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A Qualitative Study of the Use and Value of Financial Performance Indicators in Selected Community Colleges in the State of Texas as Perceived by their Chief Executive Officers

Description: Throughout the United States, colleges and universities are faced with an increasing need for financial funding, while at the same time resources continue to diminish. With the limitations of available funds, community colleges must exhibit efficiencies in the operations of their institutions. External interests, such as governing boards and legislatures, require demonstration of efficient financial management. This evidence is then used to make decisions concerning future financial support for the community college. This study determined if community college chief executive officers use financial performance indicators as provided by the State Auditor's Office and if the chief executive officers of the community colleges value the compilation and the distribution of the financial performance indicators. In the selected colleges, many of the chief executive officers depend on their chief financial officer for understanding and application of financial performance indicators. The performance indicators distributed by the Auditor's Office captured only a snapshot of the college's performance, and failed to fully describe the whole college performance or specific financial events captured by the indicators. Though the indicators had flaws, either through incorrect data or lack of explanation, the CEOs did value their compilation because they provided a means for ‘getting the community college story' to decision makers external to the college.The State Auditor's performance indicators were developed using a university model. Because of the distinct difference in mission between the community college and the university, several of the indicators were not applicable to the community colleges. The CEOs suggested that another set of indicators be developed, using community college input, that would better capture the financial performance of the colleges. The new set of indicators should be simplified and measure only those areas, such as revenues and expenditures, that are truly comparable from one institution to another.
Date: December 1999
Creator: Hase, Karla Luan Neeley
Partner: UNT Libraries