ACC staff introduces 2010-2011 proposed budget to regents
Alvin Community College administrators introduced a proposed annual budget for 2010-2011 to the Board of Regents during a regular meeting on June 24.
“The budget is based on a number of factors, including an increase in headcount enrollment and the 10 percent reduction of state funding for the next two years,” ACC President Dr. Rodney Allbright said.
During the 2009-2010 academic year, ACC experienced record enrollment with 5,296 students during the spring semester and 2,906 during the first summer semester, which corresponded to a 17.5 percent increase from the previous year.
Despite enrollment increases at many state community colleges, the Texas Legislature is mandating all higher education institutions to plan for a 5 percent decrease in funding each year until 2012.
“We’ve looked at a number of things to do for cost reduction,” Allbright stated.
During the budget process, he said administrators will be looking into various options, including increasing class and lab sizes, capping some programs and placing the GED program on hiatus for a year.
“You may have to consider for the first time limiting growth,” Allbright expressed.
In April, regents also approved a $4 per hour in-district and $7 per hour out-of-district tuition increase to help address the loss in state funding.
Concerned that a reduction in college district taxable values may not cover the 2010-2011 budget without a tax increase, Regent Mike Pyburn asked administrators to continue working on reducing the budget.
“I’m around a lot of people who are struggling financially,” he said. “I think we should seriously look at holding the line on this.”
“It is a terrible time to do any tax increases, even though we’re being hit on two of the three sources (state funding and tax revenue) of funding our budget,” Pyburn continued. “States and countries are in debt because no one wants to say ‘no.’ Sometimes you have to hold the line or cut back and I think we’re in one of those times.”
Regents directed staff to fund the next annual budget at last year’s tax rate and determine what other actions are necessary to accomplish it, including a possible tuition and fee increase during the spring semester and limiting new personnel.
Regents also debated about freezing the step increases for faculty and staff. ACC’s Maintenance and Operations Budget for 2009-2010 was $23,622,358.
In other matters, regents approved the construction of an observatory to serve as a laboratory for credit and continuing education astronomy and other physics classes during the meeting.
The 15-foot diameter observatory will be constructed from a kit by ACC personnel at an estimated total cost of approximately $37,000.
“After showing some friends in Friendswood these plans, now they all want to come here and take the course,” Regent Karlis Ercums said.
During the meeting, regents also approved: regular board meeting dates through August 2011; personnel resignation; financial report for May 2010; quarterly investment report; and the check register.