Budget Update: Faculty Proposed Remedies

February 25, 2014 News

As reported last week, Rollins College has a four million dollar deficit. Assistant Vice President of Finance for the college, Bill Short, explained to that reporter, Micah Bradley ’17, that no extensive budget changes or cuts would be needed–each department just needed to cut spending by 3-6 percent.

At a recent faculty colloquium, faculty members proposed possible solutions to the schools’ debt in order to avoid these cuts. As said by Bill Short to reporter Micah Bradley ’17 after the colloquium,* “The faculty are trying to be involved in the process.  They’ve come up with some suggestions for cuts and revenue enhancements.  These would be to avoid the 3-6 percent cuts.” An article is being developed that will attempt to identify what that 3-6 percent would actually mean for individual departments.

Many of these ideas for “cuts and revenue enhancements” directly impact students.

SGA will be holding a meeting this Wednesday at 7 p.m. in Bieberbach-Reed for students to voice their opinion on these proposed ideas and to propose alternative ways to reduce the college’s deficit. Everyone is welcome to attend and speak.

Faculty-proposed budget cuts and revenue generating ideas are listed below. These ideas do not represent the views of the  faculty as a whole but were proposed by at least one faculty member. Ideas repeated multiple times have the number of times they were recommended listed beside them.

Impacts Students

  • New programs. Develop new graduate, certificate, and 3/2 programs in high-growth areas, possibly including Microsoft certification courses or similar professional certificates (recommended 2 times, 3/2 specifically recommended 4 times)
  • Parking cost increase. A few options were provided here: Raise parking fees for students only because  “many of Rollins’ employees provide excellent service for low pay, and it would be an injustice to charge them for parking as well.”; Auction Off Parking Spots: “On campus parking would all require paid permits, whether for faculty, staff, students, or visitors with the exception of spots set aside as handicap and 15 minute drop off. The garage would be free parking. Students (and any interested administrators or faculty) would bid for spots. I believe among the 30% full payers we have many students who would pay a couple $1000/year for a guaranteed spot. The highest bidder would pick his/her spot, it would be duly reserved with his/her name for the duration of the semester. I am serious about this suggestion. Next highest bidder then selects a spot – any spot outside of the garage is eligible.”; Raise parking fees for all: “$70 a year is a ridiculously low amount for a parking permit. We should consider increasing the fee to at least $100/year, but such a low priced decal only provides a spot in the garage. Then Rollins would offer optional reserve spots for $2000/year. (In fact, reserve parking might command an even higher amount. The University of California system charges $1000/quarter for parking so this is not as outlandish as it might seem.)  Students then could select the location of their reserved spots, and the spot would be painted reserved with the accompanying license plate or decal number.” (each idea recommended by a different faculty member)
  • Study abroad limitation & cost increases. Limit number of study abroad programs affiliated with the college (the ones that college scholarships cover). Make students pay cost differences for more expensive study abroad programs.  Charge for plane tickets for study abroad. (each idea recommended by a different faculty member)
  • Remove scholarships. Remove full ride scholarship program – “In my opinion, Rollins does not receive enough value added from the small pool of students to justify such a significant investment.  In fact, I have found many of our regular students to be more impressive in the classroom and on campus.  This is not to say that many of the Cornell and Alfond students do not or have not contributed to campus life.  My point is the program has not contributed $1.5 – $2M of value over a 4-year period.” (recommended 2 times)
  • Summer school courses. Expand summer school courses. (recommended 2 times)
  • Re-evaluate every program. Establish a “priority and planning committee” that decides for every academic program whether the school should “grow it, status quo, shrink, or kill it.”
  • Eliminate majors. Calculate tuition contributions of each faculty member of department based on number of students taught. Departments that have low contributions should be evaulated on whether to continue the major. Calculate the cost per student for each major based on the number of faculty and their salaries and weed out the most expensive.
  • Reduce mental health services provided to students. “There is tremendous need for this (I know), but is it the college’s responsibility to provide unlimited mental health services to students? Are we (and could we ever) be equipped/trained to handle the needs that come through the door? Could we serve as a sort of triage service instead?”
  • Make students pay for amenities. Change the cost structure at Rollins: reduce overall tuition and amount of scholarships received (from $42,000 to (perhaps) $25,000, scholarships from $25,000 to $5,000);  price a la carte options for students, possibly furthering to lower the tuition price (including wellness and academic counseling, success coaching, tutoring, student affairs, fitness center, pool, recreation classes, sports teams, career services, external scholarship assistance, IT services); student offenders pay a fee for any meeting of social and academic judicial boards that finds them responsible;
  • Maymester course increase. Allow students to take more classes during Maymester.
  • Create winter term. Change academic calendar to create a 3-4 week winter term.
  • Charge more for higher $ faculty. Charge an additional fee when students take courses from faculty members in which higher salaries are paid (INB and business).
  • Intercession. Charge for intercession.
  • Cut OMA. “Controversial suggestion:  Are we going to have an Office of Multicultural Affairs forever?  At what point can we claim success in this area and move on?  It appears we have a number of committees that are on top of this issue.  (Feel free to hit delete on this one if you want!  I hesitate to even suggest it….)”
  • PE requirement. Eliminate PE requirement for graduation of charge a lot more for more expensive courses.
  • Charge for printing. Charge students for printing. Bill it as a “green initiative.”
  • Save energy. Start dorm energy competitions.
  • Charge for students taking more classes. Charge for any hours above 20 in a semester.
  • Free t-shirts. Get rid of free t-shirts.
  • WPRK. Sell license of WPRK.
  • Campus events. Reduce number of sponsored on-campus events.
  • Graduate programs. Develop interdisciplinary graduate programs.

