Goswami explains use of COVID-19 relief funds in latest CPC meeting


Alloy Zarate, Associate Editor

Superintendent-President Utpal Goswami updated the College Planning Council on how the college will use the Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds at the latest meeting on April 6.

The college received $11.8 million to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19. The requests for funding have been divided into 19 categories.

Since the council last met, the categories have been reorganized. Some of the requests won’t be funded until the next round of relief funds and some will receive funding from the college’s Unrestricted General Fund.

“It was determined that we can actually get revenue recovery for non-resident tuition,” Goswami said. 

The college is now planning to use $8.4 million to recover the revenue lost during the 2020-21 fiscal year in international and out-of-state tuition, food services, child care center, parking, campus store, fees and athletic ticket sales.

“It really gives us an entirely new situation because the Unrestricted General Fund can be used to fund things that the HEERF II funds could not,” said council member Jamie Campbell.

Multiple council members brought up the idea of forming a committee to give more diverse input on the usage of the funds because other campus community members have expertise that administrators don’t.

“The combined expertise of all the people in the room make for better decisions,” said council member Beth Taylor-Schott.

But others said that forming a committee could slow down the process when the funds should be used to benefit students immediately.

“Really we’d be talking about putting it off into the fall to take that kind of deep-dive,” said council member Jim Clark. “I don’t know if that would be in the best interest of getting these needs met that are critical and urgent.”

Goswami also introduced the discussion for the Educational Master Plan, a guide for what direction the institution should go.

The plan is stretched out across many years. Right now the college is in the conceptual discussion phase of the timeline.

The objective in this phase is to determine what broad goals the college wants to achieve.

“We need to ask some big questions regarding what we are going to accomplish as an educational institution,” said Goswami.

His goal is to form a committee made up of representatives from all parts of campus, including students, by the end of the month to engage in the conversation.

“This group will basically lead in having all those conversations and distilling those conversations to themes that we all agree to,” he said.