Salaries, budgets focus of Board meeting

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By Ben Markley

Several changes to the school were announced during the monthly Board of Trustees meeting Sept. 28.

In one of the larger changes, the Board moved to approve President Terry Calaway’s new contract, which included a three percent salary increase. However, the movement did not pass unanimously as Trustee Stephanie Sharp opposed the new contract.

Sharp said she believes the president’s position was already well compensated and on par with the region’s counterparts. She stressed, however, that she was not opposing Calaway, merely the increase.

“I have concerns about giving increases over and above our faculty increases when we’ve additionally cut millions of dollars out of our budget,” Sharp said. “It’s a numbers issue for me.”
Trustee Greg Musil said he believed the increase was a small amount in comparison with the help Calaway has given the Board.

“The president of this university is a 24/7, 365 day-a-year job,” Musil said. “Dr. Calaway has helped us meet our strategic goals in a very tough time.”

Budget cuts were also brought up during the meeting. John Winter, lead custodian, came forward on behalf of the college’s custodial staff during Petitions and Communications.

Winter said the budget cuts have fallen disproportionately on the custodial staff salaries, asking for one-third of their salary and half of their benefits. He said the college has requested that these contracts would not increase over the next five years.

“A current housekeeping employee will be expected to do the same job… with the same quality and expertise for two-thirds of the salary and then accept no cost-of-living increase for half a decade,” Winter said. “Would we approach the faculty with such a proposition?”

He reported that many custodial staff had retired and current custodial staff is experiencing increased mental and emotional strain.

“The JCCC brand has slipped, and we’re not the better for it,” Winter said.

Calaway said the college was right at the industry standard for custodial personnel but that custodial staff believed five or six more people were needed. He said there will be a town hall meeting with custodial staff and a decision regarding custodial issues will be made at the October meeting.

Trustee Jerry Cook said later in the meeting that the college’s “brand” is being upheld by its diverse opportunities and national recognition.

“I am very pleased with the large number of outstanding events that are going on on a daily basis that elevate the brand of [the college] locally, state-wide, and nationally,” Cook said.

College lobbyist Dick Carter reported that the Board of Regents initially planned to propose a $60 million request of funds for Kansas colleges and universities. He said the proposal dropped to around $48 million. He said about $40 million would go to state universities, with the initial $20 million designated for community and technical colleges dropping to $8 million.

In regards to the budget, President Calaway reported that the school spent 91 to 92 percent of the budget at the end of last year’s fiscal year. He said this was a positive development and would allow the leftover funds to be carried into the next fiscal year.

Also announced was the increase in scholarship distribution. Trustee Greg Musil reported that distribution was up 39 percent to over $911,000.

“It’s wonderful – it’s also a challenge for the future,” Musil said. “If we’re going to do that every year, we’re going to have to keep raising scholarship money and endowment money over and over again every year.”

The Board added the Shawnee Dispatch and Tri-County News to their list of official newspapers as a follow-up to their decision to replace The Johnson County Sun with The Legal Record.

For more information about the Board of Trustees, minutes, packets, and meeting dates, visit http://www.jccc.edu/trustees.

Contact Ben Markley, news editor, at bmarkle2@stumail.jccc.edu.

1 COMMENT

  1. In January Dr. Calaway spun budget doom and gloom at the Trustees meeting, and now we see that topic again at the August and September meetings.

    Would it surprise you then to learn The College is really quite rich? It is true. Check out the Treasurer’s report in the September packet. The College holds 104 million dollars in short term funds – 81 million un-encumbered. They have not had less than 50 million in short term funds since FY 2007 or before. This cash earns practically nothing, about .1% in todays market.

    Official Trustee policy is to hold 10% of the budget or about 15 million “in reserve.” Why are they holding three to seven times this amount?

    Meanwhile, they recently raised tuition, again. They hold general revenue bonds costing something – probably 4 or 5 percent in interest – why not just pay them off? That expense decrease would come close to matching the tuition increase.

    I met with President Calaway and Treasurer Don Perkins a few months ago on this very topic. At that meeting Dr. Calaway mentioned that indeed he had paid off his home loan because “cash is worth so little.” Why does the same not apply to The College?

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