Community College of Rhode Island

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A budget and financial update

A message from President Di Pasquale, June 22, 2010

Fiscal Years 2010 and 2011
As the 2010 fiscal year comes to a close on June 30, I want to take this opportunity to provide the college community with an update on our budget and financial resources.

Over the course of the 2010 fiscal year, CCRI's funding from the state was reduced by more than $3.8 million, a situation we successfully weathered with revenue from record high enrollment and by managing vacancies and employee pay reductions. The final budget for fiscal year 2011 that goes into effect July 1, 2010, is $153,129 less than the mid-year review budget approved by the Board of Governors this past spring.

To offset the decline in state funding, a key factor continues to be revenues from tuition and fees. As I mentioned back in March, we are more reliant on tuition and fee revenue now than at any time in our history. The nine percent tuition increase for FY11 approved by the Board of Governors will be an important part of our financial blueprint in 2010-11, but as the state job market improves, I anticipate a decline in our enrollment and we must continue to plan for best-case and worst-case scenarios.

State mandates
One of the strategic actions taken that helped the college manage the state budget restrictions was the agreement by the various unions at the college to rollover their contractual agreements without any corresponding cost of living adjustments. However, we are concerned about the decision to eliminate nine unrestricted FTE positions at CCRI. The state's philosophy has been to use turnover expectancy to manage budget shortfalls. With the state imposed hiring freeze this past spring, savings from vacancies also artificially increased our number of vacant positions. We expect some difficulty in adjusting to the new legislated FTE cap and may have to re-visit cap restrictions with the Board of Governors to best align service and mission with staffing.

21st Century Workforce Commission
As indicated in the report recently released by the 21st Century Workforce Commission, CCRI is expected to play a significant role in workforce development and training contributing to the economic recovery of Rhode Island. This is not inconsistent with the goals stated in the college's 2009 ' 2012 Strategic Plan. However, without latitude in terms of hiring and other fiscal decisions and processes, it will be difficult to be effective in this role. While the enacted budget included funding for three FTE positions to help implement the 21st Century Workforce Commission recommendations, it is still unclear how this will be implemented.

College maintenance
I am pleased to report the college received an additional $250,000 for maintenance through the Rhode Island Capital Plan Fund (RICAP), an important source of state funding for bricks and mortar improvements. This funding will be used for critical maintenance on our aging campuses.

We are continuing to move forward with several long overdue projects, including:

  • Repairs to the HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) system at the Flanagan Campus in Lincoln. The units are anticipated for delivery in July; the first unit will take up to 12 weeks to install.
  • Roof replacement at the Flanagan Campus in Lincoln. Funding in the amount of $1.8 million was delayed from FY10 into FY11 and repairs will begin this summer.
  • Sprinkler systems at the Liston Campus in Providence and at the Flanagan Campus in Lincoln. These fire safety upgrades are funded by the federal stimulus program and are expected for completion by September 2011.

I will keep you informed of our progress as our financial picture for the next fiscal year becomes clearer and we add more campus improvement projects to our 'to do' list. In the meantime, I want to thank so many of you who dedicate yourselves to the college and our mission of changing lives. Your positive attitude and cooperative efforts have made a significant difference in 2010 and I look forward to continuing our good work together in the year ahead.

Thank you.

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Last Updated: 9/11/14