CCC fall figures down

By Marlena Hartz: CNJ Staff Writer

Clovis Community College enrollment continued a downward descent in fall 2006, according to a CCC memorandum issued to CCC Board of Trustees.

Enrollment in the 2006 fall semester declined 9.42 percent when compared with the 2005 fall semester, according to a state formula used to measure enrollment, the memorandum reads.

CCC enrollment also dipped nearly 10 percent from fiscal year 2004-2005 to fiscal year 2005-2006.

“Enrollment is falling at colleges across the state,” CCC President John Neibling said Wednesday at a CCC Board of Trustees meeting.

“Historically, enrollment at colleges — especially community colleges — softens when the economy is good,” he said.

Neibling said issues surrounding Cannon Air Force Base and its transfer to a new mission have also contributed to CCC’s enrollment decline.

Enrollment declines of 5 percent or more at New Mexico colleges and universities impact state funding. CCC is one of five institutions in jeopardy of losing a portion of state funding due to enrollment dips in 2005. Those institutions, however, could get a one-time reprieve from funding cuts, as proposed by the New Mexico Legislative Finance Committee.

Without the reprieve CCC could lose more than $730,000 in fiscal year 2007-2008 funding.

“We fully expect it will be part of the state budget,” Neibling said of the reprieve.

Also at Wednesday’s meeting, Board of Trustees:

—Heard about the approximately $1.27 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor that will be used to develop a CCC industrial technology degree program.

—Received a fiscal watch report for the second quarter of the fiscal year 2007. The report “indicates the Clovis Community College is financially sound and operating within (its) budget parameters,” reads a memorandum on the report. Total net assets at the college equal about $21.7 million. The New Mexico Higher Education Department requires regular fiscal reports.

—Received an update on the Allied Health Building planned for CCC. Approximately $4.1 million has been allocated for the project, from the state and a bond issue. Design for the building is under way, CCC officials said.

—Recognized retiring Board of Trustee Robert Lydick. Lydick was one of the first CCC trustees, has served higher education for 37 consecutive years, and has approved $23 million in funding for facility construction as a CCC trustee.