President on enrollment, retention: ‘We hit our target and then some’

By JOSUÉ CHEW, News Reporter

Macomb, Illinois (NEWS3) – Western Illinois University’s enrollment and retention numbers have increased even after the announcement the cancellation of fall sports.

For about a decade, WIU’s enrollment and retention numbers have declined or remained steady.

“The increase of the new student enrollment is a good number, we hit our target and then some,” Dr. Martin Abraham, WIU interim president, said. “The retention number of 77% overall is a tremendous accomplishment for the people here at the university.”

During the global pandemic, WIU’s annual budget for 2020-21 for WIU has been affected due to coronavirus testing for students, faculty and staff. The budget changes include additions to cleaning and medical staff on campus to adhere to CDC guidelines.

WIU’s fall sports season was postponed until spring 2021. The loss in revenue from athletics has also affected the university’s budget.

“Some of the football games would have brought money to the university with fans in the stands buying tickets and purchasing food,” Abraham said.

Fans will not know if they can attend games this spring until a later date.