The Richmond Register

Local News

March 5, 2010

Berea College finding ways to balance budget

RICHMOND — Berea College has been forced to find innovative ways to balance its budget during these tough economic times.

For a college that relies on its investments for 80 percent of its income, with 10 percent coming from annual gifts and  the 10 percent from state and federal scholarships, trying to make ends meet during a recession has taken careful maneuvering.

“The economic collapse of the fall of 2008 and the winter of 2009 hit all businesses, colleges and home owners very hard,” said Berea College president Larry Shinn. “In higher education, there wasn’t a school hit as hard as us, because of the way we’re funded.”

Berea College found itself in a position where it needed to reduce its budget from $43 million in 2008-09 to $36.2 million by 2011-12.

A task force was put together to find ways to reduce the budget, while keeping alive the school’s mission of promoting Christian values and providing tuition-free education to students with limited economic resources.

The task force presented three scenarios to the board of trustees, but a fourth scenario, which took aspects from all three scenarios, was accepted last Saturday.

The main focus is to have a flexible and sustainable budget, said Shinn.

Among the new ideas was to begin a retirement incentive plan. Of the roughly 500 faculty and staff members, 107 met the requirements of being over 55 and having worked full-time at the school for 10 years.

Forty-three employees took the early retirement.

Of those 43 positions, 16 will be eliminated and the other 27 will be filled at lower pay.

The college, which currently has 1,530 students, will increase enrollment to 1,600 next year. Many of those students will be transfers who will take upper level courses that already are smaller in size than other classes.

Transfer students bring more opportunities for Pell grants, which will bring more money to the school, said Shinn.

Berea also is looking into increasing enrollment to as high as 1,800 by 2013.

Fewer instructors and more students will increase the faculty-to-student ratio only slightly, Shinn said, from 10 to 1 to 12 to 1.

Berea is changing its calendar to include a 15-week semester each spring and fall, adding an extra week to the current semesters. The typical short-term semester will be moved from January to May.

The calendar change alone maximizes access to federal and state dollars and will save the school $300,000 a year, Shinn said.

Another change includes creating larger academic departments, so that instead of 27 departments with 27 department heads, there will be fewer departments with more faculty per department.

That change will open the door for instructors to teach in multiple departments, Shinn said.

With 70 percent of the school’s budget going to employees, the changes in staff, along with the other moves, has helped the school avoid $2 million in budget cuts, Shinn said.

He said the school already has accounted for about $6 million of the $6.8 million that needed to be reduced and is looking at ways to find the additional $800,000 to $900,000 to cover the 2011-12 school year.

Tim Mandell can be reached at tmandell@richmondregister.com or 623-1669 ext. 6696.

 

1
Text Only
Local News
  • 7-27 HeartChase 1.jpg A race to the finish line

    Sheltered by overcast sky and supported by a cool breeze, teams competed Saturday morning in the second annual HeartChase at Richmond Centre.

    July 26, 2014 6 Photos

  • 7-27 Hops 1.jpg Hops & Vine Festival raises money for humane society

    Downtown Richmond’s Hops and Vine Festival started more than two years ago with a question.

    July 26, 2014 3 Photos

  • Bill Clinton will stump for Grimes in eastern Kentucky

    Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes is again calling in the “Big Dog” in her quest to unseat five-term Republican U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell.

    Former President Bill Clinton will join Grimes on Aug. 6 for a campaign rally in eastern Kentucky, according to a campaign official who would provide no further details.

    July 26, 2014

  • 7-26 Stockyards 2.jpg Cattle farmers enjoying ‛perfect storm’

    Demand is up, and cattle are selling for record prices.

    At the same time, corn prices are down and fuel prices have stabilized.

    That adds up to a “perfect storm” for Kentucky cattle farmers, said Gary Kelly of Paint Lick as he ate lunch Friday with his brother Jimmy at the restaurant across from the Blue Grass Stockyards.

    July 26, 2014 5 Photos

  • 7-26 Fire Practice Structure 1.jpg Fire training tower going up

    A new training tower for the Richmond Fire Department is rising on Four Mile Road.

    Construction began Thursday on the four-story, steel-framed structure.

    July 26, 2014 4 Photos

  • Pavement work to restrict I-75 in Rockcastle County

    Beginning Sunday until about the end of November, Interstate 75 in Rockcastle County will be reduced to one lane in each direction between mile points 58 and 66 for pavement work.

    July 26, 2014

  • Jailed woman charged with heroin trafficking

    A Richmond woman already jailed on another charge was served with a drug trafficking warrant Thursday.

    July 26, 2014

  • County’s jobless rate improves

    Madison County’s unemployment rate for June, 6.5 percent, was a full percentage point lower than a year earlier and 0.2 points lower than in May.

    July 24, 2014

  • 7-25 Camp Invention 1.jpg Young inventors turn trash to treasure

    The first day of Camp Invention began with a room full of objects ready to be recycled, Sarah Shaffer, director of the camp said Thursday.

    July 24, 2014 6 Photos

  • 7-25 William Gilbert.jpg Four arrested on meth charges at Berea motel

    Berea Police arrested four people Wednesday at the Knights Inn on Chestnut Street, including a man they said tried to conceal a meth lab on his person.

    July 24, 2014 5 Photos

AP Video
The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

Should Madison County’s three local governing bodies ban smoking in indoor public places?

Yes
No
     View Results