V.P. Blanchard urges faculty not to over-enroll their courses

Russ Lindquist

GROSSMONT COLLEGE–“Our fall semester is off to a busy start,” according to Barbara Blanchard, GC’s Vice President of Academic Affairs. In a recent email to faculty and staff, Blanchard wrote that 19,809 students are now enrolled in 173,730.5 units–a 1% increase from last fall. Blanchard called the increase “quite unexpected,” citing that the recent cut in state government subsidies to higher education resulted in a loss of 76 sections since last year.

“Our faculty members are to be commended,” said Blanchard, “for the efficiency that was achieved this semester.” Whereas last semester classes were 95% of capacity, this semester they are 98%, according to the vice president. The VP suggested that students may be dropping classes less frequently than they did last semester, that the demand for classes is high, and that classes are filling faster with higher attendance rates than in past years.

Although Blanchard said that, “this is all good news,” the V.P. wrote that “with the unexpected increase in the fill rate of our classes,” Grossmont is above “established for Grossmont College,” as determined by the District-wide Strategic Planning and Budget Council. According to the V.P., this “unexpected increase” must be “offset,” and that the administration will rise to the challenge, weathering the increase by “not adding any further strategic campus-wide increases to our spring 2012 schedule as we did for the fall 2011 semester.”

Further explaining the plan to offset, Blanchard said, “we will be holding each division and department strictly to their FTEF allocation for the spring 2012 semester without exception, this allocation does include the 4.68% increase you just completed. We are also reminding faculty to maintain the course maximums at spring census by not enrolling additional students to help us achieve our FTES (Full Time Equivalent Students) target.”

Lindquist is editor-in-chief of the GCSummit; contact him at [email protected]