BCC administrators hope staff cuts, if needed, will be temporay
Brandon Steinert, director of public relations at Barton Community College, clarified that two faculty contracts at the Barton County campus will be considered for non-renewal. “If we can bring them back when we get a more accurate budget picture, we will. Otherwise there are five full-time positions not being filled and other positions could be left vacant if an employee resigns.”
He also included the following statement from Barton President Dr. Carl Heilman: “The unfortunate budget position is forcing the college to make some hard decisions. We are passing on some of the burden to the students and reworking our budget and doing our best not to impact taxpayers.”
This story has been modified on April 12, 2015, removing references to contracts for Barton Community College instructors at Fort Riley and Fort Leavenworth. Additional comments from the college staff have been added to the "Related content" box.
Barton Community College administrators are anticipating losing $1.1 million to $1.2 million next year, with less state aid and lower valuations in the county. That means two full-time instructors may not have their contracts renewed this month, trustees learned during a board study session on Thursday.
Barton President Dr. Carl Heilman said two people at the Great Bend campus may be non-renewed. Some positions have not be refilled when they became vacant, he added. Instead, full-time faculty are being assigned more students, and more part-time instructors are being used.
Teachers must be notified by May 1 if their contracts aren’t being renewed. The next board of trustees meeting is on April 23.
Trustees reviewed a list of faculty who have tenure or are on track for tenure, and those who could be let go.
“We’re tempted to make decisions now, but we have to wait,” Heilman said. The renewal list could change in the next two weeks. The college doesn’t have the county valuation or know what the legislature is going to do, but will use the best data available at the time.
Trustees also discussed a proposed “contingency planning policy” that will be on the April 23 agenda.
It was discussed at the recent board retreat and its proposed wording was presented Thursday. Board chairman Mike Johnson said trustee Leonard Bunselmeyer had raised the issue, wanting a more precise policy on financial decisions the president can make. The policy notes adjustments are sometimes needed, “such as a reduction or discontinuance of an academic program or department, ... as a result of changing educational priorities, shifting enrollment patterns, lack of funds or the requirements of legislative or other mandates.”
It continues, “The president will make these recommendations to the board of trustees based on the college’s educational mission, the need for maintaining program integrity, the need for financial viability, and the responsiveness of the college to the needs of the college community.”
Trustee John Moshier said he liked the proposed policy. “This requires the president to involve the board when making heavy decisions,” he said. “In my experience, that has always been done,” he added.
“It puts it in writing that it’s not strictly (the president’s) decision,” Johnson said.
Bunselmeyer said he thought the policy might be longer, but he liked the four points in the final sentence.
Heilman said he sees the policy as something positive.