All-campus budget committee emphasizes long-term planning

by Robert Lyons, staff writer

Simpson’s All-Campus Budget Committee presented their suggestions for and findings about Simpson’s budget for FY16 and beyond at a series of open meetings held the week prior to Spring Break. Not surprisingly, many of the suggestions emphasized fiscal responsibility and efficiency.

Among the goals of the Committee are the creation of a three-year budget plan to be updated on a regular basis and getting more campus involvement in the budgeting process. While the Committee believes the budget must be balanced and based on Simpson’s mission statement and strategic plan, it must also be sustainable, transparent and responsive to changing environments.

Suggestions and ideas of the Committee addressed a wide range of issues concerning Simpson’s budget. One suggestion is to create 3 budget models for each year: one where the College hits its predicted enrollment numbers, one where its 20 students short and one where it receives 20 more students than expected.

In addition, the Committee hopes to prioritize the college’s expenditures and determine which programs and positions are essential to the college’s core operations. This will help college administration to determine where money should be distributed and where, if necessary, things should be cut.

Furthermore, the Committee suggested the addition of two new lines to the campus budget. The first is a “rainy day fund” to help cover and offset modest enrollment dips whenever they occur. The second is a “capital projects” line for campus improvements like the Pedestrian Plaza. Encouraging long-term planning is the Committee’s goal in proposing these two new line items.

The Committee will present further findings and suggestions later this semester at another series of open meetings. Dates and locations for those meetings are yet to be announced.