The general operating budget and staffing plan for the 2018 fiscal year was approved by the East Central College Board of Trustees on Tuesday, June 14.
Part of the $18.6 million budget and staffing plan included a projected decline in state funding as well as a likely increase in local tax revenue. The staffing plan included the reorganization of leadership in the Academics division. The new leadership positions will be filled by current faculty members that results in a cost savings to the college due to faculty retirements and the restructuring of the Academic Division.
“We will now have a Dean of Instruction, a Dean of Career and Technical and a Dean of Health Sciences,” said East Central College President Dr. Jon Bauer. “These positions will further strengthen the services we provide to our students.”
Two new director positions were also approved and will better position East Central College for outreach in the community.
“The Director of Dual Credit and College Readiness will work with area high schools to promote collaboration,” said Dr. Bauer. “We want ensure we are making a concentrated effort to work with local districts to provide college-level, dual credit courses to students.”
The Director of Online Education will work to bolster ECC’s online learning opportunities for its students.
“This structure will enable us to focus on areas of strategic importance, as well as provide better administration of our academic programs. Two strategies for growing enrollment are expanding our work with high schools and providing online options, especially for working adults,” said Dr. Bauer.
New division chairs for humanities and fine arts, social sciences and math/engineering will report to the new Dean of Instruction. To lessen confusion, the Vice President of Instruction will now be known as the Vice President of Academic Affairs.
Because of proposed budget cuts at the state level, the FY 2018 budget did not included raises for staff and faculty, but Dr. Bauer noted that employee raises are still on the table.
“The college will reassess revenue in early fall to determine whether raises can be applied during the fiscal year,” said Dr. Bauer. “After the start of the semester, we will have more precise figures on enrollment, local taxes and state aid. The board and I are hopeful the revenue picture at that time will allow for raises this year.”
Board of Trustees President Ann Hartley supported the strategy. “Faculty and staff members work so hard every day, and they deserve raises,” she explained. “I think it’s a smart move to hold off for a few months instead of waiting for an entire year to bring it up again.”
Security Camera Enhancement
Meanwhile, some major technology and security upgrades will soon be coming to the college. More than 100 high definition cameras will be purchased from Tyco Integrated Security, Inc. using dedicated security fees.
“This purchase will not only upgrade the cameras we currently have,” said Dr. Bauer, “but increase the number of cameras on campus. The cameras will allow the Union Police Department to remotely access campus cameras during a crisis. We believe this will be a great enhancement for security.”
The Union Police Department currently uses the same system with the Union School District and the Parks and Recreation Department.
Additionally, 57 new computers were approved for The Learning Center.