Rocky Mountain College faculty and staff got an unusually upbeat message Wednesday from President Bob Wilmouth.
The annual all-campus meeting has focused in recent years on financial and enrollment challenges facing the liberal arts college. But Wilmouth told a packed auditorium today that he had good news.
The college had its first positive net revenue in more than five years in 2015-16, he said. Positive revenues also are expected in 2016-17.
The improved cash flow has enabled Rocky to complete $1.2 million in deferred maintenance in the last two years, Wilmouth said. The college’s endowment has grown to more than $30 million.
“We are strong financially at the present time,” Wilmouth said, “and we anticipate getting stronger.”
He said that the college’s improved cash position also would result in improved compensation and benefits for faculty and staff but that he was not yet ready to discuss details.
Building projects include construction of a new $15 million science building and opening of an Academic Resource Center. Football field improvements and a new Yamaha Piano Lab are being paid for through philanthropic efforts, Wilmouth said.
He also reported on efforts to build the college’s relationship with the community, including addition of a new Freshman Experience class, which requires new students to engage in community service activities.
The college also is working on relationships with Senior High School, Billings Cultural Partners, the new Billings NOW group and Central Catholic High School, which will begin playing football games at Rocky’s stadium this fall.
Classes begin on Monday at Rocky. Enrollment last year was 1,035 students from 16 countries, Wilmouth said.
Classes at Montana State University Billings begin Sept. 7. As of last Friday, enrollment was 3,133 fulltime students, 91 percent of the budgeted goal, which is 50 students fewer than last year’s actual enrollment.