University is feeding its strengthsPublished 11:32pm Thursday, July 24, 2014
Troy University knows how to pinch pennies.
Lately, the university officials have had plenty of opportunities to hone these penny-pinching skills.
Over the course of three and a half hours, the Board of Trustees reviewed its shrinking budget and debated how and where to draw the line when making cuts.
Board Member C. Gibson Vance made a relevant point when asking at which point would these cuts begin to affect the quality of the university’s education.
Chancellor Jack Hawkins had an answer for him. “For years, we have had the philosophy that we feed our strengths and starve our weaknesses.”
That philosophy is visible everywhere on campus. It is in the growing communication department that increased enrollment 150 percent when other institutions were losing enrollment.
It is in the $40 to 50 million in future construction projects in the works and in completed projects like John M. Long Hall, home of the Sound of the South. Of course, the new building, in all its space and glory, is a sign of growth and prosperity, but the support dance, choir and band receive is an example of money well spent. They add to the quality of the Trojan experience, for students and residents of Pike County.
The board approved a budget that has diminished by more than $25 million in the last few years. Officials are to be commended for not making arts the first source of cuts. They also deserve praise for continuing to seek new programs, new partnerships and new opportunities.