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ERIC Number: EJ1092441
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1067-1803
A Smaller Piece of the Pie: As Resources Dwindle, Colleges Compete with Other Worthy Causes for State and Federal Support
Pulley, John
Community College Journal, v84 n4 p22-27 Feb-Mar 2014
There was a golden era, in the 1960s and 1970s, when beaming lawmakers smiled on community colleges. Public funds flowed like a river that nourished the nation's two-year institutions. Enrollments grew and everyone was happy, naturally. Over the past few decades, public funds have dried up, and formerly munificent politicians are now beleaguered by hordes of constituents seeking financial support. Legislators charged with fiduciary oversight of municipal and state budgets increasingly demand that recipients of public money demonstrate return on investment. Amid greater scarcity and scrutiny, community college leaders have had to become better advocates for their institutions. Presidents and other leaders are expected to get buy-in from colleagues on campus and to build infrastructures for projecting influence in multiple spheres; they have to convene allies and build coalitions. They are coming up with ever more complex advocacy strategies, and they have to show measurable results. The traditional funding formula, whereby community colleges received one-third of funding each from local government, state government, and students, has in many places become obsolete, with students now bearing half the cost. When enrollments decline, the financial impact can be devastating. Some institutions are seeking new sources of revenue, recruiting international students to their campuses, and offering online courses to learners outside their local communities. Those initiatives can open a Pandora's box of legislative and regulatory challenges. This article discusses the role of community college advocates in coalition building, cultivating internal support, and ensuring that student performance is measured fairly and that formulas put in place for making appropriations are equitable.
American Association of Community Colleges. One Dupont Circle NW Suite 410, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 202-728-0200; Fax: 202-833-2467; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Two Year Colleges; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Arizona; Michigan; Montana
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A