The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Local News

April 20, 2013

DACC trustees to consider tuition hike

DANVILLE — A shortfall in revenue and an increase in expenditures is prompting the Danville Area Community College board of trustees to make some decisions Tuesday night on tutition hikes and cutting some sports teams.

Trustees will consider approving a proposed $10-per-credit-hour increase in tuition. With the $10 increase, the tuition cost will increase to $120 from $110 per credit hour plus universal fees.

Last year, the board of trustees approved a $3 per-credit-hour increase in tuition and in 2011, a $6 increase.

In addition, the trustees will consider suspending three athletic programs: volleyball, soccer and golf.

“We have been struggling to put a budget together over the last few months,” said Dave Kietzmann, vice president of instruction and student services.

He said the district’s equalized assessed valuation has dropped by 4 percent four years in a row.

“The Illinois Community College Board has told us to prepare for budget cuts over the next three years of 5 percent, 5 percent and 13 percent in Year 3,” he said, adding that the state owes the college $2.5 million in payments.

“The revenue side looks bleak and expenses are going up,” Kietzmann said.

“The Affordable Health Care Act is going to hit us pretty hard, too,” he added.

He said the college depends heavily on part-time instructors “and we will have to start offering insurance to employees working 30 hours or more, which will cost the college an additional $11,000 to $12,000 per employee.”

“We’re also worried about pension reform,” he added.

“We’re carefully analyzing every position, and we’ve been evaluating every program, service and extracurricular activity,” he said.

As for suspending volleyball, soccer and golf, Kietznmann said, “We’ve had to do this before in the 1980s.

“When the EAV dropped, we had to suspend sports, but when the economy got better, we brought them back in the ‘90s.”

“We hate to do it because it affects young people,” he said.

In other business on Tuesday, trustees will:

Consider bids to renovate the men’s and women’s restrooms located west of the gymnasium in the Mary Miller Center. Kietzmann said the restrooms will be updated a bit to accommodate wheelchairs.

Consider bids to replace the ventilation system in the anatomy and physiology lab in the Mary Miller Complex.

Consider proposals for financial services. Kietzmann said every five years DACC invites all the banks in its district to bid to provide financial services for the college.

Consider creating a certified medical assistant certificate program.

“We’ve been asked by local employers to develop a program to train people not only to be an office worker but also to do the intake work on patients,” Kietzmann said, listing intake work as recording a patient’s weight and blood pressure.

“The health care industry is using more of those (certified medical assistants) to be the first person to see the patient,” he said.

Board members need to approve the proposed program before a basic outline for the course can be submitted to the Illinois Community College Board and the Higher Learning Commission for final approval.

Consider the retirement of Brenda Shanks, office assistant for Career and Employment Services. She has worked for the college for more than 30 years, Kietzmann said.

Trustees will begin Tuesday evening with a strategic planning session.

“We’ve been working on a strategic plan for a while,” Kietzmann said.

Trustees will be asked “what do you think the college does well, and what do you think we could do better to improve student success?” according to Kietzmann.

Coming Up

The Danville Area Community College Board of Trustees will meet at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday for a strategic planning session, with its regular meeting starting at 7 p.m. Both meetings will be in the DACC Board Room, Vermilion Hall 302.

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