College to decide where next year’s money will go

Annual operational planning is about to start for the coming academic school year at South Puget Sound Community College.

There are eight priorities on the list: the increasing student enrollment, student services, academic and learning support services, information system infrastructure, technology, marketing, administrative services, and institutional advancement.

College President Timothy Stokes said groups on campus will be asked about these priorities and what can be done to improve them during the meetings. He emphasized student success as being the overarching theme of the priorities.

For the 2012-2013 school year, the strategy for increasing student enrollment was to engage and retain students. The plan for enhancing student services was to empower the faculty and staff so they would want to improve student experiences at the school.

For the past school year, the administration planned to develop the Hawks Prairie campus, and to improve and update the technology at both campuses.

There was also the idea to rename the school, although that has not been put into place yet. The school wanted to increase funding from multiple sources for this past year.

By looking at these strategies, staff and faculty will brainstorm ideas for the coming school year and work to put them into place.

By the end of April 2013, the school plans to have all input gathered and reported. By the end of May, the president’s staff will finalize revenue and share it with the College Council. Then, the president’s staff will finalize the Operational Plan and Budget, aimed at improving their eight top priorities. In June, the board will adopt the budget for the coming year. In September, this information will be shared with all members of the school at the Fall Convocation.

The college still has to wait for the state legislature to pass a budget before they can know for sure what their budget will be.

The college will start a strategic planning process in the fall for the years 2014-2017. This is a new process for the college that is more comprehensive than the previous process, according to Stokes. “It is a significant change to our planning process, but one that will pay off in the long run,” he said.

Stokes said this year’s budget planning will influence next year’s, but that it’s too early to tell what exactly will change.