Campus Town Hall - May 21, 2014
Introductory Information Shared by President Purce
We have a number of initiatives underway or close to launch that will promote enrollment recovery. These include both recruitment and retention efforts (a 1% increase in retention equates to about 40 students). Some require additional investments, at least in the near term, but are expected to pay back over time with increased enrollment and related revenues.
- Evening and Weekend and degree completion
- International students including EF partnership
- Increase inquiry pool
- name purchases
- increased marketing and paid promotion
- Admissions communication and information management (CRM – constituent relationship management software and systems)
- Class size for freshmen and lower division (retention)
- Orientation, Academic Statement and mentoring
- Investment in retention of students of color and especially Hispanic students
- Investment to increase privately funded scholarships
Not a quick fix. Enrollment recovery will take time.
Current Budget Realities
- Enrollment is more than 300 below budget and is expected to be even lower in the fall
- This leaves us with a base budget shortfall of 10% (about $3.4 million). After a reduction in faculty lines to maintain student/faculty ratio, the shortfall is $1.5 million (3%).
- The cuts needed to balance our budget follow several years of prior cuts. This leaves us with fewer, and more difficult options.
- Because the overwhelming majority of our budget is made up of salaries and benefits, personnel-related cuts will be required.
Themes for Budget Review and Decisions
As we gathered ideas from across the college, held discussions within each division and eventually worked across divisions to compare strategies and requirements, a number of themes drove the budget review process:
- Protect direct instruction to the greatest degree possible
- Make personnel cuts in vacant positions and with staff turnover where possible and appropriate.
- Minimize and/or acknowledge impacts that cuts in one department or division will have on another.
- To the extent possible, preserve and/or invest in activities that will boost recruitment and retention (and ultimately help stabilize our revenue streams and budget)
Nature of Cuts
There are cuts, including personnel and operating budget cuts, in all divisions. Here’s how the cuts are distributed to make up the $3.4 million (percentage of the total coming from each activity/source):
- Reductions in faculty lines to maintain student/faculty ratio 37%
- Enrollment decline reserve and strategic investment base dollars 28%
- Vacant position cuts 12%
- Full and partial layoffs 10%
- Potential/anticipated retirements 7%
- Non-personnel reductions 6%
- Proposed personnel cuts add up to just over 15 full-time equivalent (FTE) positions and affect 30 different positions (some of which are part-time). Cuts include reorganizations, reductions in contracts, or hours and sometimes total elimination.
- Of those 30, more than half are in positions that are currently vacant or in which a retirement is expected in the near future. That’s in addition to reductions in faculty lines to maintain student/faculty ratio.
- In addition, the reduction in faculty lines represents 16 FTE positions and affects approximately 30 individuals.
- People affected directly by staff position cuts will be informed by June 11. Most changes will not occur immediately, but will vary based on the position and the divisional plan.
- To allow time for notification of individuals directly affected, additional details about specific cuts will not be available until the June 12 meeting of the board of trustees. That information will be shared more widely following that meeting.
Not all cuts are reflected in the state-funded operating budget (some areas receive funding from other sources and may still have to make cuts).
Within some divisions there may be cuts in one area and investments in another.
Working within the budget themes noted above, the president and each of the vice presidents talked about the general nature of the cuts they were making in their divisions and also noted where additional investments were being made to support recruitment, retention and fundraising. They then fielded questions from the audience.