Frank W. Budd, the new president of Salt Lake Community College, is stepping into a big job - taking the reins of a school that has experienced a decade of explosive growth, with more of the same expected.

Since 1981, when the college had 6,000 students, the SLCC campuses have spread from two locations to five and enrollment has doubled to more than 12,000. By the end of this decade, the number of students is expected to reach some 17,000. Such dizzying expansion makes the job of president at SLCC one of the more challenging education posts in Utah.Budd was chosen from more than 80 candidates to replace O.D. Carnahan, who retired this past June after nine years as SLCC president. Budd will assume the job Jan. 1 and comes highly qualified for the demanding situation.

A native of Redlands, Calif., Budd has Utah ties. He attended Brigham Young University, where he obtained a master's degree in sociology. He subsequently earned a doctorate in educational administration at the University of California-Riverside. Before accepting the Utah position, he was assistant superintendent and vice president of academic services at Riverside Community College, also a fast-growing school with an enrollment of 21,000.

The challenge facing Budd will be to continue to provide a quality education to thousands of students who commute daily to the SLCC campus and to maintain the delicate balance between general education and the vocational programs that were historically the purpose of the college.

The need for such a two-year school is seen in the constant growth and the flexibility it offers to people who attend part time. The SLCC campus is nearly nearly as crowded in the evening as during the day.

Utahns will watch with interest what happens at this so-called "small" school that is looking more and more like it one day could have one of the largest student enrollments in the entire state.