In recent years the majority of California community colleges evaluated for re-accreditation received sanctions requiring documented improvement in the integration of college planning and budgeting processes. This study explores the challenges colleges face and the best practices utilized by successful colleges in implementing integrated processes. A meta-analysis of the literature finds that a failure to become proficient in process integration threatens a college's ability to thrive in an environment of constant change and revenue volatility. Weak linkages between planning outcomes and resource allocation can undermine the college climate and culture, and cause the college community to begin to withdraw from participation in the process. The research indicates that transformative leadership skills, as well as strong financial competencies, are needed to successfully guide a college through process implementation and continuous improvement. However, many leaders feel underprepared for the task and are averse to instituting change or funding new programs and services in a rapidly changing environment.
Both college leaders and the planning process can benefit from the information provided by a strengthened institutional research function and a regular environmental scan that includes economic and demographic variables, and those factors known to influence the college funding stream. Revenue projections subsequently developed may enable the construction of differing planning scenarios linked to forecasted changes in the revenue stream. To examine the primary influences on California general fund allocations to community colleges, a quantitative research study was conducted on longitudinal data series spanning the years 1965-2010. The researched constructed a series of bivariate and step-wise hierarchical regressions to evaluate the predictive ability of a set of economic and demographic variables to predict the behavior of California community college general fund allocations. Results indicated that the strongest predictors of California general fund allocations to community colleges were (a) general fund disbursements to K-12 education and to the Department of Health and Human Services, and (b) Standard & Poor's general obligation bond rating for the state of California.
|School:||California State University, Fullerton|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||DAI-A 74/01(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Community college education, Education finance, Educational leadership, Education Policy, Higher education|
|Keywords:||Budgeting, Forecasting, Institutional research, Integrated planning, Leadership, Revenue|
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