A budget and financial update
A message from President Di Pasquale, March 18, 2010
I would like to take this opportunity to update the CCRI community on where the college stands from both a financial and budgetary perspective. The message also includes some good news on funding some long overdue requests.
While the overall state and national economy remains in recession, we are beginning to see a breakthrough in retail sales, as well as a leveling of unemployment. However, state revenues from sales tax, income tax and gambling are down, creating a high level of uncertainty in our state. This uncertainty will affect the level of future state appropriations for CCRI, resulting in our taking a continued conservative approach to spending and long-term financial commitments.
With all that said, the college’s financial position is on solid ground based on professional and conservative fiscal management practices coupled with near record enrollment. About 45 percent of our budget comes from state appropriations while 55 percent comes from other college revenues, including tuition and fees from students. We are more reliant on tuition and fee revenue now than at any time in our history. That trend will not change in the near term and it means that we must plan for both best-case and worst-case scenarios.
Based on the near record enrollment this past semester, we are now in the enviable position of being able to commit funds to projects in this fiscal year. Recently, the divisions of Academic Affairs, Student Services, Center for Workforce and Community Education, and Business Affairs were asked to prioritize their needs to improve delivery of educational services. Those prioritized requests may be viewed online and are titled: All Divisions FY2010 Budget Priorities.
The college’s Mid-Year Financial Review is also available online and is titled: Fiscal Year 2010 Mid Year Review.
As I noted, I am pleased to inform the college community that we are able to move several long overdue projects forward this fiscal year. This is one-time only funding that is available only in this fiscal year and cannot be used for needs that require sustainable cash flows over the long term.
Among the projects to be funded are:
- $220,000 to Academic Affairs for equipment purchases including microscopes, autoclaves, telescopes, desks, digital cameras, slab rollers, storage cabinets and massage tables.
- More than $300,000 will be applied to improvements indentified by the Learning Spaces Committee and the start up of the new Center for Innovative, Teaching, Learning and Assessment.
- Investments in hardware, software and furniture will also be made from student technology fee funds.
- Across the college community, we will invest in filling some long vacant positions that will directly impact our students in a positive manner.
- The long overdue HVAC (Heating & Air Conditioning) project at Lincoln is underway and significant work will be done this summer to improve the building’s cooling and heating system.
- Additionally, the economic environment has driven down the cost of replacing some of the roofs on our facilities and we will begin a program of roof replacement at the Lincoln campus.
As I stated back on Opening Day in September, so much of our success is dependent on attitude, and while we may not be able to control what happens around us, we can control the way we react to these events. I want to thank so many of you who have exhibited a positive attitude over the course of my tenure as your president. A positive attitude has never been more important as we work together to give our students the opportunity to change their lives and achieve their dreams.