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President Moore addresses probation, low enrollment and forging ahead

An exclusive interview with the Spartan Echo on May 1

The entire interview is available on video below.

by Danielle Kirsh, Online/Managing Editor

As enrollment declines at Norfolk State University during its probation, some students worry about the status of the university, but not Interim President and CEO Eddie N. Moore, Jr.

Norfolk State is “totally caught up” on issues that led to its probation, Moore told the Spartan Echo in an exclusive interview on May 1. Moore said he is “completely confident” that the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) will remove the probation when they revisit Norfolk State in December.

From the SACSCOC point of view, “we fell behind,” said Moore.

Regardless of the probationary status, Moore says the university is in compliance with every Virginia state rule and regulation that they are required to uphold.

“(Prospective students) should not be concerned about the probationary status,” said Moore.

Even if the university remained on probation and didn’t fix the violations outlined by SACSCOC, students who earned their degree at NSU would not have to worry because their degree is still valid.

Once the SACSCOC visit is completed in December, the results will be released to the public. This means the university will learn the results at the same time as everyone else.

Even though Moore says the university is on track with having the probation removed, enrollment continues to drop. And a drop in enrollment means budget cuts across the board.

Some of the cuts will be seen in academic areas, but Moore added that administrative and management positions will not be immune. He did say, however, that the areas of finance and policing or security will not be cut since they are areas of critical importance to the university.

Students and faculty were consulted before the budget cuts were decided, Moore said.

President Moore added that 7,000 students would be an ideal enrollment figure to work toward in order to maintain current programs and market position within Hampton Roads and the Commonwealth of Virginia.

To reach these numbers, Moore said the university is “broadening our reach” by talking to faith leaders in the community to encourage students to visit and enroll in Norfolk State.

“We would like to increase our mix of out-of state students,” said Moore.

Out-of-state tuition is slightly higher than in-state tuition, so students paying out-of-state tuition rates would help with the university’s financial operations.

In addition, plans for university improvement will continue and extend into the summer and throughout the fall semester as Norfolk State University brings the probation failures up to code and the university into a new era.

The ongoing renovations of Brown Hall will continue through the summer as the university plans to have a fully completed building by 2017 and occupancy by spring 2018.

In addition to completing the academic quad that comprises the student center, nursing building, library and Brown Hall, the university will also close a residence hall for the fall 2015 semester.

One of the Babbette-Smith towers will undergo renovations in the fall since the drop in fall 2015 enrollment means fewer students will be living on campus.

According to Moore, the university is also expanding their mission to give more focus on athletics since the athletic department doesn’t usually get the credit they deserve.

To watch the Spartan Echo’s exclusive interview with President Moore, play the embedded video below.

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