Merging some community colleges would save over $5 million annually according to a proposal from the Program Evaluation Division. The division is recommending consolidating 22 community colleges by merging 15 which are close to one another. Those 22 schools have 3,000 or fewer students. A division evaluator told the Joint Legislative Program Evaluation Oversight Committee the smaller colleges have higher administrative costs. The savings would come from lower support staff cost, fewer college presidents to pay and the use of multi-campus funding. The President of the Community College System, Scott Ralls, told the committee he was concerned there would be tangible and intangible losses from the mergers with the loss of local support.
The division also recommended a central purchasing office so the system could save money. Ralls said he could support that idea.