Colleges get creative to raise money, cut costs

Community colleges are trying creative ways to raise money and cut expenses, reports Community College Times.

Ivy Tech Community College in Indiana will save $22.5 million over five years by contracting out bookstore operation on its 29 campuses. Encouraging professors to use the same textbooks for the same courses has provided volume discounts.  Ivy Tech also is saving through statewide procurement of furniture, copiers and computers, outsourcing data and personnel management to the state and setting up a statewide call center to handle registration, billing, financial aid and other services.

“People want to protect their budget. They do that by spending what they have so their budget won’t be cut next year,” Hudson said. “We promoted cost savings as a way to hire additional faculty. People will accept less-exotic PCs that meet their needs if that eliminates the need for staff cuts.”

North Essex Community College (NECC) in Massachusetts encourages departments to contract with high schools to provide classes in entrepreneurship, psychology, sociology and other subjects. The college also rents unused classrooms to Suffolk University for its MBA program.

This fall, NECC is launching a program with a private company called Higher Education Partnerships, which leased a building at the college, hired its faculty and purchased the equipment to develop a new health education program. The program offers accelerated training with flexible scheduling—mostly online—geared to adults in the allied health professions, including medical billing and coding, phlebotomy, emergency management and advanced cardiac life support.

Profits will be invested in NECC’s regular health programs.

In the last five years, enrollment has climbed 20 percent at NECC, while state support has declined 20 percent. The college also is trying to generate private donations.

Community colleges should devote 5 percent to 9 percent of their operating budgets to fund raising, said Polly Binns, executive director of the Council for Resource Development. However, most colleges spend half of one percent, she said.

POSTED BY Joanne Jacobs ON September 15, 2011

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