Georgia Perimeter College's interim president Rob Watts released a letter to the faculty and staff of GPC Friday, outlining his plan to get the college back on track after it was announced president Anthony Tricoli was stepping down and the college was facing a $16 million budget deficit. Watts' goal is to get the college back on budget for the Fiscal Year 2013 (which begins July 1).
Watts noted in his letter that his plan would likely be revised or refined as the school year progressed after more exact numbers come in from final revenue and expenditure amounts from summer semester and for fall and spring enrollment come in.
The main goal is the reduction of the FY13 budget that would eliminate the deficit and pay back the $9 million loan that GPC will receive in order to make it through the current fiscal year. Watts added that some of the changes that would be necessary to make in FY13 may be reconsidered in FY14 when it is expected that the school will be in better financial shape.
The goal is to reduce the college's operating expenses by $5.9 million. To do this, they will be: eliminating non-essential out-of-state travel and reducing in-state travel; reducing expenditures for supplies and materials, equipment purchases, library collection purchases and other operating expense categories to essential levels; delaying the replacement schedule for faculty and staff computers by a year; delaying a planned upgrade to our campus network by a year; scaling back convocation and other similar college-wide or campus-wide events; have SACS-qualified administrators, including the president, teach one or more courses this year; use the new revenue allocated by the Board of Regents for FY13 to reduce the deficit; eliminate vacant positions and continue the hiring freeze; reduce expenditures on part-time staff to essential levels; increase class sizes in order to reduce the number of small sections; on a temporary basis, adjust faculty workload from 5-4 to 5-5; reduce personnel costs by $10.7 million; review all of the college's current initiatives against its core mission/restructure organizational units/reduce full-time and part-time staffing.
"You will have noticed that I have not mentioned furloughs," reads Watts' letter. "I am holding furloughs as a last action if fall semester enrollment is substantially under current predictions. If at all possible, I want to avoid a second round of staff reductions in the case of an enrollment drop. I would prefer to use furloughs in that case. This means that all of us at the college should do everything possible over the summer to assist Student Affairs in the recruitment, admissions and registration efforts for fall semester."