The President of Evergreen State College announced this week that the college is predicting a 20 percent drop in enrollment for the upcoming fall semester.
Evergreen president George Bridges announced this week that the college is facing a 20 percent drop in enrollment for the upcoming fall semester. The school currently boasts a student body of 3,800, but with the graduation of the current class of seniors this spring and the introduction of a smaller freshman class this fall, the total student body will drop to 3,100 students. The college was also hit with a five percent drop in enrollment at the start of the 2017-2018 academic year.
The drop in enrollment is attributed to the chaos that took place last spring when former Evergreen biology professor Bret Weinstein was forced off campus for disagreeing with an activism event that asked white community members to leave campus for a “day of absence.” In protest of Weinstein’s stance, students roamed the campus with baseball bats, aiming to intimidate anyone who dared to disagree with Evergreen’s progressive orthodoxy.
Former Evergreen provost Michael Zimmerman addressed the current enrollment issues at the college in a conversation with The College Fix.
“The enrollment crisis at Evergreen, and make no mistake about it, it is a crisis, will not be fixed until the actions of last spring are acknowledged and their underlying causes addressed,” Zimmerman said. “To pretend that students fleeing Evergreen is simply a function of the economy or because of bad press generated by the far right is both misleading and counter-productive.”
“Other institutions have had events like this in the past, and enrollment has spiked down and come back up,” he explained. “I’m not happy about that, but I’m not panicked. We need to focus on the mission of the college, serving the students we have now, and fixing up the curriculum to serve the needs of the students who are coming at us.”
Although Zimmerman retains some pessimism about Evergreen’s future, he still hopes to see it return to a college that values intellectual freedom. “A fix, if even possible after the damage already done, will come only be returning Evergreen to its roots as a college steeped in the concept of open inquiry inherent in a true liberal arts education,” he said.