LCSC budget: focus on sustainable future


Gracyn Richardson

LCSC president Dr. Cynthia Pemberton gives LCSC employees a detailed report of the 2019/2020 budget.

Trenton Bann, Assistant Editor

LCSC President Dr. Cynthia Pemberton addressed the drop in enrollment that LCSC experienced this year and laid out a plan for the future at an all-campus meeting Friday, Sept. 5.

Enrollment has fallen a bit, reflecting a national trend with higher education institutions. A strong economy has deterred those looking for post-secondary education as they choose to enter the workforce. International student enrollment is also down as interest in attending school in the United States has been affected by broader political issues.

The numbers weren’t all bad, however, as President Pemberton highlighted the increase in new student enrollment as year-over-year enrollment was up 7.3 percent compared to 2018’s 10-day enrollment numbers. Pemberton also mentioned that this was contrary to nationwide trends that have shown new student enrollment dropping.

These drops in enrollment have created a $1.6 million deficit at the 10-day enrollment deadline for the school. This is up from a reported $1.14 million deficit reported at the August all-campus meeting. This deficit remains despite a 5 percent increase in tuition and fees for the 2019-2020 school year that was passed by the Idaho State Board of Education in April 2019.

Pemberton was not without a plan to reduce the deficit as she laid out her “Implications & Action Plan” for fiscal years FY20 and FY21. Her proposal seeks to reduce costs incurred by the school through strategic hiring plans and increase the potential take of year-end carryover funds to 75 percent, as well as make a five percent reduction in support funds from departments on campus.

In Part 1 of her plan, Pemberton hopes to begin the road to recovering from the deficit. Part 2 of her plan is focused on building a sustainable future for LCSC.

Part 2 of Pemberton’s plan highlights outreach and retention in attracting more students to LCSC. Through the movement, coined “All Hands in with a Vengeance!” Pemberton plans to drive enrollment through increased outreach aided by staff engagement. She spoke about how postcards, calls, presentations and other outreach methods have helped to drive engagement and lead to higher enrollment numbers. This is an area of strength that is shown by the recent increase in first-time enrollments.

The rest of the plan details other ways that the college will begin recruiting and retaining students, such as: increasing adult learning opportunities for non-traditional and working students; enhancing resources available on campus for students like the Career Fair and Center for Student Leadership; and expanding emphasis on enrolling students in summer and spring semester courses.

President Pemberton ended the meeting by mentioning that LCSC has been “bucking the national trend” as summer enrollments, first-time enrollments and full capacity housing all beat the declining trends nationally. Before the meeting concluded President Pemberton told each faculty and staff member that this was only possible with their hard work and support and encouraged everyone to continue helping to grow the college.