The Barton Community College Board of Trustees on Tuesday heard the administration’s proposal to start an esports program at the college next fall. Tuesday was the board’s November study session and Dr. Carl Heilman said the board will be asked to approve the proposal for collegiate video gaming at the next business meeting on Nov. 26.
Since a team of college employees began researching esports, Heilman said he has learned that all of the Kansas community colleges have an esports program or are in the process of developing one.
The National Junior College Athletic Association is working on an esports national championship, plus run-up events, for its two-year schools. In 2018 the National Association of Collegiate Esports announced a partnership with the NJCAA that recognizes NACE as the governing body for esports at the collegiate level among all NJCAA members. NACE is also recognized as the governing body for varsity esports by the National Association for Intercollegiate Athletics, or NAIA.
Vice President of Administration Mark Dean put together an esports proposal and budget based on 15 in-state students and five out-of-state students coming to Barton next fall on esports scholarships. The costs and the number of new students are both “our best assessment,” Heilman said. The figures were based on students enrolled in 16 credit-hours per semester, at current rates for tuition and state aid.
• Scholarships, $20,000
• Salary for one part-time coach, $20,000
• Operations (travel, recruitment, officials, supplies), $10,000
• Initial facility requirements (computers, chairs, headsets, electronic components), $50,000
• Housing expenses for 15 additional students, $69,528
Revenue would include:
• State aid, $35,357
• Tuition and fees, $76,160
• Housing revenue for 15 students, $86,910
Total estimated expenses would be $169,528 and estimated revenue would be $198,427.
“I don’t believe there will be difficulties in identifying a coach,” Heilman said.
Trustee John Moshier asked about the challenge of finding room in campus housing for 15 more students.
“I recall our dorms were bursting at the seams,” Moshier said.
The housing shortage was discussed at the September study session, when Dean said there were 426 beds available for student housing and all of them were full. He mentioned at that time that the college was considering adding an esports program, which could increase the population in student housing.
“We’ll pick up 26 beds next fall,” Dean said Tuesday. As explained in September, 16 beds can be gained by converting lobby areas in the Bluestem and Meadowlark housing units to housing and an additional 10 beds can be gained if the college stops taking early reservations for “single” suites.
Dean said there are still five rooms that house three students instead of two. However, the shortage always eases after the first of the semester and some of those students could have moved out of the “triples” later. All of the students said they liked their roommates and chose to stay in the triple-bed rooms.
Mike Johnson, chairman of the board of trustees, indicated the board will be ready to consider the esports proposal later this month.
“It sounds like this is obviously gaining speed around the country, and very rapidly,” he said.
It sounds like (esports) is obviously gaining speed around the country, and very rapidly.Mike Johnson, Chairman of the Barton Board of Trustees
Meeting at a glance:
Here’s a brief look at the Nov. 12 Barton Community College Board of Trustees study session:
• Vice President Mark Dean presented the October financial statement.
• Jo Harrington reported on Assessment Academy Outcomes.
• Angie Maddy reported on Title IX progress.
• Barton President Dr. Carl Heilman shared the administration’s esports proposal.