College faces budget challenge head-on

On March 7, the Maryville College 2012 budget was sent out to faculty and staff, explaining the challenges ahead concerning the deficit.

MC President Dr. Tom Bogart explained that, although the budget raises some question and concern within the MC community, it is nothing that cannot be handled with careful planning.

“MC has experienced many challenges in the 191 years of its existence, yet they have always been overcome,” Bogart said.

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The decrease in revenue was first noticed last summer. At that point, it became evident to admissions that not as many prospective students were interested in MC as in previous years.

This was assumed to be due to the unstable economy of the past three years, the steep price of MC tuition and a lower-than-expected number of incoming freshmen and transfer students.

The enrollment for the 2011-2012 year was also affected by the graduation of 40 seniors in December 2011, compared to the average, 25.

This poses a problem because with fewer students enrolled at MC and expenses remaining the same, there is not as much revenue from tuition to cover the projected expenses.

In order to overcome the budget challenge, the members of the Planning and Budget Advisory Committee (PBAC) have formulated a plan that will get MC back on track from the $800,000 deficit of the 2011-2012 fiscal year.

The first provision set in place was a cutting back of faculty positions. PBAC also discussed areas in which spending could be cut or postponed in order to minimize the shortfall as much as possible.

Along with cutting back spending in certain areas, PBAC plans to make use of allotted cash reserves and document and approve all purchases made within academic departments and divisions.

Projected revenue for the 2012-2013 school year is slightly higher than the actual revenue from 2011-2012, which means that student enrollment for the upcoming semester is on track to increase, due to the efforts of admissions, marketing, financial aid, enrollment and MC’s new partnership with Hardwick Day, a consulting firm dealing with enrollment.

Along with hard work internally and outsourcing through Hardwick Day, MC is also working on fundraising activities through another consulting firm, Alexander Haas.

Through the fundraising, MC hopes to reach its goall of $1.35 million for the upcoming year.

So, what exactly does this mean for students? According to Bogart, it’s business as usual.

“Enjoy the full experience of MC so that you can pass along to prospective students the importance of a MC education,” Bogart said.

Bogart believes that the best recruitment comes from current students and alumni. Who better to tell about MC than those who have experienced the education first-hand?

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