You are the vice president of administrative services at a local community college. Your revenue sources are as follows:
- Local property taxes: 55 percent.
- State formula-based allocations: 20 percent.
- Auxiliary operations on campus: 6 percent.
- Tuition and fees: 19 percent.
In the past two years, you have depleted reserves to the board policy minimum of 6 percent, while the state allows a minimum of 5 percent. Your state has just announced that your state allocation will be reduced by half in the coming year. Most of the newly elected board has vowed not to raise the local levy even though your levy is considerably below the legal maximum of 1.5 mills: 1.50 dollars per 1,000 dollars of assessed valuation. Due to the recent recession and tax increases, levy would be a very risky proposition, and any recommendation to the board to increase the levy would be controversial. In addition, you have raised tuition 25 percent over the past five years and any increase would likely be opposed by most of the board and the students.
The faculty and staff unions have just opened negotiations, requesting similar increases in their salaries and benefits. No increase in salary or benefits has been given in the past two years and both groups are asking for a 3 percent cost of living adjustment (COLA) and for the college to cover the full cost of health insurance for employees and their families.
Hoping to avoid alienating the new board members, the president has asked you to prepare a recommendation for the board that includes a 10 percent budget reduction. You must recommend across-the-board cuts or target reductions. What would you suggest, and why?