by Ruth Johnson Staff Writer
The room buzzed with excitement on April 10 just before the Finance Convocation began in Lower Evans, led by President Kiss. Overall, news was both good and bad: Agnes Scott remains financially strong, but margins are incredibly tight. During the current economic hardships, the college has had to rely on the endowment; this is a problem.
Currently, the endowment’s value stands at approximately $245 million. If the college continues to rely so heavily, the endowment will lose value and there will be less for future generations of Scotties. Because of this, one of the goals for the next decade is to decrease the usage of the endowment to 5%. To be able to do this, the college has to increase its profit margins. It is hoped that by increasing enrollment and decreasing the dependence on financial aid, this can be achieved.
The current rebranding of the college is one of the main strategies in increasing total enrollment to 1100 students. Agnes Scott will now be known as the “Global Women’s College,” in the hopes of attracting students from around the globe. Agnes Scott is already having success with enrollment, with an estimated 90% of first-years returning for their Sophomore years.
There are also hopes that the dorms will be renovated and refurbished in the coming years, so that there will be more spaces for incoming students. Campbell Hall is the project most recently slated for renovation; the Woodruff Foundation donated $6 million towards the plan. It is hoped that Campbell Hall will serve as a living and learning community, with both classrooms and living spaces.
As far as the budget goes, the goal of $3 million reductions set last year has been reached, but there is still a gap in the budget. It is hoped that the gap will be closed without division cuts. In other news, the college must search for a new student health insurance provider for the 2012-2013 school year. In short, it is hoped that as the college as a whole approaches the new school year, the budget will be balanced, our admissions markets will be expanded, retention can be increased, our dependence on the endowment can decrease, faculty salaries can be raised, and that the year is a financially healthy one.