By Tyler Whetstone
Monday night Trevecca students asked President Dan Boone and his cabinet if budget cuts would mean the end of majors, why the art instructor is leaving and where the funds for the university housing development, Walden Woods, are coming from.
Administrators answered these and other questions about changes at Trevecca next year because of recent cuts to the annual operating budget. The Student Government Association on Monday sponsored a town hall-style question and answer session forum in Jernigan lobby.
Trevecca officials said they needed to cut $1.2 million from the budget for next year in an effort to return the operating budget to the black.
Boone along with Steve Pusey, university provost, and Steve Harris, associate provost and dean of student development, met with around 20 students.
“We had some really tough and great questions asked. Things that helped clarify things for our students, and also things that probably helped the administration to think a little bit more about the decisions that they had made and how that effected the students,” Chelsea Hardy, associated student body communications director, said.
When asked directly about the university and where it stood financially, Boone said that he would put Trevecca in the top 15 to 20 institution in the Council of Colleges and Universities (CCCU).
The CCCU is made up of 120 schools, two or three of which go out of business yearly, Boone said. Trevecca is not one of those schools he said.
“Trevecca is nowhere near that,” Boone said. “And here with us just making this slight adjustment in our budget we’re effecting maybe 1.5 to 2 percent of our budget in the current budget adjustments that we’re making.”
“We’re really doing fine,” he said. “We’re actually one of those shining examples among Christian universities of how you operate a university.”
The forum lasted almost an hour and a half and students were given no limit to what they could ask administration. In all, 18 questions were presented and the only question they were unable to answer was about the cost and preparation for the transition between the MyTNU page and the TNU4u. No one could speak to the technical side of those decisions.
Administrators and students who participated said they were pleased with the results, but several students stressed the need to communicate with students about decisions in a more a timely manner.
“I think it’s good for students to have a voice, and I’ve seen a lack there of it until something like this,” Brad Biggerstaff, sophomore, said. “I think it’s a little behind, but I’m glad (administration) is doing it to be able to give us a voice and answer our questions.”