Press "Enter" to skip to content

Community college budget reporting requires effort

State law requires Michigan community colleges to disclose certain financial information, like their budgets. Failure to disclose the required information can result in the state withholding 10% of the institution’s state funding. State law actually prescribes the information that institutions must publish, and some community colleges do a much better job of it than others do. The table below has links to each community college budget reporting site.

Community College
Alpena Community College
Bay de Noc Community College
CS Mott Community College
Delta College
Glen Oaks Community College
Gogebic Community College
Grand Rapids Community College
Henry Ford College
Jackson College
Kalamazoo Valley Community College
Kellogg Community College
Kirtland Community College
Lake Michigan College
Lansing Community College
Macomb Community College
Mid Michigan College
Monroe County Community College
Montcalm Community College
Muskegon Community College
North Central Michigan College
Northwestern Michigan College
Oakland Community College
Schoolcraft College
Southwestern Michigan College
St Clair County Community College
Wayne County Community College District
Washtenaw Community College
West Shore Community College

Community college budget process is insulting to the taxpayers

The Washtenaw Community College budget process is very opaque, compared to some other Michigan community colleges – like Oakland Community College, for example. OCC has taken the time to explain in great detail all elements of its budget and financial projections for upcoming years. Delta College takes a similar approach.

Lansing Community College doesn’t go into the same level of detail as OCC and Delta do, but LCC provides significant information about its operating budget. On the other hand, WCC provides only the minimum information necessary to comply with the letter of the law.

And therein lies the problem. WCC depends on public funding for more than two-thirds of its annual budget. In exchange for that $80M, the public deserves more than a one-pager when it comes to budget transparency and reporting. We deserve to know in detail how WCC plans to spend our money. Anything less is a deliberate insult to the taxpayers.

During the sham of a “budget hearing” that the Board conducts before adopting a budget, no one on the Board raised any concerns about spending $0.25 per square foot on campus maintenance. The Trustees expressed no concern that this de minimis level of budgetary support for a critical function was recklessly deficient. And this is not the first year that this Administration has practically vacated the maintenance budget. This is now standard operating procedure for this Administration.

The lift station failure has not only revealed deficiencies in campus maintenance, but also the deficiencies in the Administration’s approach to budgeting and the Trustees’ approach to oversight. Redesigning the sanitary system will fix only one of these failures. The Trustees must address both the Administration’s failures and their own refusal to hold the Administration accountable for its gross negligence.

Washtenaw County residents deserve much better than this. We deserve an Asset Protection policy.

Photo Credit: DC Lies , via Flickr