Core Committee addresses enrollment

by Amanda Hintgen and Erin Gerkin

The Core Committee, also referred to as the Super Enrollment Committee or the Super Committee, addresses potential cuts in faculty and academic programs resulting from enrollment numbers.

The Core Committee consists of Simpson College President John Byrd, various members of the administration and six faculty members. The six faculty members are currently unknown.

“The committee is comprised of faculty members who are representatives of the three major faculty committees,” said Jim Thorius, vice president and dean for student development.

The purpose of the Core Committee is to work with the administration.

“The committee is there to assist the president and the administration in trying to plan budgets for the institution,” Thorius said.

 One concern for the committee is the dip in enrollment this year.

“If the enrollment stays lower than we have hoped for, then there might need to be adjustments in the college budget that would impact the academic programs and faculty,” said Steve Griffith, senior vice president and academic dean.

There are hopes for the 2012-2013 school year concerning enrollment as a result of the opening of the Kent Campus Center.

“We all believe that enrollment will come back up next year and people are working really hard to do that,” Griffith said. “New construction is a positive. It’s always nice to have new buildings.”

Whether the Core Committee will continue to exist depends on enrollment numbers in the next school year.

“It depends on how far enrollment has come back up, and you know that will determine in some measure if we really have to go ahead and reshape the budget or we don’t,” Griffith said. “We hope that we don’t.”

The Core Committee is also there to explore possibilities involving various budget situations.

“The committee has been looking at information about the college budget, and looking at issues that might impact the college moving forward and trying to compare budgets today with budgets that have been in the past,” Thorius said.

Griffith says that the committee also prepares for long-term budget problems.

“It is only involved in potential long-term budgets.” Griffith said. “Not to say there will be academic program cuts, not to say there will be academic faculty layoffs, but if there is, this is a process that is used for that purpose.”

The committee’s creation comes from the faculty handbook.

“What we are calling the super committee or the core committee, is a committee that comes out of the faculty handbook to be used when there is a potential that the institution will want to look at the possibility of reshaping faculty and academic programs,” Griffith said.

The faculty handbook is similar to the student handbook in the sense that it contains rules and policies to be followed.

“The faculty operate with what’s called a faculty handbook,” Griffith said. “It is a policy and procedures for doing things with faculty. It is in some cases an agreement that the faculty has with the administrations of the college.“

The faculty handbook can be found online on the Simpson website at