College Money a Secret?

By Alan Frey

Part-Time Faculty Association Sponsors Discussion by Expert

Sometimes the best kept secret in a community college involves money ­ where it comes from and where it goes. Despite the recent trend in shared governance the budget remains a mystery to the college community in general.

Budgets seem to be mired in the netherworld, a place where mortals, faculty and the students fear to tread.

But community college budgets are really quite simple documents to decipher. In practice a college budget is no more complicated than the common household budget. There is income, outgo and what is not spent is savings. The real trick to understanding the college budget is to simply get the right facts from the right sources, and apply the arithmetic procedures of addition and subtraction.

While budget managers would have you believe that the principles involved in a college budget are too complex for the layman the reality is quite the opposite. The college budget is simply a layered affair. Income comes from basically four sources - savings, federal, state and local sources. Each of these components is comprised of a series of layers that come from a variety of sources. For instance state money can come from a cost of living adjustment, block grants, lottery and a host of others but they are still state income. The same layering occurs with the other income sources but combined they simply spell income.

As with everything else in life, what you don't know about the budget may hurt you!

Watch Mr. Frey's lecture, and learn the basics of budget analysis. His discussion of the College budget process and realities, presented in the College Board Room on May 15, 1997, will aired on Mountain Valley Public Access TV, (cable channel 3 in Ukiah). Check their schedule. Planned showings at 9:00 pm on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, May 21 - 23rd.


Copyright Mendocino College Eagle 1997
Permission granted to excerpt or use this article if source is cited.

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