SCCC Budget Approved and Accepted
Steven Rains - July 29, 2019 1:22 pm
SCCC accepts 2020 budget, changes degree requirements
New totals for associate degrees align with KBOR standards
The Seward County Community College Board of Trustees met July 22 for its regular monthly meeting, handling a combination of year-end business and items that anticipate the start of academic year 2019-20. Vice President of Finance and Operations Dennis Sander presented the 2020 FY budget, and received unanimous board approval (5-0, with trustee Stacy Johnson absent).
“Financially, Fiscal Year 2019 was a positive year,” Sander noted in the report. “Faculty, staff, and administration continue to be frugal and efficient, and were able to stay within the expected constraints for the year.”
Looking ahead, Sander stated that administration anticipates increases in personnel compensation and inflation. Tuition and fee revenue is projected to rise due to the increase in rates, with credit hour production stable. Approval of a two-percent, across-the-board raise for SCCC employees aligned with the board’s negotiations with the Professional Employees Association.
Sander flagged “significant tax appeals possibly affecting Seward County valuation” as an area of concern. The possibility that taxpaying entities may follow the example of National Helium, which successfully lobbied to avoid increases in taxation, “obviously forces us into a very difficult position to operate with a firm level of confidence in revenues,” he wrote. However, the Finance Committee of the Board (Trustees Casey Mein and Dustin Ormiston), in conjunction with Vice President Sander, have discussed the revenue and expenditure outlooks for FY 2020.
Sander emphasized the college’s desire to reduce the mill levy over the next year, despite significant legislative challenges at the state level.
“We have been informed we will get about 80 percent of funds we would have received,” Sander said. “Going forward, we’ve got to keep our eye on the state climate toward community colleges.”
Ormiston noted that “we have the lowest mill levy we have had in five years,” though he agreed further reduction of the burden on local taxpayers would be ideal.
The published budget is available for public viewing at the SCCC library, upon request.
The board also approved changes to the number of credit hours required for the Associate of Science, Associate of Arts, Associate of Applied Science in Technical Studies and Associate of General Studies degrees, reducing each to 60. The changes have been made to align SCCC degrees with the Kansas Board of Regents (KBOR) policies that now specify baccalaureate degrees be reduced to 120 credit hours.
At Seward, the reduction will apply to electives and to the categorization of the “Introduction to Computers” course that was previously required for some degrees. That class will now be offered as an elective. Trustee John Engel asked for clarification about the Intro to Computers class.
“Are all our students showing up with computer literacy, or not?” he said.
Dean of Students Annette Hackbarth-Onson replied that academic advisors will be trained to assess students in order to enroll those who need additional computer skills. The board voted 5-0 to accept the recommended changes.
Naming opportunities open at Allied Health building
In anticipation of completion of the Colvin Family Center for Allied Health, which will open to students in the fall semester, the board discussed and approved naming opportunities for donors. Chief Development Officer Tano Tovilla presented a proposed schedule of opportunities based on the parameters of the project.
“We want to honor friends and benefactors, and get guidelines in place for a way to do that which is fair,” he said.
Trustee Ormiston asked if naming opportunities would be available to previous donors who have contributed to the Capital Campaign project.
“Yes, we will approach our major donors first,” Tovilla said. “If they are interested, this creates a way to publicly acknowledge them.” The board vote 5-0 to approve Board Policy 113, which outlines details. The board will retain final approval authority for any naming requests. Details of the naming opportunities are available through the SCCC Development Office.
19-20 academic year: new buildings, key hires
The SCCC executive team brought reports to the board, including an update from VP of Student Services Celeste Donovan.
“As we are racing to the beginning of the school year, we are also getting late returners to the dorms and class enrollment,” she said. “The next couple of weeks are going to be pretty telling but it is too early to report numbers.” Donovan also reported the Office of Civil Rights audit was nearly complete, as the 90-day deadline approaches.
VP Sander outlined additional details about the completion of the Colvin Family Center for Allied Health, where windows and cabinets are being installed. Across campus, other upgrades are nearing the finish line, including the lockerroom renovation and the swimming pool motor repair. At the Sharp Family Champions Center, cement work has begun, and the project is expected to begin structural construction in the next few weeks.
The new VP of Academic Affairs, Dr. Joe McCann, will begin work on Aug. 1, college president Dr. Ken Trzaska reported.
In his report, Chief Information Officer Louie Lemert reviewed improvements to the campus security camera network, as well as upgrades to the telephone system. A new helpdesk employee, Matt McClury, has joined the IT department.
The board approved the personnel report, which included the employment of 12 team members, four of whom are transferring from existing positions on campus. These included instructors Stanley Sanko (automotive tech), Lisa Redburn (cosmetology), Dr. Consuella Davis (biology), Michael Dowling and David Ireland (diesel technology), Takumi Rader (GED), and Manuel Bustillos (drafting and design); Aubrey Voboril (assistant softball coach), Clayton Holub (KSBDC Liberal advisor), Ilse Cambron (Assistant Director of Adult Basic Education), Dr. Maria Fe Laguitan (Director of ABE), and Stephanie Heger (Academic Advisor).
Positions remaining to be filled include instructors for chemistry and math, automotive technology, HVAC, welding, and ESL, as well as a library director and math resource center coordinator.
In other action, the board:
• Accepted (5-0) a Sharp copy machine donation from the Colvin family with a donor estimated value of $8,000. The donor requested that the machine be used in any departmental office of the college. The VP of Finance & Operations will determine which office will receive the copy machine.
• Identified (5-0) the High Plains Daily Leader & Times as the newspaper of record/legal publication for the college as required by Kansas statutes.That paper is then used as the proof of publication of all legal notices from the college including legal announcements and information for contract and project bids.
• Extended summer hours for an additional week, through Aug. 2, in order to maximize savings on utility and operational costs. Campus offices will be open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and closed on Friday, for that week.
• Approved (5-0) Sander’s recommendation that the college not renew its contract with IMA, a service that helps manage insurance claims and costs. While the previous year’s record offered reasonable savings, he said the value for 2020 is debatable.
• Approved (5-0) SCCC President Dr. Ken Trzaska’s presentation of strategic planning for the next three years. Trzaska reviewed changes implemented through the Mover Group structure, and offered a time line for future focus. He plans to bring a draft for strategies through 2023 to the board in May of 2020.
• Voted 5-0 to purchase recommended material and equipment for the Colvin Family Center for Allied Health as recommended by Chief Information Officer Louie Lemert. The board opted for the lowest bid for IT materials, cables, and other elements for $31,573, from various vendors.
The next Board of Trustees meeting will be at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 5, 2019, in the SCCC board room.