By JABRIA WEBB
We’re all aware of the recent changes taking place here at Georgetown College. Many are worried about what the financial cutbacks will mean for the students, faculty and staff. With the rising cost of tuition and the dwindling freshmen class sizes, many of us are wondering what exactly the administration will do to balance out these deficits.
This situation is not at all unique to Georgetown College. Institutions of higher education across the country are feeling the backlash of the economic downturn that began under the Bush administration.
Macroeconomic conditions have put pressure on traditional revenue sources, such as tuition, state appropriations and federal spending on financial aid. With lowering family incomes, it has become difficult for many families to meet the tuition costs to send their students to college, resulting in lower class sizes.
The fiscal environment has also made it unlikely that an increase in federal and state aid will take place in the near future. (I’m sure many of us felt the sting of the discontinuation of certain government programs such as the Academic Competitiveness Grant.) With this current situation, many institutions are finding themselves in predicaments very similar to that of Georgetown College.
So what does this mean for us? The challenge that Georgetown is facing is to find a way to reduce its budget while ensuring that the student experience remains fully supported. So far some staff positions have been trimmed and some functions have been consolidated.
The college also decided not to fill a few positions that were vacated when staff members moved on to other jobs. As of yet, no faculty positions have been trimmed.
The Board of Trustees will be meeting on Jan. 25 to make final decisions on the financial situation of Georgetown College, after which we here at The Georgetonian will be sure to bring you updates on what is in store for the future of our college.