Press Release Archive 2011 - 1999

Albertson College Deals with Budget Shortfall with Inclusive Task Force Process

2002. 10. 18.

CALDWELL, ID- In order to overcome its budget shortfall for the 2002-2003 budget year, Albertson College has approved a process to examine the college's current budget and examine ways of increasing revenue to fulfill the college's mission.

The process document can be viewed on the website at www.collegeofidaho.edu/budgetupdate/Budget Process.pdf. Five task forces, which include representation from college faculty, staff, students and trustees, will guide the college in the first phase of the process. The task forces include Instruction and Academic Support; Student Life; Administration; Alumni and Revenue Enhancement; and Information Technology.

The process then will continue as such:

The task forces will recommend changes to a College Budget Committee, made up of representatives from faculty, staff, students and trustees.

The recommendations of the College Budget Committee will be presented President Kevin Learned.

President Learned will recommend a budget to the Board of Trustees' Finance and Investment Committee. The committee will invite the campus community to comment upon the recommended budget. The Finance and Investment Committee will recommend a budget to the Board of Trustees, which is expected to make a final decision on the 2002-2003 budget on November 8.

'We are looking at each program and college function to more efficiently pursue our liberal arts mission,' Learned said.

While program cuts and layoffs are possible, the college is also hoping to make up some of the projected $4.5 million shortfall through aggressive fundraising.

The college, a private, not-for-profit organization, relies on its income from draws from its endowment, donations and student tuition. There are three reasons for the budget shortfall:

First, like many other national liberal arts colleges, Albertson is suffering an unprecedented reversal of nearly three decades of steady growth in its endowment, of which 70 percent is invested in the stock market.

Second, while the college has seen an increase in the numbers of donors, the total dollar giving has decreased as donors feel the effects of their own shrinking portfolios.

And lastly, in order to compete with other liberal arts colleges and to provide students the best educational experience as possible, the college has steadily increased its investments in the campus and educational experience over the past three years. Significant upgrades to student services, providing laptops to first year students and catching up on deferred maintenance on campus are just some examples of the kinds of investments that have been made at the college. The result has been the highest enrollment in the school's history, combined with an enhanced reputation and increasing recognition.

'Many private liberal arts schools are experiencing a similar situation with their endowment and giving and are having to go through some cost reductions and re-structuring of their organizations,' said Peter O'Neill, chairman of the Board of Trustees. 'This process shows the college has come together - students, faculty, staff and trustees - to overcome this shortfall and to continue to provide a liberal arts education.'

For more information, contact Eric Cardenas, Albertson College director of communication, at 459-5811.

--ACI--