Dalton State Projects Budget Shortfall
April 27, 2012
Despite various budget-balancing measures and the infusion of new dollars from the state for special projects, Dalton State College administrators are projecting a budget shortfall for fiscal year 2013 and, as a result, will eliminate three full-time positions and cut back hours on several other positions.
In addition, the College will not fill about 15 positions that are currently vacant including several faculty positions, according to President Dr. John Schwenn.
“These are regrettable but necessary actions and reflect the difficult economic times in which we continue to find ourselves,” he said. “We have cut all the expenses we can, and we’re down to human resources; there’s just nothing else left to cut.”
The positions cut and reduced are across campus and include most every area of the College.
The College is budgeting for a five percent decline in enrollment this fall. Last year, a five percent decline was budgeted but actual enrollment was down 10 percent, said Scott Bailey, Dalton State’s Vice President for fiscal affairs.
The decline projected for fall 2013 is due in part to new higher admission standards that will prevent prospective students requiring remediation in all three areas of math and reading and writing from enrolling at Dalton State. Dr. Angela Harris, assistant vice president of Enrollment Services, says that about 200 students admitted fall 2011 would not be qualified to enroll under the new criteria.
“We expect to enroll a smaller but better prepared class this fall,” said Dr. Schwenn. “The students admitted face better prospects for success in college and graduation, and that’s a good thing even though it does mean that we will suffer a loss of operating funds.”
Dalton State’s state allocation of $13,710,968 is up $1,279,822 from last year and restores operational funds from the loss of Technical College System of Georgia support last year and equalization funds to close the gap within the state college sector. In addition, the College will receive some new state funds for designated projects and programs designed to enhance college success and graduation rates.
Dalton State has historically been among the lowest-funded schools per fulltime equivalent student in the University System, last year ranking fourth lowest funded among 35 institutions.
The College’s total educational budget for FY13 is $27,103,272 with the balance to be provided by student tuition and fees.
Tuition for Dalton State students will rise $35 per semester in the fall and student fees increase by $20. The tuition hike is the smallest in a decade, said Bailey. Tuition rates are set by the Board of Regents and student fees must have BOR approval.
The new $20 transportation fee will be used to provide shuttle service for students going to and from the main campus to off campus parking facilities as well as to help lease those facilities. A portion of the fee will be used to purchase two new 12-passenger vans over the next two years for student transportation; these vehicles will replace existing vans that are nearing the end of their useful lives. In addition, transportation fee funds will be used for public safety expenses associated with campus parking and to repair and enhance current parking lots on campus.
Total fees for Dalton State will be $443 for the semester, among the lowest in the state college sector and far below the fees levied by universities and research institutions.