Education advocates are now very concerned with getting more Americans into college, at least in order to remain globally competitive. But leaving aside troublesome funding issues, where are they all going to go? At least one major Midwestern university wonders if it’s already getting too big. According to an article by B.A. Morelli in the Iowa City Press-Citizen:

As the University of Iowa faces a record class this fall and plans more future enrollment growth, UI officials are asking themselves just how big can UI get, UI President Sally Mason said during a Press-Citizen editorial board meeting Wednesday.

UI planned to grow the student body by 500 students, but over the course of several years. UI wound up accomplishing that nearly all in one year, Mason said. Now, the growth has forced UI to devise plans on the fly to accommodate students with classrooms and housing.

The University of Iowa, with a little more than 30,000 total students, was never a small school. The rapid, unexpected enrollment increased forced the school to make unconventional decisions, however, like housing students in makeshift structures.

The president of the university, Sally Mason, said that despite the new students the school still hasn’t hired more permanent faculty. She says that a recent cut in state funding means that most new courses will be taught by graduate students and adjunct faculty.

Iowa is still one of the smallest of the Big Ten, the eleven-member athletic conference of Midwestern universities to which Iowa belongs. The average Big Ten school has 30,051 undergraduates. [Image via]

Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer