Blogging @ CNM

Central New Mexico Community College

CNM’s State Funding to Increase 8.8 Percent Over Last Year, But it’s Still $3 Million Short of 2008 State Funding – What Are Our Options for Funding Sources?


You might have read my message last week about the Legislature passing the state budget, which includes an 8.8 percent increase in state funding for CNM for the upcoming fiscal year compared to the state funding we received last year. Although this will be a very welcomed increase, we’re still going to receive less state funding than we received in 2008. In fact, we’ll be receiving $3 million less in state funding for the year ahead than we received in 2008. And we’re accommodating more student demand now than we were in 2008. So, even though we’re getting an 8.8 percent increase in state funding compared to last year, the coming year will be a fiscal challenge for CNM.

On March 21, the Albuquerque Journal reported an interesting, and sobering, fact – New Mexico’s cuts to higher education have exceeded the national average from 2008 through the current fiscal year. The Journal cited a study by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities in Washington, D.C., which revealed that New Mexico has cut higher education spending per student by an average of 36.7 percent, compared to the national average of 28 percent.

This is troubling, especially since New Mexico is showing few signs of a robust economic recovery in the near future.

CNM has three sources of revenue – state appropriations, CNM’s mill levy (property taxes from the CNM District), and tuition and fees. State appropriations used to be our largest source of funding, but now each of the three revenue sources make up about a third of our funding. CNM’s mill levy will remain flat again this year and our enrollment has been trending slightly downward the last couple years.

We all hope that our state funding will continue to increase in the years ahead, but that is far from a given. Actually, if you pay attention to a lot of studies and forecasts out there, we may never get back to the same level of state funding we grew accustomed to in the decade or so prior to 2009.

We can hope, and we need to hope. But we also need contingency plans for the possibility that our state funding never rebounds to pre-2009 levels, or at least the possibility that it doesn’t rebound in the near future.

Should we consider exploring new ways to generate revenue? I’d love to hear your thoughts, so let’s have a discussion. Don’t be shy. Let me know what you think!

46 thoughts on “CNM’s State Funding to Increase 8.8 Percent Over Last Year, But it’s Still $3 Million Short of 2008 State Funding – What Are Our Options for Funding Sources?

  1. Perhaps it would be good to re-evaluate ways in which we could potentially SAVE money, rather than expect outside funding to increase.

    • James, I totally agree that we need to be thinking about saving. However, I hope do both – new ideas are happening all the time and I want to encourage and participate in discussions that help us move in both directions.

  2. Could CNM consider selling naming rights to buildings and such? Charging for certain parking areas near buildings. Advertise regionally/nationally it’s lower tuition for non-residents who take 6 credits or less to increase online enrollment. Advertise our rental spaces for functions if use of those spaces isn’t being use consider reducing the cost to get them filled. Charge an admission fee with a process to have that fee waived for those that can’t afford it. These admission applications require staff time and effort yet thousands of students do not attend after being admitted. To encourage enrollment I really like the idea of giving the student the last term of their associates free if they are going to graduate and advertising this.

    • I love when we are all moving in the same direction. The CNM Foundation has worked very hard over the past year to begin the process of providing naming opportunities for friends of CNM. We also are moving forward to create a consistent way to charge for parking. We also already have an registration fee at the college that incorporates the admission process. Your other ideas are great and we’ll add them to our “list” as we continue to consider financial options for the future.

      • Since the registration fee doesn’t kick in unless the student actually registers for one or more classes, I believe the suggestion was that we charge an application fee, so that if the applicant never registers CNM has been compensated for the time and work of processing the application.

  3. Raymond Gurrola has some great ideas! I have also been reading in the Chronicle of Higher Ed about community colleges turning to more fundraising from alumni, some even devoting a full-time position to alumni development. CNM could create a donor recognition program, perhaps selling plaques or sidewalk bricks to honor friends and family (I have a $75 brick commemorating my mom at Thomas Edison State College in NJ, where I once worked.)

    • Keep those great ideas coming. The Foundation already works with our alumni and does recognize donors but your ideas add to their current projects. Thanks.

  4. How about charging Isotopes fans parking fees to park in the SSC parking lot for games? That might raise a few ducats.

    • Hmmmm – let me think about that one. We currently have an agreement with the Isotopes that allows us to use their parking when they are not in season, so we can think about ways to expand that. Thanks

  5. We could develop a catering service – it could work with the curriculums in the Culinary Arts and Hospitality programs – maybe even the Business and Marketing programs.

  6. Great idea Chris!!! 🙂

  7. I think that CNM is not using its property at the ATC to full advantage. The 2nd floor and a good deal of the 1st floor of the building we have in use are unused. Also, the other building that has alot of basically for the most part junk, could be cleared out and leased
    as storage space or even house some sort of a business in addition to CTS until such time as CNM deems it necessary to convert
    it to classroom area. Also, having an estate sale to clear out the stuff in the ATC storage would be a potential fund raiser.

    • Although I agree with you comments, the reason we do not use some of the space is two-fold. Much of the property requires renovations to make sure that it is accessible and we do not have the funds to carry out those renovations right now – there are other priorities in front of this project. Secondly, some of the unused space is being leased to CTS.

      • Thank you very much for the response President Winograd! Perhaps this could be a back-burner project to examine when the time is right. I think what I was saying in large part does have merit. I don’t have the “big picture” as I am not
        in on governing board meetings, so it was just an observation.

  8. Some institutions offer “fast-track” programs and charge a premium for providing a degree in a compressed amount of time. UNM’s Executive MBA program is an example. Students can attend weekends and complete their MBA in a relatively short period of time. The tuition is substantially higher, but there is high demand for the program non-the-less. I wonder if any of CNM’s degree or certificate programs might be a good fit for that model? Could we generate revenue AND increase our number of degrees and certificates awarded?

  9. @ Kathy Ulibarri: I agree. In many of our discussions around campus we tend to focus on helping students who are not succeeding, but it is important to remember we DO have students who ARE prepared for intense programs/courses such as that one at UNM. That would be an interesting approach, and one that could allow those who are prepared to productively move forward at a higher rate.

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