ASC outlines budget revision process

(01-26-2009)

"The college is in sound financial condition. What we have to do is doable," said ASC President, Dr. David Svaldi, at an informational meeting on the college budget, Jan. 21.

Two such meetings were held for all college employees to explain how Adams State will address cuts in state funding for fiscal years 08-09 and 09-10.

"We're not looking simply to make cuts, but for ideas that will increase enrollment or earn new revenue," Svaldi emphasized. "Personally, I don't favor across-the-board approaches. Any budget reductions must be strategic.

"There is no secret plan. We absolutely need all of your help and suggestions."

The Governor's Budget Office recently announced a budget rescission in response to shortfalls in state revenues. The Department of Higher Education budget was permanently cut by $30 million in the current year. ASC must cut $557,000, or 4 percent, from this fiscal year's budget. It is likely that the state will make more cuts to higher education budgets next fiscal year, with ASC's share estimated to be $800,000. In total, ASC's state support will be reduced by an estimated $1.4 million between the current year and next. The college's total operating budget is $38 million, with $13 million from state general funds.

Administration is planning to finalize budget decisions by Jan. 30 for this fiscal year and by Feb. 28 for FY 2009-10.

The college must also replace $460,000 of programmatic support from the ASC Foundation, as a result of investment losses. That funding primarily covered incentive scholarships, student work study funding, admissions recruiting travel, and the Summer Bridge program. The college had already adjusted the budget in response to a projected revenue shortfall of $166,000 due to an enrollment decrease in the fall 2008 semester.

"In the past, we relied on the Foundation too heavily, and that needed to be changed," Mansheim said.

ASC Provost, Dr. Michael Mumper, noted several positive trends that will help the college weather these cuts:

  • Fall to Spring student retention improved by 5% over last year
  • Extended Studies enrollments/revenue continue to grow and exceed budget
  • Plachy Hall and Student Capital Fee construction projects remain on track
  • Graduate student enrollment is up

He added that additional revenue is expected from a new MBA program, new sports programs, the Counselor Ed program online, and housing initiatives.

"We are looking for additional programs like these," Mumper said. "We've done a lot of good things, but we've got to sustain them."

Mansheim also emphasized the importance of increasing enrollment and retention.

Mumper said the campus will be updated on the budget weekly, and more campus-wide informational meetings will be scheduled.

Faculty and staff may also check for updates and make suggestions via the website: Comments and suggestions will remain anonymous.