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Closing the state funding gap between two and four colleges is at the top of the legislative agenda for Missouri’s 12 community college districts.  East Central College President Jon Bauer discussed the 2014 legislative session with ECC trustees at their February 3 meeting.

 

“Governor Nixon has introduced a budget that calls for a five percent increase in appropriations for four-year institutions and a four percent bump for two year colleges,” Bauer stated.  “We were disappointed that the percentages were not the same for both sectors.  However, it’s likely that budgets coming out of the House and Senate will be different and smaller than what the Governor proposes.” 

 

“Last week our community college delegation met with budget leaders and we are optimistic that community colleges will be treated identically to the four-year sector and we hope that we come out of the budget process in good shape.  Testifying before the Missouri House of Representatives' Education Appropriations Committee last week, representatives from several two year institutions in Missouri stressed the need for increased, equitable funding.

 

Missouri community colleges will be asking for an additional $15 million appropriation to close the gap between funding for community college students on a per full time equivalency basis.  At this time that funding is about three times higher at the four year schools.

 

“There are several positive things proposed that I hope will still be in place when the budget is finally approved in May,” said Bauer.  “Additional funding for scholarship programs and workforce development would benefit us.”

 

Bauer indicated that the budget is a long process but he should have a good indication later this month regarding where state revenues will fall.  That  will aid college administrations as they start to put together ECC’s budget for fiscal year 2015.   

 

According to statistics from the Missouri Community College Association, 48 percent of all students who complete a bachelor's degree have taken at least one community college class.  In addition to bolstering Missouri's economy through job training and economic development, two-year institutions are vital to giving Missouri students an affordable entry into bachelors and post-graduate education.

 

With over 100,000 students statewide, community colleges represent over 35 percent of the higher education enrollment for the state, with 95 percent of community college students staying in Missouri and contributing to their local economies.

 

Personnel

 

At their February meeting college trustees approved several personnel matters. 

 

Dana Riegel was appointed to the research analyst position in the office of institutional research.  Since last April Riegel has worked at the college as the grants specialist.  She earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. 

 

Trustees accepted the resignation of Angela Freeman, instructional design specialist.   A change from an annual contact to a continuous contract for Leigh Kolb, English and journalism instructor, was also approved.

 

Part-time instructors for the 2014 spring semester were approved.

 

In other business, revisions to board policy as it relates to supplemental employment were presented to trustees for their review.  Formal action will be taken at the March board meeting.             

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