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The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

Strategic Long-Range Planning Committee Begins Plans for SLRP II

As the final two years of the Strategic Long-Range Plan (SLRP) begin, The Strategic Long-Range Planning committee began working on SLRP II this year. According to Assistant to the President for Planning and Management Jeff Favolise on April 9, 2008, the SLRP committee began macro-level discussion of SLRP II in order to encourage the community’s input on this matter.

Favolise said that like SLRP I, “Student and faculty input and representation in development of SLRP II will be essential and is extremely important, because the priorities of SLRP II will also be determined through community input, including participation from the student body.”

This year is considered the data collection and reflections stage, during which the committee will seek community input and has already invited input from the campus through a Beacon posting this year.

“The community will have an opportunity to give input during upcoming campus forums,” said Favolise, “through a second on-line posting of the draft on the Beacon with a link for feedback submission in Community Senate and CCE SGA, through the Multicultural Education Department, in SLRP Committee, and in the Quaker Life and Diversity Committee.”

Senate Vice-President Dana Hamdan, a sophomore, said, “Senate has always made it a goal to work closely with the administration to make sure that the voices of the students are heard, since the needs of the students are the first priority for Senate.”

After the first stage, the committee will proceed with this information to “the selection of priority areas” stage. During 2009-2010 the committee will complete a draft of the plan and make it available to the community. After additional community input, the committee will approve SLRP II by the end of 2010.

The budget committee plays an essential role in determining a realistic budget for the plans of SLRP II.

During a public presentation held by the budget committee on Jan. 23, Chair of the Budget Committee Heather Hayton said in a PowerPoint presentation that the committee tries to craft a budget that “balances between revenue and expenses yet also pays down our line of credit.”

President Kent Chabotar said that the same goals apply this year.

“The priorities for this year are financial equilibrium, debt reduction, and progress on the strategic plan,” said Chabotar. “Retention and persistence are also important as we have hired new graduate hall directors, a staff person in the academic dean’s office to work with advisors, and a mentor for CCE students.”

Vice President of Finance and Administration Jerry Boothby said that $820,000 of the budget for the fiscal year ’08-’09 has been allotted to pay off the College’s line of credit.

“Thanks to a generous donation, our commitment from the operating budget funds to pay this debt has been potentially reduced,” said Boothby, “but is still subject to the pending October budget revisions.”

Boothby said that there may be changes in SLRP funding this year, as college expenses have increased due to the hiring of new faculty, and faculty and staff salary increases.

Boothby said that there might be “possible reductions in operating budgets because of lower than anticipated enrollment for this fiscal year,” but that the Trustees will review this item in October since Oct. 1 marks the official enrollment count for the year.

“Like most small colleges, Guilford College has to focus on maintaining enrollment and fund-raising so that revenues meet our expenses, both current and needed levels,” said Chabotar. “It is a special challenge here because we have to address higher levels of debt and lower employee salaries with a total endowment and endowment per student than are lower than the averages of our competitors.”

Hayton said that since funding is limited, the budget committee has to be realistic regarding SLRP and other areas.

“There is always a struggle to do all the amazing things we want to do with the budget realities we have,” said Hayton. “Some years, and some budgets, are harder to balance than others. Like most small colleges (and individuals) right now, our ambitions must be tempered by the realities of our current economic situation.”

Hayton said that since Guilford has a tight budget, cuts from certain areas will have to be made, but it is too early in the semester to determine what areas will be affected.

Favolise said that while certain cuts are necessary, they will not compromise any of the goals of SLRP I or SLRP II, all of which are guided by Guilford’s Quaker values.

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