Ivy Tech may close campuses

Ivy Tech, Indiana’s rapidly growing statewide community college system, is considered “a national model for statewide efficiency and received praise for close ties to employers,” reports Inside Higher Ed. But Ivy Tech faces a $68 million funding gap and may have to close up to 20 of its 76 campuses.

“We’ve done all the painless things we can do,” said Thomas J. Snyder, Ivy Tech’s president. A former corporate executive, “he has helped lead substantial cost-saving efforts” and joined national discussions on college costs and productivity.

Ivy Tech’s requested level of state support has long been $3,500 per student (the total cost of education per student is $4,665). Yet the state’s current contribution is $2,543, which is up from a $2,198 the previous year. Even before the recession, state funding did not reach Ivy Tech’s target levels.

In addition, the college receives little money from the state for its facilities. The system built or expanded 17 campuses without state support. And only 23 campuses receive capital funding, Snyder said.

Ivy Tech’s strategic plan calls for increasing the number of adults with college credentials. Indiana ranked 40th in degree attainment according to the Lumina Foundation.

Ivy Tech claims it’s achieved $100 million in savings through shared services and outsourcing. The college system also has frozen salaries and eliminated one chancellor position. However, college officials say $70 million in deferred spending can’t be postponed forever. And it needs to hire faculty members and advisors.

Ivy Tech plans to raise tuition by $5 per credit hour, but the board of trustees also is considering closing campuses.

POSTED BY Joanne Jacobs ON July 2, 2013

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