Trustees Approve Tentative Balanced Budget

Budget Reduced $600,000 from Current Year, includes $325,000 Less from State

The John Wood Community College Board of Trustees approved a tentative $14,340,600 balanced operating budget during its regular meeting Wednesday, June 18. 

The 2015 budget is $600,000 less than the current year and includes a $323,000 reduction in state funding.

JWCC projects students to enroll in 41,700 credit hours next year, a decrease of 1,750 from last year’s total of 43,450. The projection is based on a number of factors, including lower unemployment rates and smaller high school graduating classes.  However, JWCC has exceeded summer enrollment goals and early enrollment figures for fall 2014 are outpacing projections.  

“We have to be less reliant on state support, while living within our means, “JWCC President Mike Elbe said.   “It’s a challenge we’ve been proactively solving, but our credit hour projections have made it even more difficult and required us to increase tuition. “

To combat demographic and economic conditions, JWCC increased student tuition and fees, trimmed departmental costs and launched a new “2x2” online program, all while providing solid student support and outcomes.

“Our faculty and staff and budget managers are to be commended for their work to balance this year’s budget,” Elbe noted.

Following a tuition freeze in 2014, JWCC raised 2015 tuition and fees from $133 to $142 a credit hour. The bump amounts to an extra $288 a year for students taking 32 credit hours, which is a dollar amount increase that is in line with community colleges statewide.  Regionally, JWCC’s average full-time in-district cost of $4,544 for next year compares favorably with public and private annual tuition and fees ranging from $10,000 to $25,000.

“A CNN Money report noting we are in the top 10 percent of community colleges in the country for student success shows that while we are much leaner, our student services and outcomes are strong,” Elbe said.  “And the launch of our 2x2 online program has the opportunity to grow enrollment from outside our region,” Elbe said.  

The 2015 budget document was posted June 16 and will remain on display for 30 days for public review.  The budget will be formally adopted during the July board meeting.

In other business, the Board:

Adopted a resolution to comply with the Prevailing Wage Act for public works construction projects at the College.

Approved $141,182 in tuition and fees, bookstore and miscellaneous write-offs from the prior 18 month to two year period.  JWCC will continue to seek payment on write-offs through a collection service.

Approved transfer of $147,632 from the Operations and Maintenance Fund to Restricted Operations and Maintenance Fund and accepted low bid from Altofer, Inc., for installation of diesel oxidation catalysts (DOC) on the College’s three diesel generators.  New Environmental Protection Agency requirements mandate DOC installations for generators that allow JWCC’s main campus to operate during power outages.

Approved renewal of United Way of Adams County Partner Agreement for the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) hosted by JWCC.

Approved three Resource Allocation Management Plan (RAMP) documents to allow for State of Illinois matching fund commitment for submission to the Illinois Community College Board (ICCB).  RAMP documents were approved for construction of a new outlying facility in the southeast portion of JWCC’s district, expansion of the College’s Workforce Development Center and construction of a Health and Natural Sciences building on the Quincy campus.  ICCB will submit the requests for inclusion in the 2016 State of Illinois capital budget.

Approved $1-$200 fee range to cover the use of e-books and digital media devices required for various courses.

Authorized acceptance of $32,286 in grant funding from the Illinois Department on Aging to support the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) and $12,500 from the United Way of Adams County for RSVP Medical Transportation and Recruitment and Placement Programs.

Authorized acceptance of $5,000 grant funding from Bank of America to support the unmet needs of career and technical students.

The next regular meeting of the JWCC Board of Trustees is scheduled for July 16 at the Pittsfield Education Center at 1308 W. Washington.