East Central College trustees approved an $18,893,429 budget for the new fiscal year that begins July 1. That represents an increase of 4.8 percent over the current budget.

East Central College trustees approved an $18,893,429 budget for the new fiscal year that begins July 1. That represents an increase of 4.8 percent over the current budget.

In presenting the budget to board members at their May 13 meeting, Phil Pena, vice president of finance and administration, noted that development of the budget for fiscal year 2014 represents slightly more optimistic revenue conjectures.

“We maintain a watchful eye on expenses and evaluate any new projects with long-term value in mind,” Pena said. “This budget includes a contingency fund to provide resources for unplanned, but necessary expenditures, and to provide protection from revenue streams that fail to meet projections.    

“For the first time in several years our state aid is expected to increase. Unfortunately, local tax revenue is expected to have little or no growth and certain expenses such as utility costs and medical insurance are projected to be higher in the coming year,” said Pena. “In addition, enrollment trends indicate little or no growth for the coming academic year.”
Tuition, local taxes and state aid account for more than 98 percent of revenue in the budget.    

Tuition and fees represent the largest source of revenue for the college, accounting for almost 40 percent of the total budget. For the third consecutive year, a tuition increase goes into effect for the upcoming fall semester.  

In March, trustees approved a tuition rate for the 2013 fall semester of $75 per credit hour for in-district students, a $4 increase.

The rate for out-of-district students goes to $106 per credit hour, an increase of $5 per hour.
Tuition also increases $8 per credit hour for out-of-state students to $160, and $9 per credit hour for international students to $173.

The overall total general fees rate will go to $14 per credit hour for the upcoming fall semester, a $4 increase. This is the first increase in general fees since 2002.

Pena noted that though students will be paying more to attend, flat or declining enrollment will limit the amount of new revenue available.

Little or no growth is planned for local tax revenue. The 2012 assessed valuation increased just less than 1 percent over 2011. Local revenue represents 32 percent of general revenue to the college, down slightly from 33 percent this fiscal year.

State aid accounts for 26.6 percent of general revenue for ECC. Pena stated that the 2014 budget projects a 4 percent increase in state aid, though that is still being negotiated in the General Assembly.

“The budget includes a contingency fund, and any change in state aid will be reflected in a corresponding change in the contingency fund,” Pena stated.    

All full-time and regular part-time employees will receive a 2 percent salary increase, an improvement over the past year when no raises were given. The wage scales for entry level staff positions will increase to $9 per hour.

For the second consecutive year, the state retirement system will not raise the mandatory contribution rate. Contribution rates now stand at 14.5 percent for faculty and salaried staff and 6.86 percent for support staff.

The 2014 budget also reflects an increase of 4 percent for health insurance in the coming year.

Salaries and benefits account for the largest share of expenses for the college, totaling over 77 percent of general fund spending in the upcoming fiscal year.

Dr. Jon Bauer, college president, noted that the staffing plan includes a change in the organizational structure. The position of vice president of career and outreach education has been vacant for several months. That position has been restructured as vice president of external relations which will oversee public relations, grants, non-credit offerings, workforce development and summer camps.

The web developer position will move to this new area from information technology. “This vice president will work with all of our external partners and constituencies, with the exception of educational partners,” Bauer stated.

Off-campus facilities in Rolla, Sullivan, Warrenton and Washington were administered by the career and outreach education vice president. Those sites will now report to the vice president of curriculum and instruction.

Moving forward, career and technical programs will be housed in the appropriate academic divisions, so that all instructional programs and faculty will report to a division chair and then to the vice president of curriculum and instruction.

Classroom technology, which has reported to instruction, will be combined with the information technology department and that combined IT group will report to the vice president of finance and administration.  

Wendy Hartmann, director of human resources, noted that the staffing plan includes the addition of full-time faculty positions in mathematics and nursing, a part-time clerk for the box office and one full-time position that will involve head coaching duties, Fitness Center coordination and physical education instruction.

“We have filled four of the vacancies created due to retirement and have over 30 positions open,” Hartmann said. ECC has 209 full-time employees.