FREEPORT—The Highland Community College Board of Trustees approved a tentative 2014 fiscal year budget during their July meeting. The permanent budget will be submitted to the Illinois Community College Board once adopted by Trustees during the September 17 regular meeting.
At this very early stage of the budget building process, the tentative FY14 operating funds budget includes a deficit of about $900,000. However, according to Vice President of Administrative Services Jill Janssen, the permanent budget presentation in September will include adjustments factoring in final enrollment numbers for fall semester, and updated state and federal-restricted grant funding.
“We expect that many changes will be made between the adoption of the tentative budget and the presentation of the permanent budget at the Board’s September meeting,” said Janssen. “Late last week, state allocations were announced for FY14 and Highland’s allocation is about $200,000 more than was anticipated in the tentative budget. The anticipated revenue for FY14 is about 2 percent higher than projected for FY13.”
According to administrators, the College will utilize its fund balance, or reserve, to absorb the remaining deficit after that figure is determined in September’s permanent budget. Currently, Highland’s projected fund balance is maintained at levels recommended by the Illinois Community College Board.
College administrators noted that the College provided $106,000 of funding for students who were awarded Illinois Veteran’s grants, Monetary Award Program (MAP) grants, and other state assistance that the State of Illinois did not fund this year, and this is expected to continue next fiscal year. Additionally, the College is still awaiting $592,000 in unrestricted funds and $150,000 in restricted funds from the state for the current year.
According to Highland President Dr. Joe Kanosky, “It is important to keep in mind that the College is still early in the process of constructing the permanent budget and there will be significant changes that will bring expenses in line with expected revenues.”
Despite increases in costs for items such as unfunded state-mandated tuition waivers, employee health insurance premiums, and building maintenance, the majority of the operating budget is directly allocated to vital services and instruction, benefitting students and the surrounding communities. Sixty-six percent of budgeted expenses are put directly toward student services such as instruction, academic support, student services, scholarships, grants and waivers.
In other business, Trustees also approved the following items:
• A new Associate of Applied Science degree program in Hospitality Management for submission to the Illinois Community College Board
• A renewal of a memorandum of understanding with the Stephenson County Health Department, which allows the Health Department to use our facilities in the case of a public health emergency
• Part-time and overload instructors for the Summer 2013 semester
• The reaffirmation of our Academic Quality Improvement Program (AQIP) accreditation method
• The annual Curriculum and Instruction Committee report for FY’13