Cal U enrollment drops 9.2% |

Cal U enrollment drops 9.2%

First-day enrollment at California University of Pennsylvania decreased from last year's first-day, fall semester numbers, according to information obtained from the university.

This year's figure indicated a 9.2 percent decrease — from 8,198 students in fall 2011 to 7,449 students in fall 2012, according to the school.

The final enrollment numbers will be compiled later this semester to reflect students who enroll at or leave the university after the start of the term, school spokeswoman Christine Kindl said on Thursday.Through a spokeswoman, Acting Provost Bruce Barnhart said the university chose to maintain certain academic standards in admitting students even though it means an enrollment decrease.

“Although that decision comes with certain financial challenges, we have chosen to accept only those students who have demonstrated the potential for academic success at the college level,” he said.

The enrollment figure was announced during the same fall convocation ceremony in which Acting President Geraldine Jones told staff and faculty she was working to reduce the university's deficit from a projected $11.8 million to $4.2 million.

Jones was appointed in May when longtime president Angelo Armenti Jr. was fired amid a firestorm of criticism from some faculty and staff that his free-spending ways and campuswide building boom were harming academic programs.

Michael Slavin, the university's faculty union president, said he welcomed the decreased enrollment because classrooms were overcrowded last year, making it difficult for professors to adequately deal with the needs of the students.

“For us to be down in enrollment is a shrug of the shoulders as far as the faculty is concerned,” Slavin said. “From our standpoint, it's a positive. We'll have less students in class.”

Amanda Dolasinski is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-6220 or [email protected].

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