WPR News
10:03 am
Fri May 22, 2009

Enrollment up as cuts come

Sheridan, Wy – The President of the Northern Wyoming Community College District says they're cutting budgets at a time when enrollment is rising dramatically. The district comprises Sheridan College, Gillette College, and Sheridan College Johnson County. President Kevin Drumm says the district is expecting to receive 10 percent less money from the state block grant next fiscal year. He says the district will be able to cut next year's budget by that 10 percent mostly by leaving positions unfilled, not hiring for new positions, and restricting travel. But he says, at the same time, enrollment is on the rise... which often happens during a recession.
"When the economy goes south, enrollments tend to go dramatically north, but our budgets also go south, so you can't keep up with the growth."
Drumm says it's sad that the colleges have to put on the brakes when students need them the most. The district will re-evaluate its budget in July. Drumm says tuition and fees only supply about 20 percent of the district's budget... so recent tuition and fee increases cannot make up for the budget cuts alone.