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College of Arts and Sciences works with more realistic budget numbers

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All in good time. That is the mentality Pacific University’s College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) is carrying with them as they look toward future budgets.

Recent reductions to operating funds are still on the minds of those modeling the 2019-20 budget. As the College of Arts and Sciences Dean Sarah Phillips explained, forming budgets involves looking at both the past and future.

“Budgets for next year are being planned now, and as we go into next year the sorts of things we look at include student enrollment. Will it be the same as this year, fewer, or more? And we try to figure all that out.” Phillips said.

CAS will therefore have the difficult task of addressing this year’s possible financial challenges. These challenges are becoming all too familiar to universities across the nation: enrollment and on-campus students.

Projecting something as complex as enrollment and its consequent dollar amount is not an easy task.

Critical analysis of how many students are graduating high school and desiring a higher degree, how many actually want to attend Pacific after being accepted and financial aid packages all come into play.

Thanks to last year’s more realistic and conservative projection for student body numbers, Pacific benefited from being just slightly above their budget target for 2018-19 academic school year in this regard.

While an inflation of transfer students did occur this year, another is not expected given this influx was primarily brought on by university closures.

Student body numbers are a consistent battle each year, expected and dealt with as the year unravels.

However, the issue of under filled dormitories is a fairly new one for CAS to think and act upon.

Dormitory payments contribute to revenue, but with many rooms left empty an unanticipated sticky situation presents itself to be dealt with under the 2019-2020 budget.

This is compounded by the availability of new and decently priced apartments cropping up in the Forest Grove area.

CAS will be looking more strategically at housing this year given an increasing number of local students attending the university.

“We believe in that residential college experience and the stuff that happens between your classes. It’s a very different experience than living off campus,” Phillips said.

Conversations of how to make living on campus more appealing have already started to up hold these collegiate values.

While it is not an easy task, Dean Phillips and the rest of CAS are optimistic and ready to start their tactical budget planning.

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