The Ivy Tech Community College Kokomo board of trustees Thursday approved a budget for the coming year that’s $1.2 million leaner than the year before.
Chancellor Steve Daily said the decreased state funding is due, in part, to declining enrollment. He said enrollment in the region has gone down 30 percent in the past three years.
But they’re cutting into an already bare-boned budget, he said.
It’s no secret that the Ivy Tech system as a whole is trying to cut costs wherever it can. The state’s community college system is $68 million in debt.
And all of the regional campuses are starting to feel the strain.
“We’re as skinny as we can get,” Daily told the trustees. “That makes me nervous.”
The Kokomo region received $18.67 million in state allocations for the 2013-2014 school year – down from $19.89 million the year before.
Eighty-eight percent of those allocations go toward salaries, wages and benefits.
Nearly $900,000 is set aside for supplies and equipment. That’s down nearly $300,000 from last year.
The region has budgeted $672,836 for facility leases in the coming year. That number, too, is down.
Daily said budget constraints have already forced the region to cut way back on professional development for its staff.
“We really squeezed professional development,” he said. “We have almost no out-of-state travel and minimized in-state travel.”
So far Ivy Tech hasn’t had to cut back on the financial support it offers to staff members who want to continue their education.
Daily said years ago he made a commitment to at least 150 staff members that he would help them raise their educational attainment level if they wanted to.
“These past couple of years, that’s been hard to do,” he said. “That’s another thing that’s in jeopardy if the budget doesn’t improve.”