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CLC facing $2.2 million 2-year budget shortfall

Central Lakes College, along with many colleges throughout the state and nation, is facing a budget shortfall. College leaders have committed to taking a long-term approach to position CLC for the future rather than just looking at the current ye...

Central Lakes College, along with many colleges throughout the state and nation, is facing a budget shortfall.

College leaders have committed to taking a long-term approach to position CLC for the future rather than just looking at the current year, CLC officials said in a news release. Considering tuition revenue, state allocation changes and estimated inflationary costs, CLC is facing a two-year budget shortfall of about $2.2 million.

The shortfall is largely caused by declining enrollment in recent years, a trend shared across the state and the nation. According to the 30-day Fall 2016 enrollment report, CLC enrollment has declined by 3.7 percent compared to last year, which is consistent with the Minnesota State system average decline of 3.5 percent.

To address these challenges, college leaders approached this repositioning by focusing on serving students and preserving faculty and staff positions. To this end, the college offered an optional retirement incentive program resulting in 15 voluntary full and partial retirements and three full-time employee reductions including faculty, staff and administration.

Other cost savings implemented include:

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• Elimination of vacant positions in nine academic and non-academic departments.

• Reduction of operational budgets by 5 percent in the 2017-2018 year.

• Evaluation of academic programs resulting in efficiencies in course offerings and strategies to enhance enrollment.

Although the changes will impact the entire college, core services and academic programs will not be adversely affected.

"CLC's commitment to students and our community has not been compromised in any way. These efforts will allow us to focus on the important work of serving students and investing in strategies for future growth through program enhancement, marketing, recruitment, retention and innovation," CLC President Hara Charlier stated in a news release.

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