SIOUX FALLS, SD -
Over the last year, the University Center has seen its fair share of changes. From a resigning dean to falling enrollment and even budget cuts, it left many wondering what would become of a place that offers degrees from five of the state's top schools.
Interim Executive Director Peg O'Brien says no one needs to be concerned and as the new year starts they are feeling extremely hopeful.
"Well, we are expecting that we will have around the same number of students as last year, hopefully a little more," O'Brien said.
O'Brien explains the drop in enrollment numbers by the fact that the past few years were a little unique.
"2008 started a decline for the country and we saw growth because more students needed to pursue their education," O'Brien said.
As students file in for the new year and purchase books, many of them say they haven't noticed anything different and the University Center is just what they wanted and hoped for.
"Things haven't changed. My classes didn't change and regulations didn't change so its all worked out," student Amanda Alvey said.
"No, I haven't seen any differences at all," student Jon Stevens said.
Which is exactly what staff at the University Center want to continue.
"The University Center is stable. Everyone here is doing well," O'Brien said.
But you can expect to see some changes over the next year. For example, as of now, O'Brien is just the Interim Executive Director.
"I don't know what the board has in store for this position but until they do, everything will continue as it always has," O'Brien said.
As classes get started and students, as well as teachers, get back into their daily routine,s there doesn't seem to be regrets on campus.
"I love it. It is the right choice for me. No other place would have given me what this place has given me," Alvey said.
It's that statement and others like it that O'Brien says is why everyone at the University Center does what they do.
"I think what they need to know if the faculty knows and understands their situation very well so we are here for them whatever snag they run into. We are here for them and make sure this is a seamless transition," O'Brien said.
So until those final decisions are made and official enrollment numbers are out, life here at the University Center will continue as usual.
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