Albertson College Cuts $2.1 Million from Budget; $2.5 Million Targeted for Fundraising
2002. 11. 08.
CALDWELL, ID- To overcome Albertson College's budget shortfall for the 2002-2003 budget year, the Albertson College Board of Trustees today (Friday, Nov. 8) approved a plan that includes $2.1 million in personnel and operational fund cuts, and a $2.5 million fundraising effort.
The revised budget largely avoids cuts in the college's core instructional program. The cuts were made in an effort to not impact students' educational experience and to remain true to the college's mission of providing an outstanding liberal arts education. Five task forces, which include representation from college faculty, staff, students and trustees, analyzed all areas of the college and recommended the budget to the College Budget Committee, President Kevin Learned and the Board of Trustees.
Key elements of the revised budget include:
There are no full time faculty terminations;
There is a reduction in force impacting 20 or less employees. These employees will receive a severance package, and the college will provide career counseling and employment seminars throughout next week;
The majority of the spending cuts (63 percent of the total) came from general and administrative budgets and personnel. The College Budget Committee worked hard to minimize the impact on the students' experience. Consequently, significantly smaller cuts were made in the academic and student affairs areas of the college.
The revised 2002-2003 budget can be viewed on the college website at www.collegeofidaho.edu/budgetupdate/Budget Process.pdf.
'The process has been difficult, but the college has come together and we're committed and ready to move forward,' Kevin Learned, president of Albertson College, said. 'The next step is to focus on fundraising and continuing the momentum that brought us record numbers of students and national accolades this year.'
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.
Albertson College is not alone in this dilemma. According to a recent article in "The New York Times," other colleges and universities, including Stanford University, Duke University and Dartmouth College are all struggling with increased expenditures, decreased donations and devalued endowments. Most are cutting spending, postponing new buildings, imposing hiring freezes and laying off faculty members.
Two of the college's closest competitors, Boise State University and the University of Idaho, both had significant layoffs to deal with a state cutback in higher education funding.
'Albertson College still has a strong asset base, a beautiful physical campus, a talented and dedicated faculty and staff, a growing student body and an increasing base of alumni support,' said Peter O'Neill, chairman of the Board of Trustees. 'We're fortunate to have begun dealing with this problem before it got worse, and now we're set to continue providing an excellent education to students.'
The college net assets, including endowment and physical plant, are $71.4 million.
For more information, contact Eric Cardenas, Albertson College director of communication, at 459-5811.
The top three departments that were impacted the most include communications, human resources and enrollment management, with budget cuts of 22.7 percent, 22.5 percent and 16.4 percent, respectively;
In terms of overall percentages of the $2.2 million cut (see attached chart), the departments of information technology, administration/general and enrollment management made up the bulk of the cuts, at $932,000.
College Endowment: $50.4 million
Value of Physical Plant: $24.6 million
Number of Students: 824