Tuesday, January 15, 2008

LCC Budget Woes Update

A while ago I mentioned that the community college where I work is having budget problems.

(More detailed financial data is available online, but not accessible without an employee number. Other LCC employees can go to at the last choice in the Employee Services menu.)

These problems are now severe enough that the college can no longer "invest" in part-time employees. By that phrase I'm trying to refer to how the college had a pool of capital to pay new part-time employees this school year until it receives next year the state funding that reimburses the college for this expense.

To be clearer, the state gives the college funds to pay part-time employees based upon the number of students and hours taught by the college's part-time employees. But this money arrives a year or so after the classes are taught. The state first needs to check how many students stayed enrolled the entire term and then needs to turn its own bureaucratic gears. So the college needs to have a bit of money in reserve to pay for hiring new part-time employees: those new hires would need to be paid for a year until the college receives back state funding for them.

Part-time employees are the most profitable part of the college budget. Also, for certain classes there is always more student demand than available classes. So the obvious way for the college to help its budget woes would be to hire more part-time faculty to teach more classes. But it cannot do that, because it has used for other expenses the pool of capital intended for hiring new part-time employees.

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