JMU to Grow 24%

Yesterday, Heather Bowser had an article in the Daily News Record about JMU’s current plan for expansion. According to Bowser “over the next six years, James Madison University plans to expand its enrollment to more than 21,500 students, a 24 percent increase from last fall…JMU plans to wrap its arm around 4,100 more students than it did last year.”

“Although JMU has grown by 177 percent since reaching university status in 1977, the planned growth is the largest in the school’s 99-year history, the data show. If JMU reaches its goal in 2013, the school will have more than tripled in size in less than four decades.”

“JMU will continue to have the sixth-largest headcount in Virginia. By 2013, George Mason University plans to have the most students – 34,700 – while Virginia Commonwealth University plans to have 33,900 and Old Dominion University and Virginia Tech plan for 29,800.”

A couple months ago I posted about JMU’s plans for admissions and expansion, and in those posts I was a little concerned about the direction the school was headed in. JMU is exponentially growing in popularity, and school officials are constantly looking for ways to add more students and expand the campus. I think that JMU should move in the opposite direction — keep the student population the same, raise admission standards, and preserve/renovate the current campus.

Why does JMU feel the need to add more students? Currently, JMU has a parking crisis — everyone wants to drive to campus and the traffic congestion makes the campus impossible to drive through. The school is still using modular trailers for class room space, and two years ago they had to purchase a dilapidated hotel to house incoming students. JMU should focus on improving the quality of life for its current students before bringing in new ones.

Additionally, its time for JMU to distant itself from George Mason, Virginia Commonwealth University, and Old Dominion. The University has the opportunity to cement its place with UVA, William and Mary, Virginia Tech, and Richmond as one of the best schools in the state.

University spokesman Don Egle said “the university believes it has a responsibility to serve the commonwealth to help meet the demand. The university is not willing to sacrifice quality for quantity.” I’m glad to hear someone from JMU say that, but only time will tell if this statement rings true.

    Leave a Reply

    Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

    You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

    Twitter picture

    You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

    Facebook photo

    You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

    Google+ photo

    You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

    Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: