ERIC Number: ED205234
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Apr-13
Stretching the Educational Dollar.
Jacobs, Karl J.
As community colleges face increasing fiscal scrutiny and constraints, board members have a responsibility to promote an understanding and acceptance of cost-efficiency measures. To do so, trustees themselves should first understand the following fiscal characteristics of community colleges: they are the least expensive of higher education institutions; like hospitals, they are labor-intensive and have fewer discretionary dollars than businesses; and significant program or personnel cuts hinder the ability of the community college to compete with other postsecondary institutions. While it is counterproductive for trustees to manage college finances on an operational level, trustees can set an institutional framework for efficiency by asking appropriate questions of administrators and remaining informed of college management. This requires that trustees be familiar with budgeting, regularly review unit cost studies, develop fiscal policies that eliminate surprise costs by assuring a direct relationship between planning and budgeting, avoid giving the impression of protecting favored programs, require the use of sound business practices in college operations, and communicate confidence in the college's future. Such measures will alleviate staff fears caused by reductions in expenditures and redirect attention to positive strategies that point toward long-term gains. (JP)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the 1981 Central Region Seminar of the Association of Community College Trustees, "Community Colleges--Lifeboats for the Future" (Osage Beach, MO, April 12-14, 1981).