Trinity College scaled back expansion in buildings, enrollment to spur growth
- Under a realignment of strategy at Connecticut's Trinity College, leaders have begun the process of selling prime real estate and reconfiguring enrollment goals to get smaller, as well as more intentional about strategic growth, Inside Higher Ed reports.
- Trinity President Joanne Berger-Sweeney says the sale of a $2 million commercial building in downtown Hartford, CT, allows the school to re-establish its goals for graduate degree programs through leasing while reducing costs, and that avoiding the struggle to match enrollment goals with financial objectives allows the school to focus on student quality and service provision.
- The renewed focus, while leading to a dip in enrollment at its outset, has also helped the school to increase the number of out-of-state and minority students by significant percentages.
It seems that Trinity leaders understand what the rest of higher education is failing to grasp — that schools will either strategically decide to shrink, or that the marketplace of increasing options and fewer dollars will decide on their behalf.
Retention, graduation rates and employment should be the objectives of colleges and universities going forward, not the short-term gains of admitting students for financial flexibility from semester to semester. In the end, the practice only mortgages productivity and performance of the student body, breeds dissatisfaction from faculty, and makes harder the case for philanthropic support.
- Inside Higher Ed Reigning in growth