Over the past year, the College’s leadership team has taken inventory of our institution, engaged in fact finding about who we are, studied our financial model, looked at our recruitment data and reviewed trends and practices in higher education.
Analyzing the data reaffirmed that we do an incredible job of teaching at the College and that we truly provide a student-focused community that enriches the mind and prepares our students to be successful leaders in whatever fields or industries they choose.
The data, however, also alerted us to some sobering truths about our enrollment and budget.
Each year since fall 2012, we have missed our student enrollment projections. While our total student population has not changed greatly, our mix of resident (in-state) and nonresident (out-of-state) students has.
When we compare our current fall 2015 numbers to fall 2012, we are down nonresident students and up resident students. While a difference of fewer than 100 students may not seem significant, and at face value it’s not, it has significant budget implications due to the substantial difference between out-of-state and in-state tuition.
In an effort to appropriately right-size the budget, I have asked our budget team to prepare a budget reduction package of $1.5 million. Ultimately, the College’s leadership will decide how these reductions will be apportioned across campus and then have the various divisions manage the specifics.
While the goal is to shore up our current budget, it is my plan to do it in a way that will protect our academic mission.
I will continue to keep you updated on the College’s budget throughout the academic year.