Kari Dequine Harden
New Orleans bureau
October 31, 2012
New Orleans — Despite an annual increase in student enrollment over a five-year period, Delgado Community College’s fall 2012 numbers did not reach anticipated levels, Delgado spokesman Tony Cook said, forcing administrators to find ways to cut costs and boost enrollment.
A third of Delgado’s $90 million operating budget comes from the state; the rest falls under self-generated funds, primarily student tuition and fees.
In 2006, Delgado had an enrollment under 12,000, a number that has increased each year, reaching a record enrollment in the fall of 2011 with 20,452 students. But with only 18,115 enrolled this fall, the college is operating with a 14 percent budget deficit of approximately $13 million.
In preparation for a mid-November meeting with the Louisiana Board of Community and Technical Colleges, Cook said the school is currently looking for “better ways of doing business.” In addition to identifying areas to reduce spending, the “dramatic change in the source of funding” is requiring the college to “focus on revenue-generating strategies,” Cook said.
With new programs like the “We’re rolling out the red carpet for you!” initiative, Cook said the school is working on “innovative ways to meet students’ needs” by making sure the community is aware of Delgado’s offerings, and ensuring that it’s as simple as possible for students to apply for admission and enroll in classes.
Cook said the college always has been and will continue to be student focused, and he does not anticipate that this year’s drop in enrollment to continue. There is a high demand for what is offered at Delgado, Cook said, and the school will continue to move forward to meet the needs of the community.