Chowan finances improve

Published 12:00 am Monday, October 20, 2003

MURFREESBORO – There was good news to report at a recent meeting of the Chowan College Board of Trustees. With a full complement of trustees in attendance, the recent audit report for 2002-03 was given.

It was reported that the college, for the first time since 1998, operated within its budget for the 2002-03 year. This was a surprising development since Chowan declared financial exigency 13 months ago, resulting in the loss of 14 faculty and staff positions. The 2001-02 year ended with the college operating at a $1.4 million deficit. The plan that was devised last summer was supposed to take anywhere from two to three years, but has shown results in just over a year after implementation.

&uot;Our finances have shown a dramatic improvement over what they have been,&uot; stated Chowan President, M. Christopher White. &uot;What was done last year, had to be done. It was done well and the plan is working.&uot; This summer’s audit report made it official that Chowan indeed finished in the black for the 2002-03 fiscal year.

Additionally, the college’s endowment, which suffered about a four million dollar loss over the last few years, gained about $500,000 in the 2002-03 year. The endowment is now at the $13 million level. It is anticipated that the endowment has the potential and will continue to grow depending upon Stock Market performance.

Likewise, student enrollment is holding steady. Numbers for the fall semester 2003 indicate that 779 students have enrolled. That is well over the budgeted number of 650 for the 2003-04 academic year on which the operating budget was based. Retention efforts, focused on service to students, should keep students coming back for the springtime.

&uot;Enrollment Services staff should be applauded for bringing in a great class this year. Despite the financial strains, faculty and staff worked extremely hard to bring in a class as big in size as any in recent years,&uot; White concluded.