CWC Preparing for Imminent Decline in Budget of Perhaps $2-million

(Riverton, Wyo.) - In an effort to prepare for anticipated revenue reductions due to the economic downturn and a decline in local property valuation, administrators at Central Wyoming College have engaged in a rigorous process to evaluate worst case, midpoint and best case scenarios for the college. After the recent budget session of the Wyoming Legislature, most if not all state agencies are preparing for a decrease in funding sources. CWC’s predicted reduction could be as much as $2 million in the upcoming year, according to a news release from the college. “We want to ensure that we are positioning the college for future growth and reducing costs in areas that are least likely to negatively affect student success,” said Cris Valdez, CWC president. “We have evaluated several initiatives and strategies submitted from employees throughout the organization that will result in cost savings while maintaining our commitment to student success initiatives that will increase completion, persistence and opportunities for enrollment growth.” Cost containment approaches, such as increasing class sizes and reducing overtime are currently being implemented. Each department is carefully evaluating expenditures for opportunities to save operational costs, according to the news release. In addition, open positions due to retirements or reallocation of staff are being evaluated for opportunities to combine duties, create efficiencies and save dollars across the organization. “A cross functional employee budget task force, with representatives from all employee groups, was created in December that resulted in more than 90 ideas that were submitted by employees in areas of revenue generation, increased efficiencies and cost savings,” said Ron Granger, vice president of administrative services. “Everyone on campus is trying to prepare for this while maintaining our long term focus on supporting student success and serving our communities.” Ideas submitted were across the board, from digitizing forms to save printing costs to right-sizing programs and course offerings to ensure sustainability. Currently the college is developing a three to five year strategic plan. “During times of reduction, it is necessary for us to ensure we are focused on our most significant priority, student success. In the upcoming weeks, we will be collecting information from students, faculty, employees and community members to help us construct a plan that will benefit CWC and ensure its sustainability,” said Louisa Hunker, who is leading the process. “The CWC cabinet has been striving diligently for nearly five months to find solutions for the budget shortfalls and to right-size the college. In an effort to keep employees apprised of the issues and our decisions moving forward, I have provided weekly updates to the college community since Thanksgiving. We are confident that while these are challenging times and difficult decisions, we are preserving the future of the college for years to come,” said Valdez. #county10 #news