Alabama community college officials blank on merger cost saving details
- A proposed merger of several community colleges in Alabama has many wondering what the actual cost savings will be for the state, in the absence of any data or reports outlining specific details.
- System officials say administrative costs are likely to be consolidated, including salaries from five eliminated campus presidencies.
- The state’s community college system has spent more than $300,000 on consultation related to the proposed consolidations.
Many states are considering mergers to spur greater spending efficiency in higher education, but several reports and studies suggest the proposed savings in salary and program offerings typically reveal themselves in other areas, such as increased appropriations for campuses and programs which receive more enrollment as a result of consolidation.
College leaders facing consolidation efforts should engage their community members, businesses, vendors and other financial entities, to make the case for their economic impact on a city and region through student, faculty and staff spending. Additionally, schools should always look to pair their degree offerings with local and state industries to demonstrate that any consolidation could upset a delicate balance of workforce development and academic benefit to an immediate area.
- Opelika-Auburn News System: No cost studies on community college consolidations