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BG24 Newscast
September 29, 2023

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BG24 Newscast
September 29, 2023

Faculty Senate discusses changing enrollment

The Faculty Senate did not tackle any new legislation at Tuesday’s meeting, but, rather, took the allotted time to address how to adapt to changing enrollment.

Rodney Rogers, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, began by presenting on future enrollment initiatives.

The University is primarily made up of students who are full time [87 percent], undergraduate [86 percent] and domestic [97 percent], Rogers said. Additionally, 85 percent are from Ohio.

“That is certainly core for us,” Rogers said.

But, if the University wants to keep up with enrollment trends, and wants to attract more state funding, that needs to change, Rogers said.

Specifically, the plan is to attract more non-traditional students, whether that be transfer, international, adult or those seeking professional master’s, Rogers said.

“We’ve got to make sure we have opportunities to provide these students with a Bowling Green State University education,” he said.

Already, the University has an English immersion program for international students. Transfer students have the option for Firelands and Owens Community College pathways to the University.

“There’s more work to do of course,” Rogers said.

This new student population requires new degree and support programs, Rogers said.

The goal of Rogers’ presentation, he said, is to gain a “shared understanding” as far as challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.

Faculty Senate Chair Sheri Wells-Jensen, associate professor in the English Department, expounded on this point by emphasizing the importance of shared governance between the administration and faculty. She then asked the senate to split into groups to discuss solutions to Rogers’ projections.

“I’m worried we sometimes talk past one another when we talk about these things,” Wells-Jensen said. “Shared governance is participating in shaping the future.”

The discussion centered on how the University can structure courses and programs to serve the changing needs that Rogers discussed. Wells-Jensen urged the senate to avoid letting the discussion devolve to how to do more with less.

“The conversation I want us to have today is not financial discussion,” Wells-Jensen said. “No large bags of cash are going to fall out of the sky on any group.”

Rather, Wells-Jensen directed the senate to focus on “who we are as a community.”

The senate then split into groups and discussed the issues for approximately half an hour. According to a sheet dispersed prior to the meeting, groups were to discuss opportunities, barriers and ways to overcome those barriers that are associated with changing student populations.

Rogers, University President Mary Ellen Mazey, Undergraduate Student Government President Alex Solis and other non-faculty also participated in the group discussion.

Wells-Jensen announced the ideas and outcomes of the discussion will be collated and posted online following the meeting.

The Senate’s Committee on Academic Affairs Chair David Border also outlined three new minors to be offered at the University. Finance, Japanese and philosophy, politics, economics and law will all be additional minors, Border said.

“All three are evidence of really creative thinking and sound design,” Wells-Jensen said. “BGSU will really be better for these efforts.”

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