“We are blessed to have so many members of the Shorter family return for another semester, and we have welcomed many new faculty and students who were attracted to Shorter by our commitment to offering a Christ-centered education,” Dowless said in a prepared statement. “We have seen a slight decrease from last year’s enrollment of 1,643; yet, this fall represents the third consecutive year that Shorter has enrolled more than 1,500 students.”
Dowless issued the statement to the Rome News-Tribune after a reporter requested a breakdown of the enrollment numbers comparing last year and this year, including the number of students living on campus, how many traditional students are included in that number and how many students are freshmen or transfer students.
In an earlier press release that discussed the enrollment numbers, Dowless also announced that 51 new faculty members have joined the university’s staff.
Shorter University would not release specifics about how many people had left after staff and faculty were told they had to sign a lifestyle statement, but the website SaveOurShorter.com provided numbers that showed about 84 staff and faculty had left.
Not all on that list left because of the statement of faith issue, and not all were full-time faculty.
The Board of Trustees passed a measure last year that required staff and faculty to sign a Faith and Personal Lifestyle statement in which they agree, among other things, to “reject as acceptable all sexual activity not in agreement with the Bible, including, but not limited to, premarital sex, adultery and homosexuality.”
Some staff members said they left as a result of that statement.