University Of Montana Fallout Could Have An Impact On Enrollment

MISSOULA COUNTY

POSTED: 8:09 AM May 01 2012   UPDATED: 3:22 AM May 02 2012
MISSOULA, Mont. -

Prosecutors, police and the University all pledged to fully cooperate with the justice department. But for Missoula business and university boosters the investigation is an unwelcome development.

Administrators and business leaders say they worry about fallout from today's news conference, and six months of news about sex assault investigations tied to the University. The Board of Regents says from the fall of 2010 to fall of 2011, full-time student enrollment dropped by two percent.

But they're not sure why, and it's unknown if recent developments will have any impact on future enrollment numbers. No matter the reason for the drop people on campus told us they are sometimes worried about their safety.

"I don't want to blame the victims, in a way women shouldn't have to be afraid of walking alone at night, and so its really unfortunate that someone like myself or my friends would have to feel that way" said one UM student.

We talked with the new head of the Missoula Economic Partnership, tasked with finding new jobs and businesses for Missoula. James Grunke admits the investigation tarnishes the areas image. But he believes Missoula's educated work force, and opportunities for education and business growth will far outweigh today's news.

To look at University of Montana enrollment numbers click here.

For the DOJ letter to Mayor John Engen click here.