During a visit to Garden City next week, Dr. Edward H. Hammond, president of Fort Hays State University, will discuss the efficiencies that have caused his institution to become the fastest growing four-year school in Kansas.
The FHSU president has been invited to address the Garden City Lions Club at noon on Tuesday, March 28, in the Best Western Wheat Lands Hotel & Conference Center, 1311 E. Fulton St. FHSU's primary service area, as determined by the Kansas Board of Regents, includes Garden City and all of southwest Kansas.
According to statistics released by the Regents office last year, FHSU enjoyed an astounding enrollment growth of 53.6 percent from fall 1999 to fall 2004. During that same five-year period, Emporia State University saw an increase of 10.4 percent, Kansas State University grew by 7.4 percent, the University of Kansas increased by 6.2 percent, Pittsburg State University grew by 3.9 percent, and Wichita State University actually saw an enrollment decrease of 2.2 percent.
FHSU's phenomenal growth continued into the current school year, when it set an all-time enrollment record of 9,019 students in the fall 2005 semester.
President Hammond will talk about FHSU's mission and the steps that have produced its recent successes. Those steps have included holding tuition increases to single digits while other universities and colleges have imposed much greater increases, leveraging available dollars more effectively, and making changes to hold down utility costs.
The FHSU faculty play a key role in keeping higher education affordable for all western Kansans by taking on a greater teaching load than their peers at other universities. This is possible because FHSU faculty devote 60 percent of their time to teaching, 20 percent to research and 20 percent to service, while other institutions use the traditional model of one-third teaching, one-third research and one-third service.
"Without the dedication of our faculty and support staff, it would not have been possible to maintain our high level of academic quality during these past several years of unprecedented growth," President Hammond said recently.