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

  1. Nadine
    September 17, 2020

    What is meant by a huge deficit? What kind of numbers are you talking about?

    1. Quaker Campus
      September 18, 2020

      Thank you for you readership and for your concern. We have updated this article to address your questions. This is an ongoing story that we will be continuing to cover as we receive information, so stay tuned on our social media and on our website for future articles with more details regarding the deficit.

  2. Cesar Bautista
    September 17, 2020

    Is there any information regarding how much longer the board of trustees can continue to pull money out of their own pockets before they are unable to continue funding Whittier College?

    Should the board of trustees decide to stop funding Whittier out of their own pockets, what other funding alternatives are available to Whittier if any?

    Is the possibility of Whittier College shutting down become a more real possibility given that they are under a deficit and Whittier has to rely on the board of trustee’s own money to continue operating?

    1. Quaker Campus
      September 18, 2020

      Thank you for you readership and for your concern. These are questions we have as well, and are hoping to answer in a future article regarding the deficit. This is an ongoing story that we will be continuing to cover as we receive information, so stay tuned on our social media and on our website for future articles with more details regarding the deficit.

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