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WIU president: “It will be a good year for the university”

Assembly-2022-01.jpg
Rich Egger
/
TSPR
WIU President Guiyou Huang during the University Assembly at the COFAC Recital Hall. “It takes every one of us, including members of the communities, to ensure that our prospective and current students feel welcome, wanted, and included at Western Illinois University.”

Western Illinois University President Guiyou Huang is striking a positive note as the new school year gets underway.

“We anticipate level enrollment again this fall, which will be good news,” he said during the traditional University Assembly that kicks off the school year. “And we will see a noticeable increase in new freshmen.”

Huang told Tri States Public Radio that enrollment has been stable for three years. “Stabilization for three years means eventually we will take off,” he said.

The official enrollment figure for this fall won’t be released until after the tenth day of classes.

Huang said the effort to recruit and enroll students is never over, and that the administration continues signing up students for this fall, the spring, and next fall.

Huang told TSPR that having everyone back on campus is creating a lot of energy. He said several factors will help make it a good year for WIU.

“That students, faculty, and staff are safe. That will make it a good year. Second, good enrollment, which is happening right now. And also, as I mentioned in my speech, international students will be a very strong number,” he said.

Huang said the hope is to increase enrollment by 15% in the next five years. He cautioned that goal could prove challenging because smaller high school graduating classes are expected in 2026 and 2027.

But he told the audience at the University Assembly that Western is striving to create a more welcoming and inclusive environment, which will help the university recruit more broadly.

“It takes every one of us, including members of the communities, to ensure that our prospective and current students feel welcome, wanted, and included at Western Illinois University,” Huang said.

He also said leadership at WIU’s Quad Cities campus has developed new partnerships and strengthened existing partnerships in the region.

Tri States Public Radio produced this story.  TSPR relies on financial support from our readers and listeners in order to provide coverage of the issues that matter to west central Illinois, southeast Iowa, and northeast Missouri. As someone who values the content created by TSPR's news department please consider making a financial contribution.

Rich is TSPR's News Director.