started. The program was considered to be one of the University’s largest recruitment campaigns to date. Looking back now it seems the money could have been better spent in other areas.

There is no way the University could have known about the economic collapse (or the next one for that matter) and there is no question of the amount of effort put forth.

But at what point was there question we would not reach the target goal? At what point did the administration realize they would not come within range by even 1,000 students?

It’s fair to say at that point the University should have re-evaluated its strategy and maybe spent funds developing programs on campus.

Growth at every University is an important issue. But if we are to learn anything from the larger institutions in our society it should be rapid growth is unhealthy and dangerous. We should be striving for a systematic, long-term growth plan. The campus you have should never take the back-burner for the campus you want.

Dunn said the University is at a point where growth is still possible, but did not say why this growth is necessary.

“Another thing we talk about is the size of campus that allows a connection or engagement to the people who are here,” Dunn said. “We’re large enough to have a lot of the amenities of a larger campus, but we’re small enough that there’s the opportunity to be connected to many individuals whether they’re other students, professors or individuals who my work in Winslow or Facilities Management.”

This ideology may be the type of thinking some Illinois businessmen prefer, but certainly should not dilute from this educational institution. If anything the University should be more aware of its limits.

We are not a flagship school by any means. That in itself is a draw for many of the students we have on campus. If the University continues to dream it’s something it’s not we will soon wake up to a nightmare.

At a certain point the University administrators needs to come to the conclusion many on this campus already have and spend more time and resources on the students who are here and not the ghosts in their heads.