For Dodge City Community College, a merger with Fort Hays University would give students the chance to pursue a bachelors degree. Sidney Hammond is in his second year at DCCC and said he’d take advantage of the opportunity.
“A better environment, teachers would be more engaged with you,” he said.
Unfortunately though, it isn’t as simple as adding a few new courses. The original proposal says Fort Hays would be granted administrative control, and that worries people like Board of Trustees member Don Webb.
“There’s no reason we can’t go arm and arm and dance down the road, but that’s not what– they want to come in and take over everything except for the expenses,” Webb said.
In a recent meeting Chief Financial Officer Vada Hermon projected the community college would see a $960,000 shortfall in the merger. With so many questions still unanswered, the concern is that it’ll be the students and the taxpayers holding the bill. Webb said he’d like to see the school grow, but Ford County can’t afford a big price tag.
“I’ve heard numbers like 2,000 students. Holy cow I hope not! Where are they going to stay?” he said, “It comes right square out of the taxpayers’ pockets.”
The Board of Trustees has only voted to discuss the merger, so it isn’t a done deal yet, but Webb thinks there are concerns that have yet to be addressed.