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University that investigated gender-neutral pronoun debate says it wanted enrollment plunge

We are ‘very sophisticated’ and it’s not Lindsay Shepherd’s fault

Did you think Canada’s Wilfrid Laurier University experienced a 15 percent drop in enrollment, the steepest in its province, because of months of negative attention following its unfounded investigation of a graduate student for her classroom content?

That’s what Lindsay Shepherd’s supporters want you to think, but the university is on a higher plane of existence where terrible PR for any other university becomes fantastic news.

Yes, it wanted enrollment to go through the floor because it’s been growing too fast for three years, the university tells The Record:

“We’ve landed exactly where we wanted to be,” said Jennifer Casey, assistant vice-president of enrolment services and registrar at the university. “It’s still an exceptional growth pattern that Laurier is in.” …

Laurier, along with other universities in the province, negotiates enrolment targets with the government and needs to stay within a certain limit.

MORE: Is WLU Canada’s Mizzou?

“It’s a very sophisticated and strategic approach to enrolment,” Casey said.

“It would be a cause for worry if we hadn’t met that target.”

Shepherd’s continuing spotlight on the university’s hostility toward her – she filed a $3.6 million lawsuit against WLU, two professors and an administrator this week, citing previously unreported incidents – has not “had an impact on prospective students,” Casey said, citing a 3.8 percent increase in applications by the January deadline.

Journalism professor David Haskell, one of Shepherd’s early defenders, is skeptical.

Read the article.

MORE: Lindsay Shepherd hit with new investigation as she leaves school

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About the Author
Associate Editor
Greg spent several years as a technology policy reporter and editor for Warren Communications News in Washington, D.C., and guest host on C-SPAN’s “The Communicators.” He co-founded the alternative newspaper PUNCH and served as a reporter, editor and columnist for The Falcon at Seattle Pacific University.

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