Nashville City Paper explores some of the factors in Belmont University’s rapid growth over the past five years:
In the fall of 2000, Belmont University was steadily falling into collegiate limbo, wedged between having a stagnant enrollment and being overstaffed while under-endowed. That year, Bob Fisher was named president with a vision to increase the university’s enrollment from less than 3,000 to 4,000 by 2007. Provost Dan McAlexander was brought onboard in the spring of 2001 to spearhead the expansion. “We were running programs inefficiently, and because of that, we were behind on what we were able to pay faculty and staff,” he said. “We were basically serving too few people with too many.”
Now Belmont administrators are answering the question, “How did you do it?” Since that fall five a half years ago, Belmont’s student body has grown from fewer than 3,000 students to the 4,319 students enrolled in fall 2005, an unheard of 45 percent growth. At the same time, median ACT scores for freshmen rose one point and student retention is up slightly to 79 percent. – From the Nashville City Paper’s page-four story today exploring Belmont University’s explosive growth. You can read it online here or download the PDF file here.