Home » Midway College reports financial and program progress after year of recovery

Midway College reports financial and program progress after year of recovery

Midway College
Midway College

MIDWAY, Ky. (Sept. 5, 2014) – Midway College today announced the progress being made by the institution that has faced many challenges in the last few years after substantial losses from its discontinued pursuit of a School of Pharmacy and misaligned spending during periods of declining enrollment. A major accomplishment noted by Dr. John P. Marsden, president of Midway College, is the fact that the college ended FY 13-14 with a balanced budget and all departments of the College are working together to continue this for FY14-15.

“In our industry, living within your means is essential. By making significant operational changes and tough decisions, the college had a balanced budget for FY13-14 – in the previous year (FY12-13) the college had an operational deficit of $1.8 million,” said Marsden. “Before I arrived in February 2013, I was incorrectly told there would be a balanced budget. Once on campus, I discovered significant budget issues and we immediately took action to remedy this trend.”

Among the tough decisions made were resizing the college’s staff over the summer of 2013; releasing 14 faculty members from contracts (untenured and non-tenure track) after fall 2014 enrollment reports were in; suspending the employee retirement match, outsourcing dining and physical plant services as well as establishing a new tuition payment process to improve current year collections and implementing better collection procedures from prior years with significant balances due.

“Had those changes not been made, we would not have been able to balance our budget,” said Marsden. “Two major developments that helped us end the year positively were our increased fundraising efforts which showed a 60 percent increase from FY12-13 to FY13-14 (exclusive of estate gifts) and our new international partnership with IFARHU in Panama. This non-credit College Readiness Program generated significant revenue that helped the college balance its budget. These 26 full tuition paying students from Panama will matriculate from this non-credit readiness program into undergraduate programs at the institution. And work continues to recruit additional students within this program and develop other partnerships in Panama.”

Marsden noted “enrollments are of course a significant part of looking at the vitality of an institution. However they do not, and cannot, tell the entire picture. Enrollments, fundraising, budgeting, managing expenses and sound business practices all impact the bottom line. Midway College’s enrollment for Fall 2014 did show a continued decline overall; however, the College is likely to have a balanced operational budget for FY14-15 due to the practices and business operations we have put in place over the last year.”

The college’s overall enrollment for Fall 2014 is 1,140 reported after the tenth day of class and final add/drop deadline, down from 1,362 in Fall 2013. Women’s College enrollment remained stable at 294 (actually up 2 over the previous fall, with 17 more students living in the residence hall this year). The decrease in enrollment was in the non-traditional market, which has seen a national decline [6 percent decline in the over-24 age group reported by Inside Higher Ed in May 2014] and increased competition for the past several years.

“While the last year primarily focused on cost-saving measures, Midway College is continuing to focus on revenue drivers. We have already put a work group together to look at new programs and program format changes that we can make to be more competitive in the non-traditional market in the coming years, and our admissions team continues working to recruit students in all of our programs,” said Marsden.

“The Board of Trustees remain supportive of Dr. Marsden and all the employees of the College who are focused on helping move the institution forward,” said Donna Moore, Chair of the Midway College Board of Trustees. “The improvements and progress we have seen this year are encouraging.”

Institutional Accomplishments for FY13-14:

Academic and Student Affairs

• Developed new majors in accounting, criminal justice, early childhood education, and integrated marketing communications and made significant revisions to the MBA, business, and equine programs
• Revised the general education curriculum
• Established a new Honors Program
• Created a new non-credit College Readiness Program that brought 26 full paying students from Panama who will matriculate into undergraduate programs at the institution
• Launched summer camps that brought 173 elementary and middle school students to campus in 2014
• Launched new archery and golf teams in Fall 2013; the archery team placed first in the 3D United State Intercollegiate Archery Championship Women’s Hunter Division
• Achieved initial accreditation for the Medical Assisting Program by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES)
• Received continuing accreditation for the Associate Nursing Program with removal of warning by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN)

Strategic Plan
• Developed a three-year strategic plan based on a campus-wide survey, campus forums, and guidance from a representative working group
• Revised the mission statement, developed a vision statement related to university status, and re-introduced the values of the institution as reflected in the beliefs of the founders
• Included many operational solutions to address major challenges as well as larger ideas to promote growth and revenue

• Stabilized enrollment in the Women’s College after declines since Fall 2009 and attracted the largest equine class in recent history
• 17 more students living on campus this year compared to Fall 2013
• Increased overall student retention from fall 2013 to spring 2014 with a retention rate of nearly 96% in the Women’s College

• Achieved a balanced budget for FY14 following a $1.8M operational budget shortfall in FY13
• Brought all past due vendor accounts current
• Improved cash flow to prevent reliance on additional lines of credit between semesters
• Completed campus improvements including a renovated dining hall, new HVAC system and flooring for a residence hall, refinished gym floor, and new run-in shed for the equine program with upfront capital through the outsourcing of dining and facilities

Fundraising and Community Relations
• Increased total giving by 60% from FY13 ($950,000) to FY14 ($1.6M exclusive of estate gifts)
• Secured funding for a study abroad component of the equine program in conjunction with the University of Panama School of Veterinary Medicine and Cerro Punta Horse Farm
• Established an inaugural fundraiser – the Spotlight Awards which honored two women leaders and provided media exposure
• Brought back Francisco’s Farm, a juried arts festival, to the campus with the support of the City of Midway – attendance topped 6,000 over two days
• Establishing a “Day for Midway” to bring community supporters to campus and raise funds