SIC Board Reviews Budget, Receives High Marks from ICCB

August 18, 2015

The Southeastern Illinois College Board of Trustees met on August 11 at 6:00 p.m. in the Rodney Brenner Board Room to review the fiscal year (FY) 2016 tentative budget and also hear reports on the Illinois Community College Board’s (ICCB) recent recognition visit as well as enrollment management.

The FY 16 General Fund tentative budget that covers education, operations and maintenance costs has a surplus of about $7,000 and is available for public inspection.

Such a tight margin is based on several premises according to college officials.

“This budget is based on an estimated decrease in state funding that could change when Illinois passes a budget for the current year and we are notified of our actual state funding,” said Dean of Administration and Business Affairs, David Wright. “At this time we are expecting longer delays in funding until Springfield passes a budget.”

Tuition revenue is estimated to remain essentially flat, while most of the state is expecting a downturn in enrollment.  

“Flat enrollment would be a good sign in comparison to most other community colleges,” said Dean of Student Services and Enrollment, Chad Flannery.

While final numbers are not in, Flannery noted that enrollment in Illinois will most likely follow the national trend with fewer students enrolled in this post-recession era.

“Part of the stabilization is possibly due to the sticker shock parents see when they put pen to paper and see how much debt is associated with less affordable educational opportunities,” said SIC President Jonah Rice.

According to US News and World Report and National Public Radio, student loan debt is higher than credit card debt in this county and averages over $30,000 per student.

The board also heard a report on the ICCB’s most recent recognition visit.

“SIC received many positive comments about academics, student services and planning,” said Rice.

Few compliance items were even noted and according to Rice, the ICCB gave high marks to the financial planning of SIC.

“The ICCB assessed our fiscal house for the past five years and noted vast improvements and measures that were made to ensure a stable future,” said Rice.

Southeastern will review the draft report and note any changes for final submission to the ICCB.

“This highly positive recognition visit validates SIC as a leader in quality processes that put students first,” said Rice.

Dean Flannery also reported on the College’s enrollment management plan.

The board learned about the comprehensive nature of enrollment management at SIC and the improvements that have been made to processes over the past few years.

Some improvements include market penetration rates, registration date comparisons and academic intervention success rates.                                            

Policy revisions were passed by the board in student services and approved numerous curriculum committee recommendations.  Adjunct pay was also increased $10 per credit hour.

In personnel items, the board approved the retirement of Donna Hearn, Community Outreach Supervisor effective June 30, 2016. The board approved the employment of Devona Morales as the part-time Adult Based Education (ABE) Secretary, Lisa Dye as the part-time Academic Services Secretary, Jessica Pierce as the part-time Customer Services Center Specialist and Kiley Gould as the Financial Aid Specialist, effective August 12, 2015. The board also approved a 2015-2017 collective bargaining agreement with the custodial group as well as several adjunct instructors.

The next board meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 15 at 6 p.m. in the Rodney J. Brenner Boardroom.