JCCC Budget Priorities: Increase Tuition, Reduce Salaries

Posted to the Johnson County Community College electronic mail server, Infolist:

From: InfoList
Sent: Thursday, November 07, 2013 10:01 AM
To: InfoList
Subject: [infolist] A message from Joe Sopcich

As you know, we have several goals we need to accomplish this year with the budget to ensure that JCCC remains financially healthy. These goals are to:

  1.  Stabilize the college’s reserves at $21-$23 million, or no less than 16% of our annual operating budget to allow for two months of operations should a crisis occur.
  2. Begin working toward the goal of stabilizing the college’s capital budget at $10 million and replenish the capital operating fund so we can maintain our facilities at a level that serves our students. This is anticipated to take five years.
  3. Set our salaries and benefits at a level we can sustain for the foreseeable future. 

For us to accomplish these goals, we need to do two things:

  1.  Implement a plan for tuition rates that is consistent and informs students years in advance of what we’re going to charge so they can plan accordingly. We have proposed to the trustees a $3 a year tuition increase over the next five years. This means that by fiscal year 2018-2019, one credit hour will cost $100.
  2.  Reduce the salary budget by at least $3 million. This summer we took steps that reduced the salary budget by $700,000. That leaves us another $2.3 million in cuts to consider. 

To accomplish this second objective, we are taking a close look at all programs of the college. Each program, be it an academic program or a support area, has been asked to evaluate its performance and contribution to the college, based on a variety of criteria, such as cost of the program, enrollment, enrollment trends and growth potential. Support areas will look at volume of work/projects, cost to deliver such volume and redundancies in service.

Again this year we will be following the PBS (Prioritizing the Budget Strategically) process, in which we ask that all expense lines are justified.  The budgeting process will get underway this month, following this timeline: 

Nov. 11

Cabinet members will present evaluations of the programs and activities within each of their areas, including a general overview of the program, pertinent data, staffing trends and changes, opportunities for improvement and areas under further review, and will receive feedback and input from their colleagues.

Nov. 18

Cabinet members will meet with a Budget Review Team (still being formed) composed of faculty and staff members. The team will hear a general overview of the budget evaluations, ask questions and provide input and insight.

Nov. 25

Cabinet members will begin to assess the budget process and information and discuss the feedback and input from the Budget Review Team.

Dec. 2

Cabinet members will begin to evaluate potential changes to programs and staff and develop recommendations to present to the trustees during the month of December.

Dec. 12

At the board meeting, the trustees will approve the guidelines for preparing the college’s budget (these will be general guidelines and will not specify programming or staffing changes).

Dec. 13

Budget administrators will meet to receive the guidelines for the 2014-2015 budget that the board approved the previous evening.

Jan. 6

Cabinet members will consider final recommendations regarding programming and staffing. Communication with programs and individuals that will be affected by the decisions will take place as appropriate.

Jan. 23

Cabinet members will meet with the Budget Review Team to share the final decisions.

Jan. 24

Information about the decisions will be shared with the campus community.

Jan. 27

Budget administrators may begin entering budget information into Banner.

Feb. 10

All budgets should be loaded into Banner for review.

The trustees will review the proposed budget at a workshop in April and will approve the college’s management budget at their meeting in May. The college’s legal budget will be approved in August.

I’ve stated before that it’s my intention that the budgeting process will characterized by the following principles:

  • Transparency
  • Inclusivity
  • Civility
  • Data-driven
  • Accuracy
  • Demand-driven
  • Accountability 

I know that we have not faced budget challenges like this in the past and that this is a stressful situation for us all. But if we keep these principles in mind, we can make decisions that will make us stronger as an institution and serve our students well.



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