Proration taking toll on LBW

Published 12:04 am Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Successive years of proration are beginning to take their toll at LBW Community College, its president said yesterday.

Dr. Herbert Riedel said that his school will lose a little more than $215,000 as a result of the education proration declared this week.

“When you add that to the prorations before and the next fiscal year, it adds up to 25 percent in cuts to the budget,” he said. “Thankfully, we’ve increased out enrollment 22 percent.”

Riedel said the school has been asking all college employees to perform at a higher level in order to continue to provide a quality education for the students and to accommodate growth in the student body..

“In the past three years since we’ve been in this phase of proration, we’ve increased class sizes, reduced scholarships and we haven’t purchased a new vehicle,” he said. “The higher enrollments have helped our revenues a little bit, but what you have to understand is that tuition covers only about a third of what it costs to educate the students.”

Riedel said that if the college is faced with more serious cuts from this point on, the only way to continue to function is to make cuts to programs and services or find alternative revenue sources.

Additionally, possible cuts at the federal level to the Pell Grant program could affect the 70 percent of LBWCC students who use these grants to pay for college.

“The community college provides a fabulous value and we have a great product,” Riedel said. “Even in the midst of all these cuts, we have been able to start a new honors program and have a math emporium. We are doing things that are continuing to improve and benefit the college, but we are really at a point where we are not at a sustainable level of funding.”

Riedel said he does not want to eliminate any program because of the important role they play within the community.

“We’ve had a lot of cuts, but we’re making good use of taxpayers’ money,” he said.