The State Fair Community College Board of Trustees met Tuesday morning to approve its 2015-16 budget as required by law. As presented, the college is projecting a deficit of $450,000.
“Budgets are working documents and they are driven by enrollment,” SFCC President Dr. Joanna Anderson said. “The college experienced a 6 percent decline in enrollment the year, primarily due to an improved economy with non-traditional students going back to work.”
The proposed budget is based on an additional 1 percent decline in enrollment, according to Anderson.
“We have to reverse the course here a little bit,” Board President Gary Noland said. “You can’t continue to operate a school on a deficit budget.”
Anderson assured the board that the college is looking at all possible ways for the college to save funds.
“We recognize that our employees are our most valuable asset,” Anderson added. “The staff was given a 2 percent raise across the board for their efforts and dedication.
“We have found other ways to reduce expenditures and I have to compliment the Executive Leadership Team for their hard work in cutting expenditures and creating a course schedule responsive to our reduced enrollment,” she continued.
“These measures will save the college $740,000 next year. We also believe that a flat budget would result in a balanced budget for the 2015-16 year.”
Student tuition generates 57 percent of SFCC’s revenue. State appropriations contribute 19 percent; local property taxes contribute 13 percent. The remaining 11 percent comes from other sources of revenue and grants.
SFCC’s total requested budget is $53,154,368.
The college has 27 percent of its general operating funds in its reserve fund, according to Garry Sorrell, vice president of Finance and Administration at SFCC. According to the Board Policy, the district must maintain 15 percent in reserves.
The board also entered into an agreement with The Melita-Smith Day Nursery, formerly known as Melita Day Care. Under the conditions of the amended agreement, Melita-Smith must maintain their state licensing and receive state accreditation by June 30, 2016.
“We have our state licensing in place,” Kim Watkins, director of the program, said. “We are working on receiving our state accreditation and I feel confident that we will be able to obtain it within the year.”
Watkins, who has only been in her position for three months, was uncertain why the facility was not accredited in the past.
Melita-Smith board member Anne Gardner said the nursery was led to believe the application had been completed by a prior director, but that information was inaccurate.
The board entered into a Memorandum of Understanding agreement with the Eldon School District. Under the terms of the agreement, SFCC will have access to classroom and offices in the nursing wing and the Industrial Technology Lab. The cost to SFCC will be $30,000 annually.
Additional actions by the SFCC board:
• Awarded a contract to Pitney Bowes of Stamford, Conn., for a postage meter for $489.61.
• Awarded a contract to Yates Electric of North Kansas City for $34,868 for the installation of welding booth labs.
• Accepted the resignations of Jordan Greenleaf, assistant women’s basketball coach, Richard Downin, Energy Innovation Center Plant Operator, Jamie Crump, Navigator in Clinton, Beth Richardson, Nursing Instructor.
The board also hired Justin O’Neal as Facilities Management Director and Allen Sims as Industrial Maintenance Instructor.