How much has enrollment declined over the past several years?

Seattle Colleges has experienced a 15% percent enrollment decline and severe loss of revenue the past five years. This structural deficit is the primary reason for budget reduction.

Enrollment Table
Academic Year Total FTES Difference
2015-16 18,252  
2016-17 17,800 (452)
2017-18 17,560 (240)
2018-19 16,545 (1,015)
2019-20 15,525 (1,020)
Enrollment decline since 15/16 (2,727)
*2019-20 Academic Year Enrollment Report

How much has international enrollment fallen over the last several years?

Drastic decline in international student enrollment has led to significant revenue loss across the colleges. See the table below.

International Program
Fiscal Year FTES Revenue
2015-16 3,930  
2016-17 3,472 $27,864,157
2017-18 3,033 $25,014,666 (down 11% from prior year)
2018-19 2,511 $20,913,685 (down 20% from prior year)
2019-20 1,980 $16,344,556 (down 28% from prior year)
2020-21   $5,517,931 through October (down 40% from prior year)
*Source: College Financial Management Software

What are we doing to increase/improve enrollment?

  • Targeted social media campaigns focused on working adults and Running Start.
  • Combined advertising buys to take advantage of the organization's buying power.
  • Website development (South and North websites now use the same academic program template and pull information from the same academic date warehouse. Central will have the same function by summer 2021.)
  • Continued enhancement of the CRM
  • Providing clear descriptions of the areas of study at Seattle Colleges.
  • Beginning work to redesign the elearning website.
  • Increasing promotion of Seattle Promise.

Why is revenue down?

See "Factors Impacting FY 21 Revenue" on the Background and Resources Info webpage

How much have budgets been reduced?

The chart below (from the fall 2020 board of trustee presentation) shows the budget expenditures by category for FY 2021. For more info, see "Factors Impacting FY 21 Expenses" on the Background and Resources Info webpage

2020–21 Expenditures by Category

2020 District Actuals (Adj) Change  
Wages and Benefits 100,562,209 46,770,334 30,889,844 22,902,031 128,102,442 (27,540,233) -21.5%
Goods and Services 10,411,156 3,586,576 2,844,296 3,980,284 16,220,639 (5,809,483) -35.8%
Contracts 721,821 425,097 187,543 109,181 388,732 333,089 85.7%
Capitalized Equipment 525,938 202,277 185,517 138,144 1,897,441 (1,371,503) -72.3%
Grants to Students/Client Services 5,690,293   1,058,871 4,631,422   5,690,293 100.0%
Transfers to Local Funds (1,445,048) (1,445,048)     2,180,334 (3,625,382) -166.3%
Travel 184,065   108,686 75,379 304,810 (120,745) -39.6%
Transfer from Student Government (65,021)     (65,021)   (65,021) 100.0%
Interagency Reimbursement (559,714)   (256,956) (302,758)   (559,714) 100.0%
Transfers to Local Funds (Capital Transfer) 1,325,200   1,722,000 (396,800)   1,325,200 100.0%
Transfer For District Office Operations 21,414,415 8,568,246 6,211,978 6,634,191   21,414,415 100.0%
Other Expenditures 414,651 414,651     1,278,759 (864,108) -67.6%
Total Expenditures 139,179,965 58,522,133 42,951,779 37,706,053 150,373,156 (11,193,191) -7.4%

Have there been personnel reductions?

There have been personnel actions/reductions in all areas.

  • Seattle Colleges made a Voluntary Early Retirement/Separation Incentive Plan available to all employees (faculty and staff) who met eligibility requirements.
  • There have been layoffs have and temporary reductions in hours for staff. 
  • Non-represented exempt, represented professional staff, and classified staff have been laid off, non-renewed, not replaced after incumbents have left Seattle Colleges, and transferred to alternative funding sources.

All of this has meant more work for the employees who remain.

How many administrators work at Seattle Colleges?

The chart below list has the number of administrators (associate deans and above) working at Seattle Colleges. 

Siegal Colleges
  FY20 Count FY21 Count   FY20 Count FY21 Count
Chancellor 1 1 President 3 3
Vice Chancellor 4 4 Executive VP 1 1
Associate VC 3 3 College VP 8 8
Executive Director 7 6 Associate VP 3 3
Gov Affairs Dir 0.75 0.5 Executive Dean 5 5
      Instructional Dean 14 15
      Student Services Dean 9 8
      Associate Dean 7 5
      Executive Director 6 5
Totals 15.75 (22%) 14.5 (21%)   56 (78%) 53 (79%)
Grand total for FY20 71.75        
Grand total for FY21 67.5        
Reduced by: 4.25 5.92%      
Self-funded positions 3   Self-funded 1  

How much have we spent on instruction versus administration?

