09/29/10 — Wayne Community College budget now set at $34 million

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Wayne Community College budget now set at $34 million

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on September 29, 2010 1:46 PM

The Wayne Community College board of trustees approved a $34 million budget Tuesday night and briefly discussed beautification efforts at the college.

The budget, which reflects $21.5 million from state and federal sources and $3.5 million from the county, actually went into effect earlier in the month prior to the trustees' meeting but still required a board vote.

Federal sources also account for another $7.5 million, with $7 million of that representing Pell grants and other financial aid. That is a growing area, officials said, with an estimated 70 percent of the student body receiving some form of financial assistance.

"The college has 4,000 students and a budget of $34 million. We're a big business, and I think we have a fiduciary responsibility as board members," said board member Sam Hunter, representing the finance committee. "I think we'll really be happy with our entire budget."

Joy Kornegay, chief financial officer for WCC, explained some of the particulars of the 2010-2011 budget.

The state portion increased by $2 million, she said, explaining that the formula allocation is based upon the previous year's figures of FTEs, or full-time equivalent student numbers.

"Our original budget was actually higher than that when it came down from the state," she said. "This year, it was reduced by $626,348, about 2 percent of our budget."

Due to the current state budget situation, community colleges were asked to hold back 2 percent in reserves, she explained.

"History has shown us that if they say hold back two, you better hold back two," said Dr. Kay Albertson, WCC president. "We're hoping it won't be reverted (to the state) but should it be called for, we will have the funds and if it isn't, we will be able to use it."

Operating expenses encompass the largest portion of the budget -- curriculum programs and salaries. The $10.3 million portion is funded entirely by the state. Another $3.2 million funded by the state falls under continuing education.

Academic support, apportioned $1.9 million, includes administration in the areas of curriculum and continuing education, tech preparation and the library. The county kicks in a small portion of that, $127,600, specifically for the WORKS initiative, which offers training and testing to better prepare residents to enter or transition in the work force.

The county also contributes 100 percent of the $2.5 million allocated for plant operation and maintenance, Ms. Kornegay said.

Also at the meeting, Dr. Michael Gooden, board member representing the building committee, announced that Phase 1 of a campus beautification plan has begun, with an emphasis on aesthetics and safety.

The bulk of the efforts at the outset involve sprucing up the grounds -- removal of older trees, weeding flower beds, Gooden said.

"Don (Magoon, vice president for educational support services) gave me a tour the other day on the WCC limousine," he said, later explaining it was in actuality a golf cart. "We looked at a lot of them that need TLC, pruning and so forth.

"There's money in the budget to do some of this now .... a lot of this stuff will be done in-house with students and staff but some professional help will be needed for big trees."

By enlisting efforts from students and staff, Gooden said, a good amount can be accomplished toward improving the campus' appearance.

"One of the things that will be changing will be the sign at the main entrance, making the sign more visible, changing the lighting," he said. "It's going to make the place look a lot better."

"The campus has matured; it's time," Mrs. Albertson said.