What once was Salem College, then Salem-Teikyo University, is now Salem International University. The school's board of directors has changed the name to better reflect a new focus in enrollment efforts.
The changes are being made to combat a decline in student numbers. Since Salem College merged with Teikyo University of Japan in 1989, the school has relied on Japanese students for a large part of its enrollment. But the number of Japanese students has fallen over the years, with only 19 new full-time students from Japan enrolled this year. The decline has hurt the school's revenues, with President Ronald Ohl estimating a budget hit of around $300,000.
To reverse the downward trend, the school is looking to recruit students from more foreign countries. Although still affiliated with Teikyo University, the school is also trying to forge links with universities in South Korea, Taiwan and Europe. Hence the name change to Salem International University.
Along with the push to attract more foreign students from more foreign countries, school officials are also trying to recruit more U.S. students. They point out that the school's U.S. student enrollment this year is 20 percent higher than last year's. School officials say their goal is to double enrollment in the next two years.
We hope they succeed. Since Salem College was founded in 1888, the higher education community has been a big part of life in Salem -- a big part both economically and socially. Its loss would be devastating. Let us hope Salem International University prospers for years to come.