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College discusses budget tightening for next year PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 07 May 2009 09:22

• Special to the Daily Leader


Following a dinner with a cross section of students, the Seward County Community College/Area Technical School Board of Trustees met Monday to discuss the end of the 2008-09 school year and budget requirements for the 2009-10 school year. The dinner is conducted each semester and provides the trustees with an opportunity to meet students to discuss their experience at SCCC/ATS, obtain ideas and recommendations for improvement and aspects of strengths of the college.

The trustees noted that areas of strength, which were mentioned by students, were the quality of classroom instruction, the care and involvement of faculty and staff, and that the students feel well prepared for employment or university transfer.

Recommendations for improvement included strategies for informing students of activities, increasing the menu selections in the cafeteria, and expanding activities for all students to get better acquainted with each other.

Dustin Ormiston and Sharon Hobble were sworn in as trustees of the board following re-election in April. Ron Oliver, who was also re- elected, was absent.

Donetta Dreitz, registrar, gave an overview of the graduation festivities, which will be at 10 a.m., Saturday. The trustees will present the diplomas and trustee Sharon Hobble will give the benediction. The outstanding graduating student and outstanding faculty member will be recognized during commencement ceremonies. Ms. 

Dreitz indicated that more than 300 students will be recognized for earning career certificates and associate degrees during this commencement.

Due to low enrollment this year in some of the programs that were previously a part of the Southwest Kansas Technical School, the administration recommended that the Business Administrative Technology program be moved from probation to monitoring status and the Drafting and Design Technology, Construction Trades Technology and Machine Tool Technology programs remain on probation for the 2009-10 school year. There have been targeted efforts toward increased awareness, recruitment, enrollment and industry relationships for these industrial programs with intentions of growing and strengthening the programs. There is a strong need for these programs and good employment opportunities exist for the graduates. The college’s Office Professionals program has been discontinued and replaced with the Business Administrative Technology from the area technical school. As a result of the change, improved computer lab usage has occurred, increased course offerings are provided, and enrollment has increased in that program.

Dr. Duane Dunn, SCCC/ATS President, said the college will also look at low enrollment, completion, and graduate placement in other instructional programs across campus and present administrative recommendations at the June board meeting.

Dunn gave an overview of the budget planning process on campus. The college is expecting a reduction of approximately $415,000 in state aid for the 2009-10 due to budget rescissions and reductions in appropriations. In addition to this loss of revenue, the college is facing known cost increases for health insurance, the tax sheltered annuity program, faculty salaries and the well-pay policy.

Dunn said the college is analyzing budget requests and eliminating duplicated services and expenditures across campus as it builds the 2009-10 budget. He commended the information technology department for identifying methods of reducing computer hardware costs while maintaining relevant and up-to-date computer labs. Dunn indicated that other departments are seeking cost savings strategies as well and the administrative team is effectively identifying methods of reducing costs while meeting student and institutional needs.

Tom Williams, dean of administrative services, told the board that the college will receive $11,121 from a reduction in worker’s compensation. In addition, since the county was considered a disaster area following the recent blizzard, the college will receive a state reimbursement for snow removal costs and labor costs.

Williams also gave an update of the summer maintenance projects that will include technical school parking lot and drainage, sidewalk replacement, brick repair, fire alarm system, doors and framing replacement, ventilation in diesel area and the wash rack in agricultural building. These projects are available through the no interest state bond program designed for colleges to improve and repair facilities.

The board approved an affiliation with YTB Travel Network of Illinois at a one-time cost of $495.95 that will allow employees to book their personal and business travel with the college’s own “private label” 

online travel Web site. The affiliation will allow the college to not only save money on travel, but receive royalties on commissions as well. The money that is returned to the college will be provided to the Development Foundation and used to fund scholarships.

Dale Reed, dean of instruction, reported the Gas Compressor Institute had an increase in class participants, although vender participation was down. The college will begin interviewing candidates for a Gas Compressor Technician program that will start in fall 2010.

Cynthia Rapp, dean of instruction, said the state gave full approval of the Medical Coding and Reimbursement Program that will begin this fall.

Celeste Donovan, dean of student services, told the board the technical school underwent a Civil Rights audit recently. Although the final report of that audit is not yet available, based on the auditors comments during the exit process she was confident the audit would work out well for the college.

In other action, the board

o Hired Gary Damron as social science instructor and Magda Silva as vocal music instructor; o Approved modifications to Board Policy 514, regarding collection of past due accounts receivable and modifications to Board Policy 515, regarding collection of worthless checks; o Approved the low bid from Schwindt Stone and Masonry of Liberal in the amount of $17,500 to repair brick and concrete on both the main campus and the technical school site as part of the PEI Bond Loan Project; and o Approved the bid from Southwest Glass and Door of Liberal in the amount of $110,394 to replace 21 single doors and two double doors and frames at the technical school.

Among the end-of-the year activities are the Nursing Capping and Pinning, 7:30 p.m., Friday in the gymnasium; Phi Theta Kappa breakfast, 8 a.m., Saturday in 214 East/West; Graduation 10 a.m., Saturday in the gymnasium; graduation for the Kansas State High School Diploma candidates, 4 p.m., Saturday and moonlight finals breakfast for all students the evening of May 11.

The college will sign a 2+2 agreement with Fort Hays State University, May 11 for an elementary education program.

The next board meeting is Monday, June 1.

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