Barton Community College’s Board of Trustees approved next year’s operational budget and a 2016-2017 budget for publication Tuesday. The operational budget includes a 4 percent increase in the money budgeted for most salaries. The published budget makes the same mill levy request as last year and the year before, based on the latest information on valuations.
The operational budget allocates 4 percent more money than last year for salaries, but Dean of Administration Mark Dean noted not everyone will see a 4 percent pay increase. At a study session earlier this month, he explained the system for comparing salaries and the ongoing effort to raise salaries that are below average. Those who earn 100 percent or more of the regional average for their job and years of experience will receive raises, but they will be smaller than those for people who are considered underpaid.
The administration initially recommended 3.5 percent more money for pay increases. Trustees were given three options, with budgets that reflected 3.5 percent, 4 percent and 4.5 percent increases. Each half-percent increase adds about $61,000 to the budget, Dean said.
Trustee Leonard Bunselmeyer favored a 4.5 percent increase but his motion to that effect died for lack of a second.
“As a longtime employee, I’m on the other end of the spectrum,” Bunselmeyer said.
Board chairman Mike Johnson responded, “A lot of years there have been no increases, so I can appreciate that.” Johnson said he would be interested in a 3.5 percent increase now with the option of doing more in 6 months, if the budget allows.
Trustee Gary Burke noted that the employees helped keep expenses down last year, which helped the college avoid tapping into reserves.
“I want to say to everyone what a great job you did. I think raises are appropriate,” Burke said. He also said it would be “smart to see where we are” in six months, starting with a 4 percent increase and adding another half-percent later “if the numbers are doing good.”
Trustee Don Learned made a motion, seconded by John Moshier, to put 4 percent more into the budget for salaries ($478,000), and that was approved by all. The operational budget also adds $350,000 to the budget for adjunct – that is, part-time – faculty.
Johnson and Burke said the board should look at this again in six months.
It was noted that last year 3 percent was added to the fund for salaries.
The budget anticipates receiving $20,000 less in local tax money, as well as less money for tuition and state aid than the year before. It also anticipates spending another $243,000 for new academic positions, as well as other new positions.
According to Barton documents, “The budget increases revenue by $505,973 and increases expenditures by $1,389,056 over last year’s operational budget. The budget was developed assuming 2 percent decrease in enrollment for Fiscal Year 2017.”
The college will hold a public budget hearing on Aug. 9.
New staff, promotions
The following personnel were approved: LaJoyce Cavalier, part-time customer service representative at Fort Leavenworth; Paige Lunsford, assistant women’s basketball coach; and Charlotte Kluza, biology instructor.
The following position changes and contracts were approved: Lindsay Holmes was named director of HZMT-EMHS (Grandview Plaza/Technical & Military Outreach); Claudia Mather, associate dean of Distance Learning (Barton campus and Grand View Plaza); and Coleen Cape, executive director of Institutional Advancement.
There was a 20-minute executive session for discussion of personnel.