The following budget information for Central Oregon Community College was prepared by the COCC Fiscal Service Office. Additional information is available upon request.
Current Budget Information
COCC Budget Report
- COCC Budget 2013-14 (pdf)
- COCC Audit 2013 (pdf)
- Previous Budget and Audit Reports
2013-14 Budget Message
- Dr. James Middleton, President
The budget development period is a time to evaluate the current year while forecasting for the coming year. The 2012/13 budget performance at COCC has been positive in spite of several challenges, including experiencing the first enrollment decline since 2006/07. We began with Summer 2012 which remained fiscally strong as well as a strong teaching/learning initiative, despite a slight decrease in projected enrollment. Beyond that, important elements of COCC operations were expanded through the 2012/13 budget including additional faculty, a new Veterinary Technician program, expanded student success initiatives and expansion of information technology infrastructure. This year has also brought the opening of our new signature Health Careers and Science Centers. Now in their second year of operation, Madras and Prineville Campuses continue to perform well and assist in serving the broader community. While these facilities are positive new assets, they bring, anticipated yet significant ongoing utilities, custodial and other operational costs.
Most significant for the current year, Fall and Winter terms produced enrollment nearly 3 percent below the projected level, reducing tuition and fee revenue. This decline must be taken seriously as national trends indicate community college enrollment has peaked and several of our Oregon sister colleges have experienced double digit enrollment declines this year. Significant enrollment declines can be disruptive to the institution and will have to be monitored closely next year.
In addition to enrollment uncertainties, 2013/14 will bring additional budgetary challenges. On the positive side, the State economy is improving and the Governor has recommended a Community College Support Fund allocation of $428 million. This is up from the $395 million of the past biennium, but still well below the $500 million in 2007/08. Statewide and locally, property tax revenues are slowly rebounding which can provide additional income in the coming biennium. While increased State funding at the $428 million level is critical and welcomed, PERS and medical insurance increases consume virtually all of this increase, meaning that any other expanded allocations can only be covered through tuition and fee increases. COCC continues to struggle to expand faculty, support staff, technology and other resources to accommodate our dramatic enrollment growth over the past five years.
A broad array of PERS reform proposals are under consideration by the Oregon Legislature. Reforms could significantly reduce COCC’s annual PERS costs, yet we do not anticipate any clarity on such changes until the end of the Legislative session. The Governor and new Chief Education Officer have prioritized moving from funding distributed solely based on enrollment - to funding at least partially driven by outcomes. As we construct the 2013/14 Budget, we cannot be certain if such changes will occur or the date at which these changes will first impact funding distribution.
The result of all of these variables is that the 2013/14 resources and demands are more challenging to project than in recent years. In response, the General Fund Budget Proposal being presented to the Budget Committee is responsively conservative yet still flexible.
Internally, we are still working on “catching” up with our enrollment. As a result, the various departments submitted about $3 million in proposed new positions and programs for next year. Only 26 percent of requested budget augmentations were approved by the President’s Executive Team, with significant additional proposals contingent on positive results in the factors outlined above. Administration is requesting a budget with sufficient spending authority to support moderately positive results from the factors outlined above; however, administration will put a substantial number of these expenditures “on hold” until Legislative, State funding and enrollment factors are clarified. Additionally, one-time transfers will be identified which could buffer revenue declines. If a substantial number of the factors turn negative, there will be additional pressure on the 2013/14 budget.
While COCC projects continued tuition and fee increases, we anticipate our in-district costs for students will remain near the lowest in the state. The College hopes to be able to moderate future tuition increases, if State funding can reach appropriate levels and/or if substantial PERS reform can reduce long-term obligations.
COCC is particularly challenged due to the stagnation of property tax revenue and declining State funding while our enrollment has exploded. In 2007, we projected that by 2012/13, COCC would receive more than $4,100 in combined total public resources (State revenue + property taxes) per FTE. We are now projecting only slightly more than $2,500 per student. This shift has required COCC to be more cost efficient and has had significant impact on some of our services to students and the community. Fortunately, COCC’s history of conservative fiscal planning and efficient operations have sustained the institution well in this challenging period and placed the institution in a position relatively better than most other regional community colleges.
That said, the challenges are significant - COCC faculty and staff truly “stepped up” over the past few years to meet an extraordinary demand for educational services. With significant growth, it is important to continue to increase staffing and other expenditures to maintain quality and respond to demand.
The 2012/13 Budget included strategic annual transfers from non-general funds to the general fund. This strategy strengthened the 2012/13 Budget and still maintained long-term viability of those non-general funds. The 2013/14 Budget proposes similar transfers.
The non-general funds are adequate for medium-range sustainability; however, we must carefully monitor facility repair and upgrade, preventative maintenance, capital equipment and other funds which may create long-term challenges if funded insufficiently in the short-term.
COCC remains a strong operational and fiscally sound institution. We have weathered the economic challenges better than most other Oregon community colleges. At the same time, we must understand that compromises forced by the economic crisis have spread resources thin, in some cases diminished serves to students and community and created significant long-term challenges. While not certain, we believe our sound fiscal planning and an improving economic environment can support reinvestment in our educational excellence over the long term. If a substantial number of factors turn negative, there will be additional pressure on the 2013-14 budget and beyond.
The proposed 2013-14 budget includes new faculty positions, increased student recruitment and student support initiatives, increased instructional support, increased IT support, and increased facilities support. The proposed budget increases were identified as necessary and critical to serve students and staff. Although challenged over the long-term horizon, the proposed 2013-14 budget maintains a reserve above the Board mandated 10% level.
Dr. James Middleton, President
Budget Committee Meeting
March 13, 2013
Archived Budget Information
COCC Budget Reports for Previous Years
- COCC Budget 2012-13 (pdf)
- COCC Budget 2011-12 (pdf)
- COCC Budget 2010-11 (pdf)
- COCC Budget 2009-10 (pdf)
COCC Audits for Previous Years
- COCC Audit 2012 (pdf)
- COCC Audit 2011 (pdf)
- COCC Audit 2010 (pdf)
- COCC Audit 2009 (pdf)
- COCC Audit 2008 (pdf)
- COCC Audit 2007 (pdf)
Additional budget information is available upon request by contacting the Fiscal Services office.
COCC Fiscal Services
Phone: (541) 383-7220
Fiscal Services Web