Carleton College's student newspaper since 1877

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Board Approves Budget

< a year of meeting with various groups on campus and analyzing Carleton’s past finances and plans for the future, the Budget Committee submitted its recommendation for the 2015 to 2016 budget to the Board of Trustees on Friday.

Because the Board of Trustees approved the budget, next year there will be a smaller increase in the student fee than there was last year, faculty and staff salary programs will not change, there will be a 15-meal plan instead of a 12, and Carleton will invest money in some Strategic Plan initiatives.

“Based on all of our discussions with the college and our work with the finances, we are confidant in this budget,” said Vice President Fred Rogers.

The ability to minimally increase the student fee, while keeping the salary program the same is a beneficial outcome for the college because it gives both students and faculty what they desire, according to Rogers. Further, minimal increases to the student fee are in keeping with the Strategic Plan initiative to improve socio-economic diversity at Carleton by attracting a diverse group of applicants.

Altering the meal plan from 12 meals to 15 comes as a result of Budget Committee discussion with various campus groups last spring. Once the Budget Committee understood the desire for a change to the meal plan, committee members negotiated with Bon Appetit.

“We are pleased with the results f these negotiations and are glad we could address students’ wants,” Rogers said.

Although the Strategic Plan is long-term and requires a capital campaign to complete, the annual budget strives to address some of the smaller changes mandated by the Plan.

One of the Strategic Plan initiatives is to better prepare students for their lives post-Carleton. To work toward accomplishing this goal, next year’s budget includes money for expansion of the Career Center and for improvement to the advising system.

The Strategic Plan emphasizes strengthening the current teaching and class offerings, so in the 2015-2016 budget, there is money for experimental pedagogies. These include new classroom technologies and increased money for research.

Creating the annual budget is a yearlong process that begins every February after the Board of Trustees approves the annual budget. During spring term, the Budget Committee meets with different groups to get a sense of their needs and wants for the future. In May, the Committee compiles this information into a report.

“We try to represent student voice and balance facilities and staff needs with what the faculty wants,” said CSA Vice President Adele Daniels, one of the student representatives on the Budget Committee.

Over the summer, the Administrative Council meets to discuss Carleton’s long-term goals.

At the beginning of fall term, the spring term and summer reports are combined into an outline for the budget. From there, the Budget Committee analyzes different ways to incorporate these long-term and short-term goals.

“We look at last year’s budget, but we look forward more than back because we want to know what the numbers mean for future,” she said. “For this reason, we look at five-year budget models that include the past year, the current year, and three years in the future.”

In December, the Budget Committee makes a proposal to the Administrative Council, which reviews the recommendation and makes suggestions. The Budget Committee goes through these suggestions and then makes a recommendation to the Board of Trustees. With the Board of Trustees’ approval, the budget goes into effect.

“Through this whole process, we try to optimize everyone’s wants and needs with long-term improvement ideas for the college,” Daniels said. “We have to look at the nitty-gritty and at the big picture.”

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 *