Feeling the effects of plummeting enrollments following student riots in 2015, the University of Missouri is being forced to temporarily close three more dorms.
The university has closed a total of seven residence halls since the highly publicized, racially driven protests that took place on its campus in late 2015. The closures come after freshman enrollment was down 24 percent for this academic year. The Associated Press reports the closed halls are capable of housing about 1,500 students.
Christopher Aarps, a member of the Project 21 advisory council, adds: "Also, because of the low enrollment, the university is laying off 20 workers. So it's filtering down to the employees as well."
To help mitigate the damage, Aarps says the university hired a minority diversity officer – a step he contends has had little effect on the problem.
"I think just making more gestures like that may help," he continues. "But I think this is just going to have to be a thing where time progresses; and then people kind of forget that whole situation – and [then] parents of students will start looking at Mizzou again as an institution to attend."
Heat Street is reporting that university officials have until the end of today (Friday, April 28) to announce their plan for rectifying a budget shortfall of $20 million brought on by the shrinking enrollments. According to AP, the dorm closures are estimated to save about $2 million, largely through reduced utility costs.