Report: Merging NC Community Colleges Would Save Money

North Carolina community college leaders are balking at a proposal to save about $5 million a year by merging the administration and back-office work at the smallest campuses.

The General Assembly's program evaluation division reported Tuesday that merging 15 of the smallest colleges into bigger neighbors and forming a purchasing cooperative to get volume discounts would save nearly $30 million over six years.

No campuses would close. The schools with fewer than 3,000 full-time students would lose their separate presidents, payroll departments and other administrative functions to the larger community college in the merger.

Twenty of the state's 58 community colleges already run multiple campuses.

Community College System President Scott Ralls says $5 million a year in savings is small compared with the disruptions the mergers would cause.

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  • by Michael Location: Lumberton, NC on Aug 5, 2011 at 06:03 AM
    Dr. Scott Ralls has a point. The community colleges could lose their local identity if a larger community college President is in charge of 3 or so. As an SGA President, it is hard enough for us to deal with a business office that is at our local college. You can't just combine 2 or more community colleges without disruptions or problems. And for you say that he is looking out for Craven CC in New Bern is absurd. He is concerned about all the rural community colleges because they serve as a light for the community. What if they were to take this a step further, they could be closing these community colleges. It is very important that we read up on this merger and think about how many lives it will affect, ask someone who is a community college student what it would mean to them.
  • by Col. Colt Location: ENC on Jun 28, 2011 at 08:09 PM
    Get rid of Pamlico CC and bus (This would be cheaper) the students to Craven where thay have a real school. Pamlico Community is a joke and a wast of money. If it wernt for the prison thay wouldnt exist. You cant believe the money wasted on the facility and staff it takes to turn out more pay checks!
    • reply
      by Concerned Citizen on Jun 28, 2011 at 11:27 PM in reply to Col. Colt
      I know nothing about Pamilco CC, but I do know a lot about Craven CC and trust me you don't want to bus nobody there. Craven CC has created new positions within the last year, but it we are having all of these budgets cut. By the way they these positions only put people that was already employed by the college in a higher paying position it didn't bring in new people. Go down to the courthouse and look up the complaint that has been filed against Craven to see where they are spending taxpayers money.
      • reply
        by Anonymous on Jun 29, 2011 at 07:33 AM in reply to Concerned Citizen
        Think about where Scott Ralls came from before he was appointed head of NCCCS. He came from Craven. Think he is looking out for his buddies in New Bern.
        • reply
          by concerned citizen on Jun 29, 2011 at 12:40 PM in reply to
          I have to give it Dr.Ralls, while he was at Craven it was a good college and the mess that goes on there now would not have happened. Of course there is a but in there causeI do believe that you are very correct that now with his new position he just looking after his buddies. It is ashame when someone has to threaten to tell the governor and Dr.Ralls that they were not allowed to meet with the president of their college in order to get a meeting with the president.
  • by voter Location: nc on Jun 28, 2011 at 08:04 PM
    wouldn't this put the political lapdogs in jeopardy? politics is politics, money is no object. witness the global transpark, another money pit.
  • by Cisko Location: Greenville on Jun 28, 2011 at 07:45 PM
    Although it will never happen, I think G is on to something.
  • by Supporter on Jun 28, 2011 at 07:03 PM
    In these tough economic times it only makes sense to merge/cut positions. If this proposal could save the state/taxpayers money I am all for it. Weed out the dead weight.
  • by concerned citizen Location: eastern nc on Jun 28, 2011 at 06:56 PM
    This sounds like a great idea! I know there is a lot of fat that be cut at Craven Community instead of them keep adding new positions.
  • by Dave Location: Greenville on Jun 28, 2011 at 06:29 PM
    The irony is that the bigger community colleges are the ones that could most easily be cut. While every single job at a small community college is active, there are numerous colleges where employees go almost an entire day without doing much. Edgecombe, Martin, and Beaufort do not have much fat. Pitt, on the other hand, has a LOT of fat that needs to be cut. PCC has become so large with staff and faculty that it has become dysfunctional in some departments. ECU needs its fat trimmed, too. Too much staff.
    • reply
      by PCC staff on Jun 28, 2011 at 07:23 PM in reply to Dave
      It would be interesting for the public to know how often certain administrators at Pitt Community College are away in conferences or job interviews.
      • reply
        by Dave on Jun 28, 2011 at 07:32 PM in reply to PCC staff
        As a PCC employee, travel could be cut tremendously. Also, many jobs could be cut. Why 4 VPs? Why a dean, a chair, and a coordinator over instructors? Cut the fat.
        • reply
          by Anonymous on Jun 28, 2011 at 09:26 PM in reply to Dave
          And what do y'all do at the college(s)?
  • by G on Jun 28, 2011 at 06:14 PM
    How about merging some of the counties all together. Originally designed so that one could make it to the county seat in 1 days traveling time, current transportation could easily accomplish that. I recommend we start with the counties in NE NC, they are all small with low populations. Combining them to save a bunch of redundant positions would save a bunch of money.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Jun 28, 2011 at 06:33 PM in reply to G
      Excellent idea!
  • by zack on Jun 28, 2011 at 05:50 PM
    good in theory but not practical for students. if faculty are shared amongst 2-3 colleges how would a student be able to have face to face meetings with a "roving" instructor. And believe it or not, transportation is still an issue in rural counties. Perhaps merging public school systems among counties would save more money or better yet - conduct a study on the money spent remediating high school graduates once they enter a university.
  • by Sally on Jun 28, 2011 at 05:45 PM
    As an employee of a community college, I can tell you from experience that there are many jobs that could be eliminated at the community colleges. I for one, know that one of my 3 immediate supervisors could be eliminated. His job is not needed and I know that he is paid a fortune.
    • reply
      by Starving Student on Jun 28, 2011 at 06:13 PM in reply to Sally
      Ditto for ECU.
    • reply
      by Linus on Jun 28, 2011 at 06:31 PM in reply to Sally
      Do I detect a hint of jealousy perhaps?
      • reply
        by Sally on Jun 28, 2011 at 07:29 PM in reply to Linus
        Jealousy of what? A deadbeat is a deadbeat. Messengers aren't needed. We have email these days.
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