Madison College Madison Metro Campus
Putting It in Context
|Madison College President Dr. Jack Daniels III
gives his recommendation on the reconfiguration
of the Madison College Madison Metro
been consideration for reducing operational costs.”
Within a constraining financial and political environment, the college must reduce costs and increase its student population.
“The only way within the public context to increase funding is through the generation of full-time equivalent students, FTES,” Daniels said. “The
college has worked well for 100 years with a majority population. However the population consisting of people of color and other
underrepresented populations who do not take full advantage of Madison College we make consistent efforts to meet those needs. We have
restructured our recruiting efforts. And as we stand here today, our applications are up 5.2 percent from this point in time last year. And
admissions are up 13 percent from this point in time last year and the inroads that we have made will continue.”
Daniels showed the board data that indicated that credit-generating FTES at both DTEC and South Madison are down over the past. In his
analysis, it is because programs formerly housed at DTEC have been moved primarily to new facilities at Truax and students pursuing Liberal
Arts Transfer Degrees — students looking to attend four-year colleges — are no longer concentrated at DTEC and are declining. In Daniels’
view, South Madison isn’t large enough to provide all of the necessary student services and programs to attract people to South Madison. In
essence, there is too much facility at DTEC and not enough at South Madison.
Daniels went on to state that DTEC is too expensive to maintain and renovate.
“The issue for me is either do we remain in a facility that even on January 28, 1966, it was reported in a State Journal editorial that it has been
a long and searching discussion with the honest concern on all sides,” Daniels said. “And the time has come to make a decision. The high
school should be closed. Postponing it will hamstring sound planning in Madison for education. This editorial stated that Central’s physical
plant is obsolete and incapable of being brought up to standard. The primary issue here is what will best serve the future interests of Madison’
s children. With the school-age population in near-downtown in 1966 declining, the editorial stated that those students deserved a first-class
high school with not only good teachers, but also comfortable classrooms, modern science and language labs, adequate gyms, excellent
library facilities and generous space outdoor activities. The issue is having a facility that’s conducive to teaching and learning. The issue is
having programs that meet the needs of Madisonians who have not accessed the college. The issue is not to save DTEC or invest in South
Madison. The issue here, as it was in 1966, focuses on what is in the best interest of our communities and our students.”
Daniels noted that how students learn is evolving.
“In 2011-2015, we have seen an increase of 52 percent of our students taking a course completely online, a 23 percent increase in hybrid
courses, 36 percent increase in accelerated courses and overall a decline of 14 percent for our land-based courses or our in-person classes,”
In Daniels view, Madison College’s facilities must meet the future needs of students — and be conducive to their learning — lest they take their
education — and tuition — elsewhere.
“What is our mission,” Daniels asked. “And the investment is in people, our students. And yes, to ensure that we are investing, we need to be
where students can invest in themselves. No one has stated that solving poverty and racial disparities is as simple as setting up a building.
As every learned social scientist knows, there are many external factors that impact one’s accessibility or perceived accessibility. Among
them are hostile environment versus a warm and inviting environment.”
An analysis of socio-economic data from the Madison area shows that the communities with the greatest educational needs — primarily
communities of color — and have the greatest potential to expand the number of students taking credit-generating courses in an environment
that has sufficient supportive services and a learning-conducive environment reside in the greater South Madison area. Based on his
analysis, Daniels had two primary recommendations:
“Recommendation One: Ground lease the DTEC property. The District Board shall authorize the College to issue a request for proposals (RFP)
within existing regulations and with appropriate contingencies, for a lease with a minimum term of 50 years targeted to commence on July 1,
2018. Annual proceeds from the lease will be deposited into the College District’s General Fund and annually budgeted as expenditures. To the
extent meeting regulatory requirements necessitate additional Board authorization, it will be sought.
“Recommendation Two: Commit to serving the South Madison community. The District Board shall authorize the College to enter into
negotiations to expand the current Villager Mall facility for a minimum period of two years (July 2017 to June 2019) with the option for additional
one-year terms on the lease of the facility. The District Board shall also authorize the College to identify and negotiate terms for a purchased or
leased facility in South Madison that meets the instructional and student support needs previously identified by the College. The College shall
also identify the associated financial resources for such a facility.”
On April 20, 4:30pm, in B3243/B3253, Truax, 3rd floor, the Madison College Board will hear public comment. That is the time for people to
express their wishes for the future of vocational education in the Madison area.
By Jonathan Gramling
Madison College is at a crossroads. Due to changes in how the state funds its vocational
colleges and declining enrollment due, in large part, to the continued improvement in the
economy, the college is considering ways to reconfigure its five Madison metro
campuses — Truax, Commercial Avenue, West, South Madison and the Downtown
Technical Education Center (DTEC) — in order to maximize its resources as it meets the
future educational needs of students in the Madison area.
At the April 6th Madison College Board meeting, College President Dr. Jack Daniels III
presented his recommendations for the reconfiguration. While his recommendations were
relatively brief, the majority of his presentation put those recommendations into context.
Previously, the board approved letting the lease of the West campus expire in 2016 and
creating a smaller presence there for continuing education and credit-generating courses.
This will result in savings.
“The operating cost at all five metro campuses annually is $9.4 million,” Daniels said.
“That’s the Fiscal 2017 estimate. Closing West will result in a operational savings of $1,9
million coupled with the opening of a new West campus, the net savings will be $1.45
million. When you think about the operating cost of both South and DTEC, the operating
cost for Fiscal 2017 includes DTEC at $900,000 and South at $250,000. There has also