Carleton College's student newspaper since 1877

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Trustees approve college’s budget for next year

<rleton’s Board of Trustees recently finalized the budget for the fiscal year of 2010 at their annual winter meeting. In the face of the nation-wide economic uncertainty, Carleton’s Budget Committee started the budget planning process as early as last September. About 28% of Carleton’s operating budget comes from the College’s endowment, which has been affected by the recent financial downturn. The endowment declined 17.6% since June of last year to a reduced value of $524 million as of December 31, 2008.

Carleton’s total budget for the fiscal year of 2010 is $115,754,000, plus an allocation of $28,229,000 for financial aid and scholarships. In a recent all-campus e-mail, President Rob Oden explained that the most important question the College faced during this process was: “How do we ensure the College’s long-term financial stability while also maintaining and enhancing Carleton’s academic excellence?” In answering this question, Oden said, “we have adhered to the College’s sound process in shaping each year’s budget, rather than allowing the present financial crises to divert us from this important and year-long process.”

According to Oden’s e-mail, among the significant budgetary reductions is the 5% reduction in all departmental operating funds. Carleton has also offered its staff a Voluntary FTE Reduction Plan, which gives all staff the opportunity to temporarily reduce their hours and which includes modest bonuses for all who elect to enroll in this plan. The budget also affects the faculty and staff compensations who in the coming year will receive very modest compensation increases of approximately $400 for each full-time person. For most employees, this will cover the increased expense for health care coverage.

The College has kept in mind the effect of the economic crisis on the families of students, and has scaled back the comprehensive fee for the next year from its originally proposed level. While the College has reduced its spending, it has remained loyal to what the President referred to as one of Carleton‘s “most noble attributes”: Carleton’s financial aid, which has been increased by 6.6%.

The Board of Trustees has formed a Task Force on Revenue and Costs to help the campus find effective methods to cut down costs. This task force is planning to be active for one year and will work with the College to consider revenue and cost actions, both short and long term, to improve Carleton’s financial situation.

The President thanked alumni, parents and friends of the College for their support during this process; it is due to this support that “Breaking Barriers, Creating Connections: The Campaign for Carleton” has collected a total of $220 million in its fifth year. $80 million remains for the College to reach its stated goal. According to Oden, the College will need to rely upon alumni, parents, and friends even more to continue their generous contributions to the Alumni Annual Fund and the Parents Fund.

The College has created a special collection of web pages on the budgetary planning that can be accessed at Oden has said that the College is encouraging members of the community to submit budget suggestions.

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