As members of the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) and the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) gather in Washington for the 2011 National Legislative Summit, representa- tives of our nation’s two-year career and technical colleges are bracing for budget cuts and fiscal turbulence back home.
The nonprofit Center on Budget and Policy Priorities reports that lasting effects
from the Great Recession (that recent period of economic futility we’re all so tired
of hearing about) will force some 44 states and the District of Columbia to slash
budgets by an astounding $125 billion in the 2012 budget year, which begins for
most states in July.
That’s a bitter pill to swallow for a sector of higher education that has been called
on to help fuel the nation’s economic revival. A shortage of state funding—U.S.
Department of Education statistics show that state appropriations have shrunk to
about 30 percent of community college revenues—will undoubtedly make it tough
for colleges to train workers for next-generation careers.
But it won’t get us off the hook, either. With the budget picture likely to go from
bad to worse, the onus is on community college leaders—presidents and trustees
alike—to ensure that community colleges do their part to improve the nation’s
graduation rate—and, by extension, its economic fortunes.
EXECU TIVE EDITOR Norma Kent
MANAGING EDITOR Corey Murray
ART DIREC TOR Brian Rees
PROJEC T MANAGER Jerry Parks
CONTRIBUTING John Sygielski
The Leader’s Role
In this special fundraising issue of the Journal, ACCT’s own Narcisa Polonio and
David Conner ask three successful community college trustees for advice on how
college leaders can generate revenue and improve institutional performance in a
lean budget year (“Stepping Up in Tough Times,” p. 16).
Author and AACC President Emeritus George R. Boggs offers strategies for how
college CEOs and trustees can work together to create new opportunities (“
Partners in Leadership,” p. 14). Taking that idea a step further, River Valley Community
College President Steven Budd writes about a comprehensive strategy for resource
development that cuts across organizations, from the president’s office to faculty
and staff (“Surviving the New Normal,” p. 22).
When Funding Dries Up
State coffers might be running dry across the country, but colleges are not without
options. Two features in this issue—“The Revenue Imperative,” p. 26, and “Remote
Success,” p. 30—outline best practices colleges big and small can follow to drum up
revenue amid stagnant or declining state and federal appropriations.
Also in this issue, Matt Bunker, alumni director at Utah’s Salt Lake Community
College, offers tips for connecting with alumni through social media (p. 12). And
AACC Senior Vice President David Baime lays out the association’s top- 10 legislative priorities for the 112th Congress (p. 38).
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