Thursday, October 11, 2012

Agnostic

     Recently, we've reported a looming fiscal crisis at both colleges, allegedly deriving from the fact that, according to in-house projections, the colleges' expenses will steadily increase while revenue will remain flat. We've taken the college beancounters at their word and have reported their dire predictions and spread their abysmal gloomitude.
     It is worth mentioning, however, that there are knowledgeable and experienced persons in the district who respond to all this with immediate eye rolling. "They always say this, but it never turns out to be true," they say. "The district, you know, is sitting on a shitload of money," they add.
     Ah but, this time, things are different, say administrators.
     We'll see, I guess.
     Here at IVC, administrative pronouncements and assurances have come to mean little.
     What does "communication" with X mean when you can't trust X ever to tell it like it is?

* * *
     It is not clear (to me yet) how our "basic aid" (local property tax) funding relates to all this. Owing to this funding, our district receives a relatively high degree of funding (though tax trends mean these bonanzular bucks diminish with each year that passes). The district board, however, has long embraced the principle that the two colleges must be funded as though they received their funding in the more conventional way (not with local property taxes). That policy, one might suppose, yields a kind of artificial poverty at the two colleges.
     Are these alleged looming imbalances per college based on assumptions regarding the board's fidelity to such principles?
     Also, the kinds of projections and "doom 'n' gloom" scenarios we've been hearing about are based on very conservative assumptions. Are these assumptions unrealistic?
     Adding to the complexity of our situation, it seems, is the possibility that, at present, our enrollments may be artificially inflated (we've made room for students who were denied enrollment at relatively impoverished local colleges). Such possibilities become especially important should our district find itself off basic aid. (There is the possibility of legislation to end basic aid.)
     We welcome informed comments that shed any light on the alleged "looming deficits" situation.

3 comments:

  1. People who want to check the numbers need to. But where will we find the power points our bean counters have presented to the community?

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  2. The colleges have been back-filled for many years by "one time funds" from basic aid. Where do you think the funds for new computers for faculty, staff, and students come from? Deferred maintainance projects likewise. If basic aid is cut off, we are screwed.

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  3. Much easier to ask for more basic aid than to actually manage resources at the colleges, isn't it. What if we were really having to cut like all other districts.

    ReplyDelete

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