Full-time athletic director questioned in proposed budget

Laramie County Community College President Dr. Joe Schaffer presented a proposed budget for the fiscal year of 2013 at the LCCC Board of Trustees' April 4 study session.

Some of the additions to the proposed budget were hiring a full-time athletic director, creating an intramural sports program and improving campus recreational facilities. Schaffer, who worked with the Missoula Family YMCA before becoming LCCC's president, said the current athletic director, Jason Ficca, is also the basketball coach, and splitting the positions could help create an intramural sports program at LCCC.

However, the Board of Trustees' secretary, Kevin Kilty, said, LCCC once had an intramural sports program without a full-time athletic director. Kilty said intramurals were handled through the student body and should be handled the same way if a program were brought back to LCCC.

"That does not require an AD with intramurals," Kilty said. "We did it before."

Kilty also said that at one point he complained about the multipurpose room's hours of operation but was told the college lacked the budget to fund a student position to oversee the facilities, which would cost $80 a week. "I don't understand how an AD is going to help us or make those resources more available to people for $100,000 a year rather than $80 a week," Kilty said. "If we were unwilling to spend $80 a week at one time, it seems like we're awfully willing to $100,000 on this position."

LCCC English instructor Arshi Rizwani-Nisley also voiced concerns about the proposed addition of an athletic director. She said she thought facility scheduling issues and new activities could be addressed with current staff. Rizwani-Nisley also said she feared adding an athletic director to oversee intramurals would create a previously absent demand, which could lead to the request for new facilities.

"I can see the fine and performing arts building being pushed further down the list because we will be creating a need that we don't have right now," Rizwani-Nisley said. She said LCCC currently charges students for an intramural sports program, but such a program does not exist. She said students should not be charged those fees.

Associated Student Government treasurer Misty Heil agreed that student fees were major concern with the senators. Heil said student fees were a "real hot topic for us."

"We want to know where the money is going," Heil said.

However, President Schaffer said he didn't know the history of LCCC's previous intramural sports program, but the college has experienced large growth and changes.

"Student growth on this campus has changed the very environment and our ability to do things because of smaller numbers in the past and what we have to work with right now," Schaffer said. He said he has heard intramural sports and athletic facilities are areas students want to see improved.

"When we look at how we can impact students across the board and we can start to serve and create a campus environment conducive to student engagement, student wellness, I will stand by this proposal," Schaffer said. "It is a good investment in establishing and accomplishing the things that students have said they wanted."

Schaffer said the proposed budget for 2013 would also include the following:

Schaffer said compared to other Wyoming community colleges, LCCC spends less funding per student full-time enrollment, and LCCC invests the second highest percent of its expenditures on instruction when compared to other Wyoming community colleges. However, Schaffer said the college's expenditure on instruction is still comparable to other Wyoming colleges.

Schaffer said, in a state context, he and the team who developed the budget wanted to stay within the state standard budget and control rapid growth. Schaffer also said they planned to freeze pay raises in the proposed budget, meaning compensation expenses would not increase or decrease.

He said based on the budget passed by the Legislature and tuition increases approved by the Wyoming Community College Commission, he estimated LCCC will have about $2 million in additional revenue for the fiscal year of 2013.

From an institutional context, Schaffer said he and the team focused on the following:

The board later went into executive session to discuss a personnel issue.

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