President Introduces Task Force to Review Financial Decisions by Anthony Viola
Vincent Boudreau, president of the City College of New York, held a town hall earlier this month to discuss the findings of a new task force created to examine the college’s ongoing financial crisis. The group is looking at funding for budgets year-over-year, and reviewing the financial decisions that led to the college’s $11 million debt.
President Boudreau’s presentation clarified the structure of the task force and its sub-committees. The main task force consists of the college’s eight deans, eight nominated faculty members from each division, and four senior staff members. The sub-committees include some members of the task force and other college representatives pertinent to the sub-committee’s goals.
The “financial sub-committee” produces fiscal reports, which offer a history of the budget. The “academic sub-committee” reviews the cost efficiency of each division. Student success and student support sub-committees include input from student leaders.
According to Boudreau, the finance sub-committee pointed to instability in the funding sources. Some years, the college relies more heavily on state funding; other years tuition plays a larger role. Yet, the total amount spent roughly the same amount of money each year. “Over the last three to four years, the structural deficit between what we need to spend and what we get from the state and from tuition is about consistently $8 million,” stated Boudreau.
Previously the dean of the Colin Powell School, Boudreau feels that members of the college are “missing an opportunity” if they are not pressing state and elected officials for additional dollars for CUNY. “I don’t believe it would be inappropriate to encourage your students to at least voice their opinion to their elected officials on this matter,” he said.
Earlier in the week, City College students travelled to Albany for a conference. They spoke with their representatives about the funding dilemma in higher education.
Boudreau believes that there won’t be a “miraculous” change in state funding. He expressed his support for philanthropic investment in CCNY, expecting that more outside donations will affect the funding structure in three years. He also stressed that the college needs to advertise itself as a center for social mobility.
While he intends to release all reports from the task force, Boudreau also expects to make several decisions to help resolve the college’s debt. “We’re not at a point where we can trim our way out of this, and we probably, realistically, haven’t been at that point for a number of years,” he explained. “If this is a systematic part of our lives at City College, we have to think our way out of it.”
Additional reporting by: Katie Herchenroeder