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NEWS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

Highland Community College Board of Trustees approves budget
9/19/2012

FREEPORTHighland Community College Trustees held a budget work session on Tuesday, September 18, prior to adopting the fiscal year 2012-2013 budget during the regular meeting.

The operating budget totaled $14.6 million, with the majority of expenses related to instructional and other student-centered services. Additional costs included administration, and the operations and maintenance of campus buildings and grounds. Fund balance levels are expected to remain at levels recommended by the Illinois Community College Board of about 20 percent of expenditures.

We continue to face challenges in relation to our main operating revenue sources, which are projected to fall short of expenditures by almost $500,000, said Vice President of Administrative Services Jill Janssen. The College will utilize the fund balance, or reserves, in the Operating funds to offset this shortfall.

Among the revenue factors, local property tax revenue comprises the largest portion of the budget at 47 percent. Tuition and fees account for 36 percent, while state funding contributes around 12 percent. Based upon enrollment numbers, as well as a continued drop in district-wide assessed valuation, College officials anticipate a 4.5 percent decrease in operating revenue for FY 13.

In the presence of the factors affecting revenue streams, the College was able to achieve a decrease of $183,000 in budgeted spending for FY13 by postponing positions that have become vacant due to attrition as well as taking steps to reduce utilities, postage, offices supplies, travel, and training expenses. Budgeted decreases in spending are not expected to impact student services.

Additionally, Janssen reiterated that the state still owes the College over $450,000 from the previous fiscal year. The legislature has given the state a December deadline to pay monies owed from the prior fiscal year in both general operating and restricted grant funds.

In a related matter, Trustees approved several items related to the intent to sell $2,000,000 in working cash fund bonds, and $4,250,000 general obligation refunding debt certificates. A public hearing will be held during the October 23 board meeting on the Colleges issuance of $2,000,000 in working cash bonds, which would enable the College to have sufficient cash on hand to pay for expenses. The College plans to reduce other portions of the overall tax rate in order to maintain a total rate in the same range as in previous years about 48 to 49 cents per one hundred dollars of assessed valuation. The refunding debt certificates will allow the College to refinance the debt certificates that were originally purchased in 2008 to fund the Ray & Betty Stamm Health Science Nursing Wing and the Wind Turbine Technician Training Center at a lower interest rate, saving the College over $200,000.

Trustees heard a Transfer Monitoring report presented by staff which focused on the investigation of reverse transfer of credits from four-year institutions. These credits may prove helpful in granting associate degrees to students who transfer to baccalaureate schools before completing two-year degrees at HCC. While still in its early stages, this development may show promise in Highlands and other colleges completion rates in light of the national College Completion Agenda.

In personnel matters, the Board voted unanimously to approve the appointment of Marcelle Jones as Coordinator of ADA Services and tenure for nursing instructor Maggie White.

In other action, the Board approved:

the appointment of Sandy Johnson as Assistant Local Election Official in the event that the Local Election Official Terri Grimes is not available to accept nominating petitions during the filing period for the two seats that will be up for reelection in the April 2013 general election.

the list of part-time and overload instructors to teach during the fall semester.

the first reading of new and revised policies in Chapter 1 of the policy manual. The Board will have a second reading on the policies at next months regular meeting.

course and miscellaneous fees effective beginning in the Spring 2013 semester.

a Protection, Health or Safety project to replace sidewalks near the Student/Conference Center.

_________________________
OFFICE OF COMMUNITY RELATIONS
2998 W. Pearl City Road
Freeport, IL 61032-9341

815-235-6121
Fax 815-235-6130



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