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Title:Responding to declining residence hall occupancy: A case study
Author(s):Donnelley, Lowell Leroy
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Ward, James G.
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Administration
Education, Higher
Abstract:The enrollment decline in American higher education has been clearly documented. Articles and books abound which discuss the reasons for, effects of, and responses to, declining enrollment. The literature is replete with examples of colleges and universities which have struggled with the problem of declining resources.
Oklahoma State University is an example of an institution which has experienced sustained enrollment decline. Understandably, as the enrollment declined, so also did residence hall occupancy. As a result, the Department of Residential Life was challenged to respond in a variety of ways. This study examines how the department responded to declining occupancy from the Fall of 1982 through the Spring of 1995.
The research design consists of a single-site case study. Data collection includes interviews with students and current and former staff and faculty and analysis of relevant documents. The final product is a detailed description of the various factors contributing to, effects of, and resulting responses to, declining residence hall occupancy.
Several factors were identified by respondents as contributing to declining occupancy at Oklahoma State University. The discussion on the effects of declining occupancy examined the effects upon the department itself, upon departmental staff, and upon the students it seeks to serve.
Faced with the reality of declining residence hall occupancy, the Department of Residential Life was challenged to respond. They responded by attempting to attract and retain students and by trying to increase income and decrease expenditures. Opinions varied widely concerning how effective the department was in responding to declining occupancy. Respondents offered several suggestions for improvement.
This study serves as an example of how one department attempted to cope with and successfully respond to decline. Readers facing similar circumstances may benefit by comparing this situation to their own and making application as appropriate.
Issue Date:1996
Rights Information:Copyright 1996 Donnelley, Lowell Leroy
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9702502
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9702502

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