Posted at 12 a.m. April 17, 2014

Video: Board meeting coverage April 16

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Budget for new $3.3 million proposed

Laramie County Community College has $3.3 million in available new funds for fiscal year 2015, according to the community college district’s proposed annual budget.

The budget was presented to the LCCC Board of Trustees by LCCC President Dr. Joe Schaffer and Vice President of Administration and Finance Carol Hoglund on April 16.

Although state funds for community colleges have dropped significantly, about $5.6 million, compared to last biennium, Wyoming community colleges were able to secure $14.3 million in enrollment growth funding to be allocated among the seven community colleges based on completion rates during the 2014-2016 biennium. LCCC anticipates receiving $1.5 million in enrollment growth funding for fiscal year 2015, which it will treat as one-time-only funding. Schaffer said despite the significant reduction in funding last fiscal year, he does not expect significant budget reductions for 2015.

Part of the $3.3 million will also come from a 5 percent statewide tuition increase, set to go into effect in the fall. The increase will generate approximately $300,000 for the college. These funds will most likely be directed toward need-based student financial aid, Schaffer said.

Trustee Ed Mosher questioned how the college determines which students have financial need. “There are a number of folks who fall through the cracks,” Mosher said.

The college understands some individuals fall into a gap where they earn too much to qualify for financial aid, but they don’t earn enough to pay for college easily, Schaffer said. “We’re trying to fill that gap,” he said. “We try to fill it enough so they don’t have to take out loans.”

LCCC anticipates about $870,000 of the new funds to come from a performance funding component added to the model through which the Wyoming Community College Commission allocates the block grant of state aid to the community college, according to the proposed budget.

The state appropriated 61.59 percent of a 2 percent salary increase ($331,650) for college employees, excluding adjunct faculty, and 61.59 percent of a 0.875 percent employer increase for retirement ($107,339) over the biennium. 

Trustee Mosher said he believed LCCC “ought to do better” for adjunct faculty members. “They sure as the devil do [their work] out of love because we don’t pay them nearly enough.” Schaffer said he “didn’t disagree.”

The college received $1.3 million in state-matched private donation funding to the LCCC Foundation in 2012-2013, an estimated $775,000 in 2013-2014 and a tentative estimate of $775,000 in 2014-2015.

In collaboration with the budget process advisory committee, the budget resource allocation committee and LCCC College Council, LCCC administration has proposed the distribution of the available funds to allow for the following:

  • $1.1 million to compensation packages for educational advancements, market adjustments, salary increases, employer retirement contribution, new positions, vacancies/replacements/reclassifications and custodial services market/equity adjustment. More than $56,000 of which will go to custodians after a market analysis revealed LCCC’s custodians were paid significantly less than others who worked for similar businesses.
  • $212,100 to academic affairs to be used for curriculum redesign, reform and marketing of programs.
  • $192,000 to students services for scholarships
  • $632,745 to the president’s office operating budget as well as LCCC Informational Technology operating budget.
  • $174,808 to the administration and finance operating budget.
  • $267,985 in one-time enrollment growth funds to reserve accounts.

The college also proposed $750,000 to be allowed for 37 one-time expenses, including:

  • $75,000 for new anatomy and physiology models
  • $62,000 to replace a GE Voluson ultrasound machine
  • $26,000 for a new OTC1750A heavy duty diesel engine stand
  • $15,000 for new stand-alone book scanner
  • $2,500 for a new choir riser set

Several of the trustees requested rational for these purchases. “We’d be happy to provide that, but be careful what you ask for,” Schaffer said, explaining the system by which the college decides where to spend money is heavily involved.

Vice President Hoglund said the budget ensures for a stable future and “gets better every year.”

“Our budget process continues to improve,” Schaffer said, emphasizing developing it was a team effort. “I was really pleased with how it came together this year.”

If approved, the proposed budget will be in effect from July 1, 2014—June 30, 2015.

At the end of the April 16 board meeting, the board went into executive session, citing a legal as well as a personnel matter. 

Fiscal year budget presentation

Progress presentation

Video: Board meeting
coverage April 16

Fiscal year budget presentation

Progress presentation