There have been several inquiries about districtwide expenditures on instruction and administration. Data used in recent budget presentations (based on state board data) show spending on instruction being reduced from more than 50 percent to less than 40 percent over the past several years. Lack of a coding standard from college to college (and across the state system) makes it virtually impossible to have an accurate and "apples-to-apples" comparison. However, it is possible to collect comparative data on the wages spent on instruction and administration. This is a more stable and consistent metric, and it allows comparisons of wages with overall expenses. 

Seattle Colleges Total Wages (Percent)

  Fiscal Year
Payroll Category 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18 2018-19 2019-20
Senior Leadership 2.5% 2.5% 2.6% 2.9% 3.1%
Unrepresented Exempt 10.0% 11.4% 11.9% 11.1% 11.5%
Professional Staff 10.9% 10.2% 9.7% 10.8% 11.7%
Classified 20.9% 21.5% 22.0% 22.3% 22.8%
Full-Time Faculty 20.7% 21.1% 21.6% 22.4% 22.6%
Part-Time Faculty 26.3% 24.0% 23.0% 21.8% 20.8%
Hourly/Other 8.7% 9.3% 9.1% 8.7% 7.5%
  • The wages spent on administration (senior leadership and unrepresented exempt) increased a total of 2.1 percent from FY 2015-16 to FY 2019-20. (Senior leadership increased .6 percent and unrepresented exempt increased 1.5 percent.)
  • The wages spent on instruction (full and part-time faculty) from FY 2015-16 to FY 2019-20 decreased by a total of 3.60 percent. (a 1.9 percent increase for full-time faculty and a 5.50 percent decrease for part-time faculty).
  • Full-time faculty and classified staff have had the biggest increase in total wages from FY 2015-16 to FY 2019-20 (1.9 percent each).
  • Part-time faculty had the biggest decrease (5.5 percent) from FY 2015-16 to FY 2019-20.

Seattle Colleges Total Wages (Raw Dollars)

  Fiscal Year
Payroll Category 1516 1617 1718 1819 1920
Senior Leadership 2,604,034 2,649,155 2,753,157 3,061,010 3,587,033
Unrepresented Exempt 10,596,985 12,276,447 12,444,186 11,809,831 13,322,721
Professional Staff 11,542,845 10,966,794 10,081,055 11,413,173 13,622,180
Classified 22,143,468 23,079,722 22,901,226 23,615,812 26,463,350
Full-Time Faculty 21,874,545 22,675,962 22,551,899 23,797,096 26,246,779
Part-Time Faculty 27,851,473 25,739,853 23,971,825 23,138,152 24,127,365
Hourly/Other 9,236,938 9,996,990 9,516,367 9,184,361 8,760,081

Over the past five years, net salary spending in raw dollars increased by $10.23 million.

Have there been salary cuts?

Since the initiation of budgetary reduction measures, all employee groups, except faculty, have been impacted by salary reductions. Faculty, as an employee group, have not participated in furlough or forgoing COLAs.

For FY 2019-20, percentages of annual salary costs broke down as follows:

Full-Time Faculty 22.60%
Part-Time Faculty 22.80%
Classified 22.80%
Pro Staff 11.70%
Unrepresented Exempt 11.50%
*Senior Leadership 3.10%
Hourly /Other 7.50%
TOTAL 100%
*Associate vice presidents/chancellors and above  

Funds spent on wages for senior leadership have remained relatively steady.  Senior leadership represents about 3.10 percent ($3.5M) of total funds ($116M) spent on wages. 

The adopted budget for FY 2020-21 includes $3.2 million reduction for Siegal/District Office budget, separate from reductions by the colleges. This reduction includes more than 30 positions: 24 from HR, IT, and Academic and Student Success; and 12 from International Programs. The reductions included eliminated positions, unfilled positions, early retirements.

Below is a listing of how the salaries of individual employee groups have been affected by the FY 20 and FY 21 budgets.

Full-Time Faculty

  • No salary reductions
  • No furloughs

Part-Time Faculty

  • No salary reductions
  • No furloughs


  • Furloughs
  • Salary reductions/temporary reduction in hours for some employees in self-sustaining programs. 

Pro Staff

  • Furloughs

Unrepresented Exempt

  • Furloughs 


  • 13% salary reduction
  • No COLA

Senior Leadership (associate vice presidents/chancellors and above)

  • No COLA
  • Furloughs

How have part-time (PT) faculty been affected?

