The Danville Area Community College board of trustees on Tuesday debated and eventually approved pay raises for administrators, professional staff and support staff as well as grant-funded staff.
A salary adjustment of 2.5 percent was recommended for administrators and professional staff and grant-funded administrators and professional staff with a base salary of $55,000 and above. Administrators and professional staff and grant-funded administrators and professional staff with a base salary of less than $55,000 will receive a 2.5 percent salary adjustment plus a flat $200.
Also recommended was a salary adjustment of 3.25 percent for grant-funded support staff and confidential support staff. In addition, grant-funded support staff and confidential staff who are employed as of July 1 will receive a one-time payment of 1.75 percent of their 2012-2013 actual salary.
Six other employees are to receive “equity adjustments” ranging from $3,106 to $109.
Trustee Sandi Randall said that although the college’s employees are “invaluable,” she believed they should be asked to “hold the line,” citing the elimination of one-third of the college’s sports program, tuition increases every year and the continuous drop in the area’s equalized assessed valuation.
Trustee Dave Harby, however, said he believed the pay raises were “a reasonable proposal.”
“There are positions that haven’t been filled and we’re asking employees to do more with less,” he said.
Trustees Dr. Ron Serfoss and John Spezia said they were concerned with the way pay raises are given.
“When we give a percentage every year, it increases the disparity between the high earners and the low earners,” Serfoss said.
DACC President Alice Marie Jacobs pointed out that “many of our professional salaries are below the state average” when compared with other community colleges. She said pay raises for community college administrators statewide averaged 4.1 percent and 4.3 percent for community college professional staff during the last eight years.
“We have extremely talented and productive employees,” she said.
Jacobs added a recent survey of major employers in Vermilion County indicated the raises they gave in the past year averaged 2.8 percent.
Trustees Greg Wolfe, Dick Cheney and Harby voted to approve the raises. Randall cast the dissenting vote, and Spezia and Dr. Serfoss abstained from voting.
In other business on Tuesday, the trustees:
- Heard a report from Bruce Rape, dean of business and technology, about his division adding a hybrid wind course and receiving a $525,000 advanced manufacturing grant during the next four years to develop a second mechatronics class and to equip a lab.
- Approved a resolution ascertaining prevailing wages.
- Approved a list of equipment purchases for the 2014 fiscal year. Every year the college’s division heads compile a list of equipment needs.
The equipment, which totals about $992,500, includes more than just computers. Welding equipment, nursing mannequins and other items that support students and student learning also are on the list.
The equipment will be paid for with $396,600 from a $1 million technology bond the college sold in December, $383,000 in 1994 referendum funds, $89,000 in grant and special revenue funds, $8,200 from auxiliary operations (bookstore), $40,700 from general operations and up to $75,000 from capital equipment replacement reserves.
- Approved the purchase and installation of furniture for the DACC Hoopeston Higher Learning Center, which will open in the fall. The low bidder was Hendricksen of Peoria at $39,675 to furnish two classrooms, one computer lab, one office and one reception area.
- Approved the purchase of computer equipment. The low bidder was GovConnection of Dakota Dunes, S.D., at $115,549 for 123 desktop computers and 17 laptop computers for the Danville campus and the Hoopeston facility.
- Appointed Stifel, Nicolaus and Co. of Bloomington as the underwriter for college bonds.