F ORECASTING AT S TATE U NIVERSITY
During the past few years, the legislature has severely reduced funding for State University. In reaction, the administration at State has significantly raised tuition each year for the past 5 years. Perceived as a bargain 5 years ago, State is now considered one of the more expensive state-supported universities. This has led some parents and students to question the value of a State education, and applications for admission have declined. Because a portion of state educational funding is based on a formula tied to enrollments, State has maintained its enrollment levels by going deeper into its applicant pool and accepting less-qualified students.
On top of these problems, a substantial increase in the college-age population is expected in the next decade . Key members of the state legislature have told the university administration that State will be expected to absorb additional students during the next decade. However, because of the economic outlook and the budget situation, the university should not expect any funding increases for additional facilities, classrooms, dormitory rooms, or faculty. The university already has a classroom deficit in excess of 25%, and class sizes are above the averages of the peer institutions.
The president of the university, Alva McMahon, established several task forces consisting of faculty and administrators to address these problems. These groups made several wide- ranging general recommendations, including the implementation of appropriate management practices and more in-depth , focused planning.
Discuss in general terms how forecasting might be used for university planning to address these specific problem areas. Include in your discussion the types of forecasting methods that might be used.