Update: Request for budget information at the last faculty meeting

During the presentation by Elwood on the May Trustees meeting at the September 1 faculty meeting, some faculty members indicated a desire to see more information on the budget situation facing us for 2014-15. In response, I’ve been trying to get the details of the potential deficit situation released immediately, but it looks like that will not be possible for a couple of reasons:

  • Some of the numbers are naturally fluctuating and uncertain at this point in the year, and releasing information now to the community might be misleading if those numbers change significantly.
  • The final budget for 2014-15, based on firm numbers, will need to be approved by the board of trustees. The trustees and the college administration are forming a plan to deal with the current deficit and also to ensure that future budgets will be in balance, and Jane has asked that we wait until those numbers and plans are confirmed and approved by the board before making potentially inaccurate or misleading public statements prior to that important event.

So, that’s where it stands now. In October, the board will have to approve the budget, and we should then all have a better understanding of the current situation and, more importantly, a sustainable plan going forward that will lead to no deficits, or at least strategic deficits rather than unforeseen ones.

If you want more information on the budget now, there are some resources and information already available.  Some of those are:

  • Budget Narrative for FY 2014-15. This contains a lot of information on how the budget was developed last year, including the three cases (best, middle, worse) and the planned deficit of $235,000. This budget was approved in principle last year, but it will not be officially adopted until October. It does not include the updated numbers that will likely increase the projected deficits for the coming year.
  • The e-mail titled Update on financial information presented at May Board of Trustees meeting, which Elwood and I sent out to faculty with Jane’s permission on August 16th. This lays out potential departures from the planned budget that have caused this year’s deficit to be larger than expected, although the numbers in this e-mail are not fully up-to-date with present projections. If you would like a copy of this e-mail, please contact me at ddobson@guilford.edu.

I have appreciated the opportunity to learn more about the college’s budget process as I’ve gotten started as Clerk. I’ve been invited to participate in trustees’ meetings and included on many discussions, for which I’m grateful. I will continue to push for more reporting, as I know it was a major concern expressed in the faculty survey last May.

I am happy to talk with anybody about this – send me an e-mail or give me a call at 2278.