One of the benchmarks of the Strategic Plan is the idea of slowly increasing the size of the student body and faculty at UR by 25% over the next 10 years. While that is not a striking percentage, it means that the student body would grow from 4,000 to 5,000 students and the faculty by 80 members – from 320 to 400.

While Deans Lennie and Feldman have cited the increase as one that will eventually provide more opportunities for everyone at UR, any increase must be handled in a way that ensures that UR will not become a less appealing place for current or potential students.

With just the increase of the freshman class by 200 members the University has proved that it can’t handle increasing the student body at this time. With one-third of these students living in “crowded housing,” most in triples and some even in quads, we must ask – is this the environment first-year students should be entering into? It of course must be assumed then, that before moving forward with any plans to increase the size of the student body there must already be a place for the extra 1,000 students to live.

Dean Feldman explained to the Campus Times that “The University of Rochester is becoming a much more attractive place for undergraduates. We are doing good things, and enrolling good students.” That could stand to change with the increase of the student body.

Many students choose Rochester for its intimate size but large university-type opportunities. Even an increase of just 1,000 students could stand to completely change that dynamic.

UR prides itself on its small student body, the intimacy it provides in terms of relationships within the student body as well as with professors and the opportunities each student has to find his or her niche. It is possible that if done correctly, slowly and with extreme care, UR could successfully become a slightly larger school and sustain no damages in the process.

More professors could mean a greater diversity of programs and courses as well as students and opportunities. But, if done too quickly it could bring about a decline that students and alum would be sad to see.

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