Carleton College's student newspaper since 1877

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Editorial: Budget process shows priorities of college

<ay night, President Barack Obama stood before the United States Congress to say that America will rebuild and rebound from the trying times of the recent economic crisis. On Tuesday afternoon, President Robert Oden sent an e-mail out to the Carleton community with a similar message: Carleton will remain Carleton through these difficult times.

Throughout the past few months, the Carleton administration and Board of Trustees have been working hard to determine the correct path forward in light of the financial pressures facing the college. The process has likely been an extremely difficult one, but during that time, the process has also been a transparent one; the choices that President Oden and the Trustees made to ensure that not only would members of the Carleton community have input on the issue, but that the entire community would know what was happening during the process is a commendable one. The entire college community – students, faculty and staff – has already been affected by this crisis, and decisions made regarding the budget are decisions that will have lasting effects.

The details of President Oden’s e-mail are not altogether surprising; a 5% cut in departmental operating budgets was expected. Similarly, Oden had stressed in the past few months that Carleton’s financial aid budget would not be cut. The fact that financial aid will actually increase by 6.6% indicates that the college is committed to maintaining the quality of the student body through meeting need-based aid.

While numbers such as a 20 percent drop in Carleton’s endowment may seem staggering, the college has arrived at this point relatively better off than similar colleges. Last fall, Amherst College revealed a 25 percent drop in its endowment since June; Williams College estimated their loss at 28 percent. More recent data is not available, but the point is clear: times are difficult for Carleton, but they could also be much worse.

President Obama told Congress in his address that “America will emerge stronger than before” from this crisis. Only several hours earlier, President Oden promised to the college that “Carleton will get through these difficult days ahead” and “emerge on the far side a stronger college.” These are historically difficult times – indeed, times that one would rather read about than live through – but Carleton is doing what it can to get through with its character and integrity intact.

-The editorial represents the views of The Carletonian Editor

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The Carletonian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *