March DGB Highlights

March 27, 2018 by Anonymous

After announcing the selection of Mark Vest [Read More] as the next Northland Pioneer College President, the Navajo County Community College District Governing Board turned their attention to reviewing various components required in the budget adoption process.

Vest, currently NPC’s vice president for Learning and Student Services, was selected from a field of four finalists all of whom had visited the college in early February and met with community members, college staff and with the governing board. He will replace retiring President Dr. Jeanne Swarthout in July.

One of the budget approval steps done annually is the adjustment of a previous year’s adopted budget to reflect actual audited, instead of projected, expenditures. The board approved the adjusted 2016-17 budget and also accepted the Office of the Auditor General’s annual audit of the components used to calculate the expenditure limitation.

Chief Business Officer Maderia Ellison’s preliminary budget analysis projects a 4.6 percent reduction in state operating aid, which is based on enrollment, but a 3.6 percent increase in equalization aid to compensate for below-average property valuations in the county. Combined state aid provides 28 percent of the proposed total budget.

Approximately half of the proposed $30.5 million budget will be generated by property taxes. If the board approves a recommended maximum property tax levy, the rate would increase 4.6 cents per $100 of net assessed valuation. Primary property taxes on a home valued at $100,000 could increase $46 per year.

Tuition for the upcoming year had been set as part of a three-year plan adopted by the board in 2017. In-state tuition will increase by $2 to $74 per credit hour. There were no proposed changes to general and special fees. Course fees, primarily for the new Energy and Industrial Technician (EIT) and a new Health Science course, were adjusted to reflect costs for supplies and other instructional materials. Overall tuition revenue is projected at $4.86 million, or 16 percent of the total budget.

The largest expenditure for the college is for employee-related expenses. NPC administrators, faculty and staff collaboratively developed a 3.5 percent salary and wage increase recommendation to keep the college competitive in hiring and retaining qualified employees.

Faculty Association President Pat Lopez, speaking on behalf of all employees, explained why employees had originally sought a 5 percent increase and the process that resulted in the joint recommendation.

Board member James Matteson questioned Lopez and administrators on whether the recommended 3.5 percent would help attract qualified instructors, especially in mathematics, English and the sciences, and staff members to maintain the college’s vast telecommunications system. Lopez replied it may help, since NPC faculty salaries are at or near the bottom for the state’s 10 community college districts. “We’re also competing against private industry to attract IT professionals, remarked Matteson, making note of extended vacancies in critical IT positions.

The board is expected to vote on the wage and salary package at its April 17 meeting, prior to adopting the proposed budget for next year.

In other action, the board approved a four-year contract with Hobsons for the Starfish software used by faculty and advisers to track student success. As part of the consent agenda, modifications to the Early Childhood Studies and Medical Assistant programs and the general education options were approved.

President Swarthout provided an overview of the documentation required for accreditation supporting the college’s integrity and transparency in financial and administrative actions. The documents will become part of the argument presented during a November 2019 visit by the Higher Learning Commission to extend NPC’s accreditation.

During her monthly report to the board, Betsyann Wilson, executive director of NPC Friends and Family, encouraged pre-scheduling of donations for Arizona Gives Day on Tuesday, April 3, at www.azgives.org/npcfriendsfamily. The state’s nonprofit charities are eligible for additional rewards in several categories, including most dollars raised in pre-scheduled donations.

If you are an Amazon shopper, Wilson asks you to consider shopping through www.smile.amazon.com and designating NPC Friends & Family as your charity. “Amazon contributes 0.5 percent of each sale to our scholarship funds. There is no additional cost to you, and our students will benefit from your purchase through Amazon Smile,” added Wilson.

Wilson noted that Summit Healthcare is once again offering $5,000 in scholarships to NPC Nursing students. Responding to a proposal submitted by Student Government Association Vice President Amanda Hatch, the Friends & Family board has created additional Leg-Up Scholarships specifically for students who cannot complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). “We have students who, for whatever reason, cannot complete the FAFSA, which is used to demonstrate financial need. Now, as part of the Leg-Up Scholarship process, we’ll consider each non-FAFSA applicant on a individual basis and help out whenever we can.”

Chris Yervasi, the manager of the JC Penney in Show Low, is working with Wilson to provide five $100 gift cards to help students needing business attire for job interviews. “Mr. Yervasi is very community-minded, so I’m really excited to be working with him on this project. He’s even offering to allow the students to privately shop before regular business hours.”

If you have questions about Arizona Gives Day, or other opportunities to help support NPC student scholarships, contact Wilson at 536-6245.

President Swarthout reported that NPC Nursing student Amanda Hatch has been named a Coca-Cola Academic Silver Scholar and will receive a $1,250 scholarship. As a first team member of the All-Arizona Academic Team, she already received a tuition waiver to complete her bachelor’s degree at a state university. Hatch is one of only 150 community college students nationwide to receive recognition from the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation. She will be honored during Phi Theta Kappa’s annual convention, April 19-21, in Kansas City, Missouri. Hatch also serves as president of NPC’s chapter of PTK, the international honor society of two-year college students.

The next regularly-scheduled meeting will be Tuesday, April 17, at 10 a.m. in the Tiponi Community Center on the Holbrook – Painted Desert Campus, 2251 E. Navajo Blvd. Copies of the agenda will be posted online at least 24 hours in advance.

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