Community discusses funding for SLRPII

Recently students met with Jeff Favolise, Assistant to the President for Planning and Management, for the last public forum regarding the Strategic Long-Range Plan (SLRP II).SLRP II differs from SLRP I, which focused mainly on the college’s finances. “SLRP is about student outcomes,” Favolise said.

Students exchanging ideas at the forum asked Favolise how Guilford hoped to come up with funding to pay for potential initiatives in SLRP II, like January terms, study abroad, and internet portfolios for students.

“Funding will be looked at in the next few weeks; this is still a fluid process. We don’t have solid initiatives yet. Funding is going to be an issue that will have to be examined closely” said Favolise.

Kent Chabotar, President and Professor of Political Science, agreed with Favolise.

Chabotar said we have not finished the plan, so there are as yet no decent numbers on new revenues and expenses. He said it was very likely that SLRP II would not depend on enrollment growth to nearly the extent that SLRP I did, if at all.

Chabotar said, “SLRP II is about the core business of education and outcomes, and will be gathering under one umbrella previously funded programs like principled problem solving, Guilford Connects and the like. plus new revenue from operations, gifts and other sources.”

He also said it was too early to say how much all this will cost or where we will obtain the money to pay for it.

There are those like Jerry Boothby, Vice President of Finance, who said SLRP II is going to be very exciting, with initiatives that can be reached financially. Boothby said trustees are interested in helping in many ways.

“We are trying to identify funds, gifts and grants; we don’t want initiatives we can’t fund,” said Boothby.

However, there are some who predict that the initiatives SLRP II is considering will be financially unrealistic.

Bob Williams, Chairmen of the Budget Committee, said he directed Favolise “not to think about spending too much money.”

Williams said that SLRP I was based almost entirely on higher student enrollment, which was a success. He said that Guilford has now reached maximum capacity, so SLRP II will not be able
to rely on funds that supported SLRP I.

Williams said that while it is useful for organizations to have strategic plans in order to change and evolve, the reality of any plan comes down to funding.

“Study abroad, January terms and internet portfolios are extremely expensive,” Williams said.

Williams said items that require consistent funding are faculty salaries, improving grounds and exploring how to make the entire campus wireless, all of which he said are incredibly expensive.

“Though it’s premature, I do not see significant revenue for SLRP II, or how we are going to raise money for many of the initiatives that are sure to be in the plan,” he said.

Williams felt that Guilford has a history of many well-meaning initiatives that have been half-funded.

However, Jack Zerbe, Professor of Theatre Studies and Chairmen of SLRP II’s subcommittee, said that no great ideas are born by assuming that they can’t be done.

“We have to dream big, then tether the dream down to the ground with reality,” he said.

Favolise said that students and faculty could expect SLRP II to start rolling out plans as early as October of this year.

“We will be delivering drafts of SLRP II initiatives to the Guilford community in a few weeks,” said Favolise.

Favolise said that once SLRP II is implemented, it will strengthen Guilford’s robust academic experience, making it a first-choice school.

With the SLRP II public forums concluded, Favolise said that the next step for the Guilford community is to review drafts of the plan that he will be delivering by email, the Buzz and the Beacon in the next few weeks.