Volume 7  Issue # 11
Monday, February 21, 2005

The President's Post

       The budget for 2005-2006 has been approved by the Board of Trustee Finance Committee and the Executive Committee. The full Board of Trustees will be informed about the budget during our April Board meeting. An on-campus committee of 20 members assisted in building next year’s budget, and those participants represented the five major campus constituencies: students, faculty, professional staff, support staff, and administration.

   Developing the new budget was a challenge, but I truly believe that the budget is a fair, balanceable, and fiscally responsible one. The total increase to students will be 5.8 percent, by far the lowest increase in the past four years. Committee members were particularly focused on keeping our costs to students as reasonable as possible. An open forum for students is scheduled for February 24 at 6:30 p.m. in the Seay Student Center to discuss the budget and allow for questions and comments.

   The average increase for faculty and staff salaries will be 2 percent. Equally important is that there will be no additional shifting of healthcare costs to employees. We are also planning to fill several positions next year, positions that were vacant during the current year.

   Building a budget is not an easy task. There are always debates regarding how to allocate limited financial revenues, and the on-campus budget committee discussed the options at length. Although I appreciated all of the members’ comments and suggestions, I was especially impressed by our two student representatives: Lucia Gomez and Kari Overton. Lucia and Kari were articulate and perceptive as they presented the student view, and committee members listened carefully to their comments and concerns. We always learn from students.

   Please let me know if you have any questions.

Dr. Rick Niece

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