NORWICH – Newly-appointed SUNY Morrisville Interim President Dr. William Murabito met with state and local officials last week to discuss Morrisville’s role in the Norwich community and the potential for boosting college enrollment through collaborative partnerships with local agencies and government officials.
While those present during the discussion admit that some ideas may be years from fruition, the meeting served as a brainstorming session that brought forth ambitions to grow the college through unique course offerings, intramural sports, possible student housing, and an increased number of work study programs. Contrary to a round table discussion held last March that put a damper on the future of the Norwich campus, local and SUNY Morrisville officials this time around were more optimistic that the college has hit a critical turning point.
Current reports show that enrollment is up, albeit slightly according to SUNY Morrisville Norwich Campus Dean Marsha Cornelius, to 375 full-time and part-time students this year; up from 360 last spring but still shy of the 460 in 2011, and far from the 600 goal established when the Follett Hall facility opened in 2006. Even so, hopes are high that local leaders in every sector – private, public and not for profit – can work jointly with Morrisville to pull enrollment back up.
“Efforts here today reflect a new beginning,” said Morrisville Provost David Rogers. “We do have challenges, but it’s easier to move ahead when you know the people you are working with are willing to meet those challenges.” Regers also referred to the hands-on training approach offered by Morrisville that is hard to come by. “I think we continue to offer the right niche in higher education,” he added.