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BCC plans to streamline graduation
Report: BCC provides return on investment

Much like the Academy Awards, the Barton Community College Commencement exercises went longer than desired last year. At Tuesday’s BCC study session, Barton President Dr. Carl Heilman said a committee is working on plans to make this year’s graduation program go more quickly.

Eliminating some of the speakers will change the length and focus of the program, Heilman said. “We’re looking at narrowing the time frame and marking sure the focus remains on the students.”

Last year, following comments by keynote speaker Congressman Dr. Roger Marshall, the two Outstanding Graduates were recognized and spoke, the five Distinguished Instructor Award recipients were recognized, and the Barton Foundation’s Distinguished Service Award was presented. This year the outstanding students will not be speaking although they will still be recognized, Heilman said. The college will find a different occasion to recognize the Distinguished Service Award recipients. Distinguished Instructors will be recognized but won’t speak.

Heilman said he doesn’t have a keynote speak lined up.

Economic Impact Study

In other business, Vice President Charles Perkins described a draft of an Economic Impact Brief being done in-house. In the past, the college has hired an independent third-party to do the research. This time, the college has saved money by doing the report itself and then hiring the Fort Hays State University Docking Institute to verify its methodology. The approval of the document from the Docking Institute is expected by the end of the month.

A summary of the report is intended to show local taxpayers that they get a good “return on their investment” by supporting the college. According to the report, Barton received $8,083,163 in local property taxes from Barton County in 2017. The college spent $7,053,455 in the county, and employees living in Barton County were paid $12,652.375 in wages. Students living in Barton County spent $2,630,880. That makes the total direct economic impact — without any multipliers — $22,336,880.

Economic impact studies concerned with geographic areas the size of counties use multipliers ranging from 1.9 to 3.0 to account for side effects or the times money spent “turns over” in a community. The report uses 2.0 as a conservative multiplier, 2.2 as the multiplier generally accepted by the Congressional Budget Office and 2.8 as the multiplier used by Economic Modeling Study Impact (EMSI). According to the report, with no multiplier it could be said that taxpayers saw a 175 percent increase in return of their investment. In dollars: every $8 invested returns $22. Using the multiplier of 2.8, taxpayers saw a 678 percent increase in return of investment; every $8 returns $63.