“My own college behaves much more like a private college these days than a public,” said Stephen M. Curtis, president of the Community College of Philadelphia, reports Inside Higher Ed. By next year, nearly two-thirds of the college’s revenue will come from tuition.
His fellow panelist, Rufus Glasper, chancellor of the Maricopa Community Colleges, said, ”We have no choice. The state funds are gone forever.”
Sources of Support for Community College of Philadelphia
|Year||Operating Budget||% From State||% From City||% From Tuition|
There are advantages to privatization, Curtis said.
. . . he does not need state approval for new degrees or curricular changes, that tuition increase are controlled by his board without state or local authorities having veto power, and that his board also has final say on use of budget funds. While tuition increases raise concerns about access, he said that the Community College of Philadelphia just finished its first fund-raising campaign, significantly exceeding a $10 million goal and raising $3 million for scholarships. And he read a long list of operations at his college and elsewhere that he said should be outsourced and could be in a private model: cleaning services, child care, snow removal and more.
Glasper doesn’t foresee more state funding for 7 to 10 years. He hopes to raise revenue by providing specialized training to businesses. He also suggested it’s time to look for ways to bring down costs of expensive responsibilities, such as remedial math instruction, by replacing teachers with computers.
This embrace of privatization amounts to giving up on an accessible college education for all, responds Daniel Luzer.
In California, where I live, community colleges can demand all they want. The money isn’t there. Students would have more access if tuition were raised — and retained at the college — to pay for more classes.