Posted at 11 a.m. Nov. 4, 2016

College is looking at ways to deal with budget cuts

Trustee meeting added Nov. 30. for vote on budget reduction plan

In response to Laramie County Community College’s $2.5 million budget cut for this fiscal year, LCCC President Dr. Joe Schaffer and his Cabinet have been considering a number of solutions.

As reported in the last issue of Wingspan, LCCC has taken steps to accommodate these cuts. Two committees, the Revenue Committee and Efficiency Committee, were created in order to find better ways to increase revenue and better utilize the resources at the school’s disposal. These findings were turned into proposals which were then handed over to Schaffer and his Cabinet for further scrutiny.

At the moment, Schaffer has not “given enough analysis to any of these (proposals)” to make any concrete considerations about what actions the school should be taking. However, he has stated that his “role is to facilitate the conversation and process” between faculty, students and administration.

Schaffer also confirmed that the school will not emphasize seeking out donations or sponsors for supplemental revenue, as they are a “one-time cash-in,” and not great for long-term fiscal goals, which is what the college is trying to address. He placed particular emphasis on the need for long-term solutions, as even less funding is to be expected later on, with a further $4.5 million cut in funding expected for next year.

There have also been concerns about cuts in programs or letting staff go. Schaffer responded by explaining that programs and staff kept will be based on efficiency and how important they are to the college. As the process continues, decisions will be made about what to keep and who to let go.

The Cabinet discussed revenue with the Efficiency Committee on Oct. 25. According to Lisa Murphy, associate vice president of institutional advancement, some areas where the school has already increased efficiency and cut down on costs, include school equipment and machines (such as printers and fax machines), public relations and a transition to online materials for classes to help with paper-saving initiatives

Advertising for the college is also a big focus, as tuition is a large source of income for the school. During the 2016-17 school year, rates at LCCC rose up to $7578 out-of-state, a roughly 21% increase from the previous year. Thus, as Murphy said, there is a focus on making advertising more efficient by using social media as a facilitator for the college’s marketing, as well as taking advantage of free press through local television and radio. According to Murphy, doing this should help the school cut costs while bringing in more revenue.

Final decisions for the new budget plan are set to be finalized on Nov. 29. These plans will be presented to the Board of Trustees on Nov. 16 and voted on Nov. 30. The Nov. 30 meeting was recently added. Originally, the trustees were set to vote on the proposal Dec. 7. Nov. 30 is the last day in office for four current board members.


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