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Archive for Monday, October 31, 1994

HASKELL PREPARES FOR GROWTH

October 31, 1994

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Additional beds will mean higher enrollments at Haskell Indian Nations University. School officials hope that will mean more money to hire more faculty.

Space for 300 additional students and increasing demand for a new four-year bachelor's degree program at Haskell Indian Nations University are expected to push enrollment substantially higher in coming years.

Officials at the government-funded college for American Indians in Lawrence now expect long-delayed construction of a new 300-bed residence hall to begin in January 1995 or soon after.

Also in January, the Kansas Board of Education has scheduled a visit to Haskell to assess plans for an elementary school teacher-education program, which would be Haskell's first program offering a bachelor's degree.

Administrators hope the program will enroll its first junior-year students next fall, pending approval of the state board. The school currently offers a variety of specialized two-year associate's degree programs.

"As we move into the baccalaureate program we're already seeing we're going to have an increased demand from transfer students," said Hannes Combest, an assistant to Haskell President Bob Martin.

When the new residence hall is completed, perhaps by the winter or summer of 1996, Haskell will have space for 978 students, up 44 percent from the current 678.

This fall 791 students enrolled, including some who live off campus. To avoid overcrowding, school officials admitted just the first 600 of more than 1,500 new applicants.

"Enrollment has been dictated by the number of beds available," Combest said.

The higher enrollment will strain Haskell's already-stretched resources, Combest said.

"We have the demand, we simply do not have the resources to be able to meet the demand," she said.

The university plans to request additional funding from Congress to add faculty and support staff.

Combest said Haskell received $7.5 million from Congress for the current school year and hopes to boost that by $1.1 million next year.

Some of the additional money would be used to buy books and supplies for the teacher-education program and some would be used to buy computers to enhance Haskell's math and science program.

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