Impacts Faculty 

  • Faculty 5+ Program. Remove 5+ faculty program.
  • Do not replace faculty. Take a closer look at replacing retired faculty members in small, declining, and unstable majors (recommended 2 times).
  • Tenure track faculty in Holt. Reduce number of TT faculty teaching in Holt.
  • Faculty stipends. Regulate faculty stipends for advisory duties.
  • Sabbatical. Make sabbatical releases based on job performance.
  • Food for faculty. Stop catering faculty committee meetings.
  • Endowment raising. Involve faculty in endowment raising.
  • Shrink amount for candidate interviews. Cap the amount spent on meals for candidate interviews.
  • BSE faculty. Don’t hire two new BSE faculty.
  • Minimum number of students. Require each faculty member to teach a minimum number of students no matter how many courses they teach.

Impacts Structure

  • Remove administration. Removing administrative and staff positions, particularly redundant ones or ones affiliated with CPS and/or VP of Student Affairs and Dean of Students (recommended 5 times)
  • Combine offices. Combine college marketing offices, internship offices, student records offices, and admissions offices (recommended 2 times).
  • Reduce business majors.  Reduce number of business majors (recommended 2 times).
  • Structure Systems. Get rid of separate structures for A&S, CPS, Holt, and Crummer.
  • Reduce costs of Crummer. Cut administrators, reduce faculty, increase contribution from Crummer.
  • Shrink the school overall. Including students, faculty, staff–to focus on quality and narrowing focus.
  • Re-evaluate budget: Hire retired presidents to evaluate Rollins’ budget and quality and provide a report.

Impacts Operations 

  • Lower air conditioning. Lower air conditioning usage (in Hauck Hall specifically or across campus) (recommended 2 times).
  • Office phones. Remove office phone lines from faculty/staff who do not use them.
  • Stop mowing. Stop mowing the lawn every day.
  • Stop beautification. Do not beautify campus anymore.
  • Lease event space. Promote leasing our rooms and event spaces more.

