By Brian Koonce
HANNIBAL – In between a lengthy opening executive session and an hour-long debate on changing the school’s name, Hannibal-LaGrange College (HLG) trustees heard positive enrollment reports and a “cautiously optimistic” financial outlook.
Through the month of August, income is outpacing expenses significantly, but big-ticket items such as scholarships have not yet been applied to the books. Betty Anderson, HLG’s dean of business and finance, said a balance sheet would not be available until the end of the fiscal year.
“I’m cautiously optimistic,” she said. “We’ll know more after the last add/drop date (Nov. 12). Enrollment is looking good, but we need to be careful, and if we need to implement some strategies to save some money, we’ll do that.”
Ray Carty, vice president for enrollment management, said the number of HLG students is inching higher. The total enrollment for the fall semester is 1,085, up 80 from this time last year, although the number of credit-hours per student is down just slightly. The full-time equivalent (FTE) is 943. The main campus enrollment is 967, a big jump over last year’s 890. However, the residential population, 492, is 10 fewer than the 2009 figure.
“Enrollment is not yet complete,” Carty said, “but we have seen growth in our nursing program, our early enrollment and at Pike-Lincoln Technical Center. Overall, it’s a good number. When all the programs report, I expect we’ll have an enrollment of about 1,200.”
He added that while he would have liked to have seen growth in the resident population, he is very pleased with the growth in the transfer students: 128 over last year’s 106.
In other actions, trustees voted to reaffirm their previous decision to ask the Missouri Baptist Convention to change the school’s name to University of Hannibal. They also heard of plans to study the possibility of a new two-year Bible degree designed for bi-vocational pastors and laity.
Chris Brenneman, assistant professor of communication and faculty sponsor who was seriously injured in a May 16 truck accident during a mission trip to Haiti, gave a devotion recounting her testimony and recovery.