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SCC Board of Trustees Approves 2011-12 Budget

While facing shortfalls in state funding and declining property taxes, a small tuition hike helped the board pass a budget reflecting a 4.7-percent increase over last year’s.

The St. Charles Community College (SCC) Board of Trustees approved an operating budget of $37,470,000 for fiscal year 2011-12 at Monday night’s regular meeting. The new fiscal year begins July 1.

Despite a reduction in state funds for the coming year, the 2011-12 budget reflects a 4.7-percent increase over the $35,800,000 budget approved for 2010-11.

SCC’s main sources of revenue include state funding, local tax revenue and tuition.

Gov. Jay Nixon announced a 7-percent decrease in state funding for higher education January. Todd Galbierz, SCC vice president for administrative services said the cut means a decrease of half a million dollars in state funding for the institution in the coming fiscal year.

To help combat the state funding shortfall and declining state revenue, in February the Board of Trustees approved a tuition increase.

The last tuition increase at SCC was the summer of 2007. The new tuition rates went into effect for the summer 2011 term.

  • Students in district experienced an increase from $80 to $85 per credit hour.
  • Out of district, in state students increased from $118 to $128 per credit hour.
  • Out of state and international rates increased from $175 to $191 per credit hour.

Galbierz said at Monday’s meeting that as state funding has decreased, tuition has become the primary source of the college revenue, making up 43 percent of the total. He added that just two years ago, tuition made up only 36 percent of the school’s total revenue.

More than 11,000 students enroll each year at SCC and Galbierz said the school expects 1 percent increase enrollment for the 2011-12 school year. Nearly 3,500 students are enrolled in summer classes. Fall classes begin Aug. 20.

While tuition revenue is expected to increase nearly 7 percent this year, property tax revenue is expected to decrease due to declining assessed property values in St. Charles County.

Galbierz said assessed property valuation decreased by 4.5 throughout St. Charles County compared to fiscal year 2010-11.

 Projected revenues for 2011-12:

  •  State appropriations, $7,293,900
  •  Student tuition, $16,130,000
  • Local tax revenue, $13,464,000
  • Vocational grants and contracts, $155,000
  • Investment earnings, $101,300
  • Other miscellaneous revenues, $325,800

Galbierz said the bulk of the college’s projected expenditures for fiscal year 2011-12 is the $21,450,513 expenditure for academic and student affairs in fiscal year 2012.

The second largest expenditure is  $6,904,509 for institutional support, which includes human resources, payroll accounting and IT. According to Galbierz, the school may save $100,000 currently designated for institutional support if no April 2012 election takes place.

Expenditures also include a 2-percent general salary increase and benefit increase for faculty and staff. Galbierz said staff medical insurance rates increased by 8.5 percent this year, so employee contributions were increased to help offset some of that cost.

Other expenditures included $403,273 in new capital equipment and contracts, $185,000 of which is designated for matching funds for federal grants.

Galbeirz said the 2011-12 budget is balanced with $14 million in the reserve fund.

“SCC is mindful of budget and managing cost effectiveness, because we know this has a direct impact on the accessibility of college to our community,” he said. “ We are very focused on maintaining a best buy on college education.”

During Monday’s meeting, Galbierz presented to the board and explained that several priority technology projects will not be able to be funded in the fiscal year 2012 operating budget.

Projects include:

  •  A new $185,000 math lab
  •  A $68,000 document imaging system to help eliminate paper records, the need for storage, make records immediately accessible for communication among departments
  •  A $140,000 new data center switch to expand connecton availability and network capabilities that have reached capacity. 

Galbierz said the school’s revenue for fiscal year 2011 is coming in more than $36.6 million total and if the fiscal year ended today, there would be an additional $800,000 in revenue. He suggested the board consider putting the additional resources in the reserve to work to fund the priority technology proposals.

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