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Interesting Financial Talk

November 8th, 2011 at 09:14 pm

Today the entire faculty and staff convened to talk about the College's budget. The College had a balanced budget this year only by withdrawing funds from the endowment. (Which is what it's for, but it's not a long-term solution). While we are okay this year, we need to make some changes. Admissions are down, especially in the graduate programs, and the amount we net from tuition after financial aid is subtracted is decreasing. Meanwhile, expenses continue to go up.

While the news was bad, it was really interesting to hear the VP of Finance explain it all, since I love things financial. She is trying to balance a great big budget, much as I am, only on a smaller scale. But so much is out of the College's control. You can't increase admissions just like that. You can raise tuition, but that can also discourage new admissions. You can cut salaries, but that can lead to attrition of experienced staff.

We are going to focus on new programs, more online programming, student retention and, of course, fund raising. Since I am a fund raiser, I feel the onus of responsibility. But I am not an solicitor; I do the research for the solicitors, so my ability to make a difference depends on whether they will respond to my work. That's been a problem here. They don't trust the research. Sometimes I wonder why they even have this position, but that's a dangerous thought in these times!

Despite everything, the College is budgeting for a 2% raise for faculty and staff. I believe they can do that because, with higher-paid people retiring, the increase is actually a wash.

Anyway, with any luck, I will see $68 more a paycheck in January. That's before taxes. Woo-hoo! (I'm not being sarcastic. I would have to do 22 Pine Cone surveys a month to make that.)

On the private front, I haven't spent anything since Saturday. Got notice today that put $4 in my checking account. And I went to a neighboring college library last night and got a library card -- specifically so I can use their superior online databases. I'm going to use a service at work that would otherwise cost several hundred a year. See, I AM saving the College money!

3 Responses to “Interesting Financial Talk”

  1. My English Castle Says:

    Gees, I hate on-line programming. It's so right for some students, and so darn wrong for so many. Yet our administrators push it all the time. It's fine for uber-responsible types, but man, the attrition for first-years is awful. I have two students in my online class who haven't logged in for two weeks. In a F2F class, I'd send them an e-mail and they'd respond. Even if they had to drop, the connection is so much stronger they'd feel compelled to say something. But here--they just disappear.
    I could go on for hours on this, I just wish someone would take a good hard look at when it works and when it doesn't.

    Great news on the raise! Really!

  2. CB in the City Says:

    I agree, but they are looking at it as an attraction for non-traditional students who can't come to campus. And it's a good source of revenue. Don't think the actual impact on students is being considered; that will come later!

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