Impacts other 

  • Winter Park Institute. Close or cut back Winter Park Institute: “What was originally touted as an opportunity for faculty and students to mingle with ‘luminaries’ has turned into a series of free shows for the public, whose seating takes precedence over faculty anyway.” Charge non-Rollins attendees for WPI events.  (recommended 6 times)
  • SESE. Close SESE.
  • Realign funding with high-impact programs. “A low-budget example that seems relevant here is the Student Leadership Ally program. While beneficial, could this program (which involves 2-3 advisory meetings between a student leader and a faculty or staff ally) do without an end of the year banquet?”
  • Campus climate surveys. Conduct campus climate surveys and assessment reports internally.
  • Senior Home. Co-develop a senior residential community.

Feb. 25 2:15 p.m. – Word ” impacts” added before topic areas for clarity.

Feb. 27 12:30 p.m. -Added clearer quote attribution to Bill Short for clarity.

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4 Comments

  1. Meghan Thomas February 25, 2014 at 3:58 pm

    As a (proud) alum, I want to say how horrified I am by some of the suggestions offered by the faculty. While I found in my personal experience that the faculty I interacted with most and consider to be mentors were very concerned about students’ need and were in general student-centered educators, this list makes me doubt that this experience replicates across the college.

    First, look how many of their suggestions impact students (negatively), as opposed to the number of suggestions that impact faculty. Was it so long ago that the faculty were young people with specific needs? I am disappointed.

    Second, I’d like to point out that several of their suggestions are directly detrimental to Rollins’ underrepresented students. To cut OMA would be an outrage. This office directly serves poor students and students of color, who often feel marginalized and oppressed in general, but also specifically at Rollins. The programs, support, and culturally-based student organizations housed at OMA have improved quality of life for many of Rollins’ most needy students, including myself. OMA quite literally changed my life, and contributed more to my success as a person, professional, and educator, than Rollins in general.

    Also, to cut mental health services would be a travesty. I now attend the University of Miami, which does not give unlimited free mental health services. They are now doing a campus climate survey to address the high amount of mental health and suicide issues. If there was free, unlimited mental health services for students, the administration would probably not now be sitting around, scratching their heads wondering why they’re students aren’t happy.

    CAPS at Rollins, like OMA, contributed greatly to my success. Rollins was proud to promote me and my face as a marketing tool when I was the only recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship from Rollins in 2011. But it wasn’t only the first-class education I received at Rollins that led to my Fulbright Scholarship, nor my acceptance to both a Master’s and a PhD program. It was also the support I received from necessary and integral student services.

    I often brag about the fabulous services at Rollins, and would be extremely disheartened to see them reduced. This can only harm students.

  2. Lauren Silvestri February 25, 2014 at 5:04 pm

    There is absolutely no reason to eliminate and sell WPRK’s license. It’s one of the more popular student organizations, one of the oldest organizations on campus, and involves the local community more so than any other student organization. Other college students envy the opportunity Rollins students have to work at WPRK, because it is one of the only 24 hour, FM college radio stations left in the country. Selling WPRK would cause an outrage in the Winter Park and Orlando communities.

  3. Trevor Thomas February 27, 2014 at 2:03 am

    Recommend implementing Lean Six Sigma process improvement projects to map all processes across each department, identify waste in all forms, conduct root cause analysis and make recommendations to change policy. Make incremental changes, reassess, and continue to improve each process.

    From an economics/business approach, collect data to determine true price elasticity of demand for all revenue-producing products and services offered at Rollins (tuition, room and board, athletic event tickets, merchandise, food service, etc). Once established for each good/service, adjust prices to optimized levels. Charging more may generate less revenue than charging less depending on what the present state position is along (or under) the curve.

  4. Eric Benjamin February 27, 2014 at 11:52 am

    Wow, many of these are better ideas than calling me while I still am paying off student loans and asking me for alumni donations. A number of faculty suggestions reflect how Rollins could actually benefit by being more frugal. Free t-shirts? Free meals during committee meetings? Just giving sabbaticals away regardless of job performance?

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