Enrollment is up about 3 percent at Minot State University for the fall semester, President David Fuller said Wednesday, and the university's residence halls are packed.
Fuller, speaking during his fall convocation address to faculty and staff, said there are 742 students signed up to live in student housing. During the fall 2012 semester, there were 676 students signed up to live in the dorms and university administrators considered the residence halls packed then.
Fuller said all of the students have been assured of a place to live. The university has made arrangements with some local hotels to be used as overflow housing and the university also is utilizing Beaver Lodge, the 10 modular housing units that were installed two years ago on the campus to house students.
"Housing continues to be an issue for us," said Fuller, for new faculty and staff as well as students. University Heights, a housing complex with units intended to be rented to faculty, is also full.
Fuller said he is pleased with the preliminary enrollment numbers, just two years after the flood of 2011 that devastated Minot. He said the university also received funding during the last legislative session that has provided some much-needed relief after the expenses resulting from the flood, the housing shortage and the ongoing oil boom.
Fuller said the university's resolve has been tested in recent months by all of those issues, as well as by the "the intrigue in the university system" that resulted in the ouster of former university system chancellor Hamid Shirvani.
Shirvani gave Fuller a negative evaluation in his final weeks. A more favorable evaluation was later completed this spring after acting chancellor Larry Skogen was appointed.
"I didn't think anything could be worse than the flood," Fuller joked Wednesday.
But Fuller said the summer of 2013 has been a welcome relief. The university will continue to celebrate its 100th birthday this year, with special events planned throughout the term. Fuller is also beginning his last school year as MSU president. He plans to retire next summer.
Classes begin Monday at Minot State.