Recent edits made as of 1:23 p.m. on September 21, 2020.
As expected, the financial state of Whittier College is not the most stable – for now, anyway. With the pandemic leading to mostly online instruction and a decrease in enrollment, the College is operating under a “huge” deficit, according to a staff member.
“The College is projecting an operating and cash flow deficit this year. The two main reasons behind this deficit are tied to COVID-19 — the loss of our student residential program and lower enrollment,” said Vice President of Finance James Dunkelman. Though exact deficit numbers have yet to released to The Quaker Campus, it is likely that more specifics will be announced after the 2020-21 budget is approved by The Board in October.
Although community members may assume the College would be fine pulling money from their endowment, unfortunately, that is not the case. The College took out a loan in order to renovate the Science & Learning Center years ago, and, in order for the lender to be willing to service that loan, the College has to keep a certain amount of money in their account; if we dip below that, the bank would pull the money, and the administration would be left with nothing to work.
Luckily, the College is not completely out of options, or money, quite yet. “No donor, including Board of Trustee members, has been solicited for gifts specifically to offset or address the projected deficit,” said Vice President of Finance, Jim Dunkelman.
Despite the deficit, the College has been focused on increasing fundraising for providing students with resources and scholarship opportunities. “We are also focusing attention on finding alternative avenues to generate revenue such as developing new non-degree and certificate programs—two examples are the ProTools and Adobe Creative Suite programs we’ve recently launched, growing graduate programs and summer enrollment, and seeking new partnerships with foundations and private organizations,” said Vice President for Advancement and Strategic Partnership, Timothy Anderson.
The Quaker Campus will continue to report on this topic in more detail as we find more information.
Featured photo: Emerson Little / Quaker Campus