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ERIC Number: EJ1082284
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1559-0151
Protecting and Expanding the Honors Budget in Hard Times
Railsback, Brian
Journal of the National Collegiate Honors Council, v13 n1 p33-36 Spr-Sum 2012
In difficult budget times, especially at state colleges and universities, honors programs might seem too easy for budget-cutters to reduce, cut, or lose in the shuffle of administrative reorganization. Recent years have been financially perilous and hardly an easy time for honors programs or colleges to increase budgets. Using Western Carolina University (WCU) as a case study, this article offers essential strategies to help sustain, preserve, or even expand honors on campuses where tight funding is the "new normal." In 1996, the honors program at Western Carolina University (WCU) was nearly dead. For a decade, the program existed in the basement of a building littered with surplus furniture and a few cast-off computers. Even in good budget years, paltry requests for additional funds for the program were often denied. Today the program is a thriving honors college, housed in a new $51 million residential living complex for honors students and supported by a dean and three full-time staff members. The total budget grew by nearly 600%. External revenue generated in that period topped $250,000. Even in the harsh budget years since 2009, there has been no talk of reducing the size of the college or cutting it; on the contrary, some operating budget cuts will be restored in 2012-13. This article describes the four strategies that largely account for the funding and capital increases that grew a nearly dead program into one of the most thriving enterprises on campus.
National Collegiate Honors Council. 1100 Neihardt Residence Center, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 540 North 16th Street, Lincoln, NE 68588. Tel: 402-472-9150; Fax: 402-472-9152; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: North Carolina
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A