CNCC is 75 percent of the way toward fund goal

RANGELY — Nationally, the economy may be slowing down. But that hasn’t put the brakes on the Colorado Northwestern Community College major gift campaign.
With $6.5 million pledged, CNCC is more than 75 percent of the way to reaching its goal of $8.3 million.
“We’re pleased so far with how it’s going,” said CNCC President John Boyd on Monday. “Certainly, there’s concern (with the economy). But we’re moving along. If the economy turns, it’s really the college that steps in to pick up a lot of the slack (training people for the local workforce).”
CNCC announced last week it would receive a $1 million grant from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs. The money will go toward construction of a proposed career and technical center on the college’s new Craig campus. CNCC had applied for $1.8 million, but Boyd was happy with the amount of the award.
“Frankly, we were very pleased,” the CNCC president said, adding the number of funding requests more than doubled the amount of award money available.
CNCC kicked off the public portion of its campaign in late September.
“We are into the public part of the campaign, though still not widespread public,” Boyd said. “It’s still more of an individual campaign.”
Though not uncommon in higher education circles, this is the first major gift campaign for CNCC.
“They really are the norm, rather than the exception,” Boyd “But the communities (served by CNCC) really haven’t seen a campaign like this before. Ours is a more traditional major gift campaign. We’re very methodical in how we operate it.”
Before initiating the campaign, CNCC surveyed the communities in is service area to find out how they thought the college should move forward.
“We went to the communities with the feasibility study, to see what they would support, if anything,” Boyd said. “What we’re doing now is following what the people told us they wanted to see. The people in the communities were the ones who decided what we would do and how much we we would raise.”
Still, with a tightening economy, Boyd said the college will have to adjust as well.
“The governor proposed a 2.5 percent cut across the board, which would include education,” Boyd said. “Next year, we’ve been told to anticipate a 5 to 7.5 percent reduction.”
Asked where the CNCC cuts may come from, Boyd said, “Probably not programming. I don’t know about staff, at this point. But what we won’t do is what we did last time, which was not fill positions. That led to problems with recruitment and marketing and maintenance of buildings.
“We’ve been in a reorganization … now we are judging to see if we need to tweak that,” Boyd added. “I think the tweaks will do a lot to get us where we need to be.”
Enrollment at CNCC’s Rangely campus is about 300 full-time students, Boyd estimated, and about 200 part-timers.
Plans are moving forward on construction projects for the Rangely campus, which will be funded by the major gift campaign.
“We’re getting close to going out to bid for the (W.C.) Striegel engineering building,” Boyd said. “Hopefully, we will begin work on it this spring. We’re still in the design phase on the wellness center and the Rector building (for math and science). We’re still working on raising money on those, too.”
CNCC’s major gift campaign will conclude in in late summer or early fall.
“We are, basically, now talking to corporations and individuals,” Boyd said. “Sometime late spring or early summer we will go widespread public.”