Castro announces enrollment increase

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Fresno State students walk through the Free Speech Area. University President Joseph Castro announced Monday that Fresno State will have 400 new enrollment positions for incoming students in fall 2014. Photo Roe Borunda

President Joseph Castro announced today that the California State University system has granted Fresno State 400 new enrollment positions for incoming students in fall 2014.

“This is very good news for Fresno State,” Castro said. “It will allow the university to continue growing to meet the strong demand from students in the Valley and beyond.”

A recent Fresno Bee article said Castro has been pulling lately to accept additional students for next fall, as Fresno State had an all-time record of 23,060 applicants, an increase of 21 percent.

The money needed to add the students is part of a $237 million spending plan put forward by the CSU trustees.

Castro mentioned the large number of applicants on Nov. 16 via his twitter account.

“Freshman applications for Fall 2014 @Fresno_State continue to run 20 percent above last year! Amazing response so far! Our future is very bright!” he said in a tweet.

Initially, Castro said he requested 800 positions to bump up enrollment. The CSU system received enrollment increase requests from all 23 CSU campuses.

“Even though we certainly could have used additional enrollment spots, we are pleased that more students will have the opportunity to attend next year,” Castro said.

Fresno State’s interim provost and vice president for academic affairs, Dr. Andrew Hoff, said the campus has enough room and classes for more students next year.

“We are currently conducting searches for more than 45 new faculty for the 2014-2015 academic year,” Hoff said. “These will be full-time faculty who will help meet our higher enrollment.  Academic departments and programs will adjust full-and part-time faculty loads to cover the increase.”

Dr. Lynn Williams, associate professor of agricultural business and chair of the Academic Senate, said he believes the more people enrolled in higher education, the better the investment for the community, state and nation.

“I think the faculty would stand ready to do their part in any way we can to accommodate the increase in numbers of students,” Williams said. “The thought of turning people away that are qualified, prepared and want to be here – I think that’s distasteful to anybody, whether you’re an administrator, faculty member or student.”

Hoff said he believes there is also a need for higher-educated people in the Central Valley.

“Providing additional access to students seeking a four-year degree is essential to build a well-educated workforce for Central California,” Hoff said.  “Eventually, these students will graduate and become teachers, nurses, scientists, engineers, business owners and community leaders.

“With applications on the rise, we look forward to reducing the number of eligible students we have to turn away because we have reached capacity.”

 

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