The future looks bright for the Wasatch campus as student enrollment continues to increase and positive relations between staff and faculty flourish.
UVU Review reported in February 2009 that six of the 11 members of the support staff would be losing their jobs due to state budget cuts being made in May of 2009. At that time, university spokesperson Bradley Plothow said the campus would not shut down and that the restructuring would only affect the student service functions on campus.
“People thought [enrollment] would decline,” said Tom Melville, campus administrator and academic counselor. “We’ve had a 24 percent increase in one-year enrollment.”
Much of the current enrollment growth has come from the Park City area. Following a U of U extension campus closing in 2008, Wasatch campus has advertised class availability on Park City TV, as well as in local news publications, which have boosted enrollment.
A positive result from this is that campus life has improved with more activities and student involvement as well.
Hillary Dalsing, a campus ambassador and library student employee, said that everyone is more social now.
“They want to come to make friends,” Dalsing said.
Also, a new restaurant, Café Americano, was added in the fall of 2009, which has had an effect on students and faculty alike.
The restaurant has improved student activity on campus and, most importantly, student-teacher interaction, according to library student employee and behavioral science major Wendy Horne.
“This place has a buzz now,” said Mike Walker, administrative support staff member and adjunct instructor.
Melville said students know that they can get service, something to eat and a degree at Wasatch. Associate degrees are offered in General Academics and Behavioral Science.
Currently, a bachelor’s of science is offered in Elementary Education through cohort programs aimed exclusively at students from Wasatch and Summit counties. Upon graduation from the program, assistance is provided to place students at local schools to begin their careers.
Wasatch campus has “a unique set of circumstances,” according to Melville. The local area provides high-quality faculty – all of which are adjunct – educated with Ph.D.s, he said.
Something new that Wasatch will soon offer is on-campus housing. A private developer is building the first phase of a student housing development beginning this fall. Available for students will be one, two or three bedroom apartments with 80 units in all, housing 167 students.
The winter activities in the mountains are plentiful, and student housing is a great way to have students so close to the slopes, according to Walker. On-campus housing is expected to open sometime during the fall of the 2010-2011 school year.
“We are trying to reassure the community we are here to stay,” Walker said.
Visit www.UVU.edu/wasatch for more information about attending classes or campus activities.