PT faculty are an essential part of Seattle Colleges’ faculty and workforce. They provide the colleges flexibility to grow and meet sudden increases in demand.

Currently, there are about 287-plus full-time faculty members and about 532 PT faculty members. Of the total PT faculty members, more than 100 are on the priority hire list (PHL).

Per the CBA, PT faculty on the PHL have the right, each quarter, to request classes from their qualifying list consistent with their usual workload before PT non-PHL faculty are offered classes. And, according to the 2019 SBCTC report, Seattle Colleges’ PT faculty pay rate is one of the highest in the state.

In order to diversify the faculty in the coming years, we need to review and adjust the diversity makeup of the PT faculty, particularly the PHL faculty.

As is the case at almost all colleges and universities, the number of PT faculty members hired for a given quarter is dependent on student enrollment. The number of PT faculty has fallen over the last past five years (as a result of declining enrollment). The total amount spent on PT wages has dropped by about 11.5 percent over the past five years.

The reductions in PT faculty hires and/or course sections are in response to declining enrollment and should not be seen as a proactive budget-saving mechanism.

Why are the programs and jobs serving students being cut? How does this align with our core mission?

Despite budget challenges, Seattle Colleges is committed to serving students and their success. We have made students and student learning our first priority. When making any budgetary decisions, we will attempt to minimize or reduce any adverse effects on students and student learning. 

One way we are doing this is by using the Guiding Principles for Strategic Budget Reductions and Future Planning developed a representative committee earlier the year.

Those principles are:

  • Prioritize students and student learning.
  • Remain true to Seattle Colleges’ Strategic Plan and to our critical role in the community.
  • Prioritize equity, diversity, and inclusion in discussions and when building consensus.
  • Protect Seattle Colleges’ strengths and long-term viability.
  • Comply with mandates of external agencies.
  • Fulfill contractual obligations.
  • Invest in:
    • The core of what we do: teaching and learning and critical support services.
    • Creative, entrepreneurial ways to generate opportunities and revenue.
    • Partnerships with community, business, and industry.

How has ASI affected the budget? Were there budget savings? Are we more efficient?

Achieving System Integration (ASI) calls for Seattle Colleges faculty and staff to work and think as a system in order to achieve Organizational Excellence. It is a deliberate and ongoing process requiring measurement, review, reflection, and refinement. The goal is to be more competitive externally and more coordinated and coherent internally. 

In regard to ASI's results, the Educational Policy Institute issued a report assessing ASI in November 2019 and, in October 2020, Chancellor Pan responded to ASI inquires about the status of ASI and how much money was saved.

How do district expenditures support student and faculty?

The District office is an integral part of Seattle Colleges’ operations and provides direct support to the colleges. The office’s nine divisions provide a set of indispensable functions and services that eliminates duplication and limits our number of unique systems and processes. As a multi-college district, it makes economic sense to centralize broad functions and services.

The following is a list of the nine divisions: 

  1. Academic and Student Success
  2. Communication and Strategic Initiatives
  3. Finance and Operations
  4. Governmental Relations
  5. Human Resources
  6. Information Technology
  7. International Education
  8. Seattle Colleges Foundation
  9. Workforce Development

Here’s a list of some of the services provided:

Student Support Services

  • ctcLink
  • International student recruitment and services 
  • IT services
  • Seattle Pathways
  • Seattle Promise
  • Starfish
  • Student scholarships

Administrative and Employee Support Services 

  • Academic program planning and evaluation
  • Accounting
  • Budget planning and finance management 
  • Emergency management, health management, pandemic management
  • Employee communications
  • Environment sustainability and green energy management 
  • Federal and state financial audits
  • HR management, including employee recruitment, orientation, employee training and professional development, employee aggrievance, complaint investigation, Title IX investigations, public record requests, union relations management, union negotiations, unemployment benefits, etc.
  • Institutional research and planning
  • IT services
  • Library technical services
  • Payroll processing
  • Purchasing good and services, RFPs management
  • Recruitment and Custom Relations Management (CRM)
  • SCCtv
  • Strategic planning
  • Web services
  • Workplace safety

External Relationship Management

  • Business partnerships, workforce development and corporate training
  • Lobbying
  • Local, state, and federal regulations compliance and audit reports
  • Private fundraising
  • Public relations management with city, state, and federal governments

How were COVID-19 funds used?

See "Factors Impacting FY21 Expenses" on the Background and Resources Info webpage