Fort Hays State University has long been well known in Kansas and the Midwest for its exceptional rate of growth.
That recognition is also national in scope.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, the No. 1 source of news, information and jobs for college and university faculty members and administrators, reported in its latest edition that FHSU was the third-fastest-growing university in the United States from 2001 to 2011. The report was contained in the Chronicle's annual Almanac edition, released on Aug. 23, which is an exhaustive listing of higher-education data in tables and charts.
FHSU grew from an enrollment of 5,626 in fall 2001 to 12,802 in fall 2011, which was an increase of 127.6 percent. That placed FHSU as the second-fastest-growing university in the category of public master's institutions. Only Florida Gulf Coast, a relatively new university, had a higher rate of growth, at 200.2 percent. There are more than 620 public master's institutions in the nation.
There are about 2,700 four-year institutions of higher education in the country. The other categories are public research institutions, private non-profit research institutions and private non-profit master's institutions. Only one school in those other three categories had a higher rate of growth than FHSU. That was Liberty University, in the private non-profit master's institutions category, with a growth rate of 940.2 percent.
So, FHSU, with its growth rate of 127.6 percent, was the third-fastest-growing university in the country among all four-year institutions across the four categories.
"When we are the state leader in enrollment growth year after year after year, it's easy to become complacent," said Dr. Edward H. Hammond, FHSU president. "But growth does not happen by accident. It takes the combined efforts of our administration, faculty and staff.
"By offering a high-quality education with close personal attention at an affordable cost, we expect to reach our goal of 20,000 students by the year 2020," he said.