College Budget Favors Globe, Board Chairman Says

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The governing board of Gila County Community College convened for a work-study meeting on the budget Monday in Globe.

The members discussed how the 2006-2007 fiscal year budget of $4.7 million dollars, approved at the June meeting, might be fine-tuned between the campuses.

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Robert Ashford and other members of the Gila County Community College Board of Directors met in Globe Monday to review their $4.7 million budget for 2006-2007.

"The budget is an estimate on the front end and the accounting is keeping track of the budget on the back end," said board member Larry Stephenson.

A budget analysis per center was provided to board members by Senior Dean Margo Bracamonte.

"It's a good start," chairman Robert Ashford said of the analysis. "But the (breakdown of) categories between Globe and Payson are not consistent."

Ashford said he thought one of the biggest reasons for having the meeting was the way the budget is recorded makes it appear skewed.

For instance there was no administration category in Globe yet Payson had that category.

GCC is using contractee Eastern Arizona College's budgeting program and Bracamonte said changes were planned, but she did not know when they were slated to occur.

"We adopted a monetary amount for the budget, and even though (the budget is formatted), it is not cast in stone. Monies can be and normally are shifted around and money re-allocated," Ashford said. "If we have money that shows on the budget for Gila or San Carlos and there is something the Payson campus needs money can be shifted, and vice versa."

Nothing was voted on by the four members present (Bernadette Kniffin, Ashford, Don Crowley and Stephenson), but a couple of the items they discussed will appear on the agenda of their August meeting:

  • Adjunct instructor salaries

Part-time teachers received a 10 percent salary raise with the new budget, yet all four board members expressed concern that good staff was tough to attract and important to retain.

In addition to the tiered payment still in effect for the 125 part-time teachers:

  • Upon hearing a popular history professor in Globe was traveling from the Valley to teach but might have to quit because the price of commuting was too great, it was suggested that GCC reimburse out-of-town teachers for mileage.
  • The board might consider supplemental pay for part-time teachers based on a tiered structure which might include whether the instructor was teaching a public interest versus a general education course, and/or the degree the instructor had.
  • Senior scholarships

Stephenson and Crowley suggested a cap on the $75,000 allocated in the budget for senior scholarships since last year they accounted for more than $200,000.

But because senior scholarships are also an EAC program it would be difficult to change how GCC handles them.

Crowley and Ashford cited the attempts of seniors they knew of who wanted to pay for their classes, but could not because the system had no way to handle their paid tuition.

In the past it had been suggested that seniors who wish to pay for courses instead make a tax-deductible donation to the Foundation for Higher Education. There is one for northern and one for southern Gila County.

Other items members and the senior dean discussed included:

  • Why there are classes with only one student. -- Some lab courses, such as advanced computer classes, are taught at the same time by one instructor and account for single or low head count said Bracamonte. Other instances are courses taught by interactive television in which case each campus is given credit for the student who took the class.
  • Distribution of general education classes between the campuses. In Globe and Payson each have one biology and three chemistry courses. Payson has three math, while Globe and San Carlos have two. The Globe campus has three English courses while Payson and San Carlos have only one. Payson did not have an English literature teacher, so a higher level English course could not be offered.
  • Out of space on the Payson campus. -- This was a "good news bad news" situation according to Stephenson and Ashford. Out of space means classrooms are being used, but may indicate a need to rent space off campus or put a modular building on campus.
  • The search for a new Small Business Development Coordinator -- Bracamonte begins screening the 13 application forms she has received in response to the SBDC position this week.

The date of the August board meeting has yet to be announced.

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