Even without a tax rollback, increased revenue for higher education in 1989-90 in Utah looks grim.
And Salt Lake Community College, which has experienced the greatest enrollment hike, could be hurt the worst, members of the college's Institutional Council were told Wednesday."It's estimated there will be an increase of more than 500 full-time equivalent students at the college next year," Heber Hunt, business vice president, told the council. "To continue to take more students without additional financial help is now an impossibility. To provide educational service for an additional 500 full-time equivalent students will cost more than $1,200,000."
He emphasized that the future growth of the college depends on the ability of the state, the Legislature, and the Board of Regents "to provide adequate funding for the many thousands of students who want to attend the college."
College President Orville D. Carnahan said Salt Lake Community College last year experienced 48 percent of the total growth in Utah's system of higher education. School enrollment has been increasing at a rate of 500 students or more a year, and applications are running 30 percent ahead of last year.
Yet, money is not forthcoming, the administrators said.
According to Hunt, the Board of Regents' first funding priorities are insurance and salary increases. Increased funding for enrollment ranks third.
Carnahan said if the tax initiatives pass, the scenario would be worse.
Salt Lake Community College, he said, could suffer a revenue reduction of $1.7 million - forcing the college to reduce its enrollment by 1,025 to 1,280 students. Programs would be cut, and staff positions would also be eliminated, he said.
Carnahan, like other state-supported university presidents, is lobbying heavily and openly against the tax initiatives.
"I have been charged by the Regents to get out on college time to speak on the negative economic impacts the initiatives would have on the college," he said. Carnahan said he makes at least two such speeches daily.