Decline in student enrollment, budget cuts follow at area college

Decline in student enrollment, budget cuts follow at area college

POCAHONTAS, Ark. (KAIT) - The Black River Technical College’s enrollment of students sometimes fluctuate; a dip in enrollment has led the college to make a 10 percent budget cut.

With fewer students on campus, President Martin Eggensperger says the school shouldn’t spend as much money.

The college has asked their faculty to look at their own spending money and adjust accordingly.

“Each department is finding these places where they can pull,” he says. “It’s all across the board but it’s mostly on the operations costs, and how we can operate more efficiently.”

He says the faculty has jumped on board and acted proactively.

“They’ve already found some places where they can do this,” he says. “Rather than do a big, hard mandate, we’ve asked them to come up with solutions and they have been very good at that.”

A new procedure on campus analyzes enrollment before officials finalize a budget.

Eggensperger says the college looks at student enrollment and then chooses one of three budgets.

BRTC creates a decrease, same and increased budgets, depending on the enrollment.

“We’re really building three budgets in one and all of that groundwork is done before the fall semester comes so when it does come, we look at our enrollment and choose the right budget,” he says. “Hopefully, we won’t ever have this need to cut again. We’re building it that way.”

In addition to changes on campus, BRTC’s secondary center’s changes in Paragould keep moving forward.

The center allows Greene County high school students to get a jump start on their education, and it’s free.

“All of these things we’re working on to make sure they have a head start, they can graduate high school with a certificate of proficiency in those areas and get a great paying job, and not have to leave the county and go somewhere else," Eggensperger said.

Eggensperger says this improvement is the first of its kind in Greene County.

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