The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

August 21, 2013

DACC places proposed spending plan on display

Budget includes 6 new full-time instructors

The Commercial-News

---- — DANVILLE — Danville Area Community College trustees on Tuesday reviewed a new spending plan for the 2013-2014 school year and voted to place the proposed budget on public display.

Final approval of the budget is anticipated at the board’s next meeting on Sept. 24.

This year’s operating budget is $16.1 million, an increase of about 5.5 percent compared to last year’s budget of $15.3 million.

The increase in operating expenditures is because the college has budgeted for six new full-time faculty positions. Those instructor positions include one each in art; heating, ventilation and air conditioning; math; Spanish; certified nurse assistant; and certified medical assistant, which is for a new program being developed.

Last year the state supplied about 26.9 percent of DACC’s budget revenue, but this year that number will decrease to about 26.4 percent. This percentage also does not take into account that the state is about $1.3 million behind in payments to the college.

Local property taxes last year made up about 29.4 percent of the budget, but this year that amount will bump up slightly to 29.6 percent, with the overall tax rate totaling around 62.5 cents per $100 in equalized assessed valuation. The current rate is 63 cents.

Tuition and fees will make up 41.1 percent of the new operating budget, a slight increase compared to 40.6 percent last year. In April, trustees approved a tuition rate increase of $10 per credit hour, bringing the total to $120 per credit hour including fees.

Aside from the operating fund, the budget also contains funds to complete the renovations at the new Hoopeston campus as well as for the new addition to be built onto the technology center.

Also on Wednesday, the trustees:

n Conducted a public hearing concerning the intent of the board to sell $3 million in funding bonds to pay for the construction of a 10,000-square-foot addition onto the technology center. The college plans to sell the bonds in September, with the groundbreaking tentatively scheduled to take place Sept. 30.

“Hopefully we will accept bids at the next board meeting (on Sept. 24),” DACC President Alice Marie Jacobs said.

Board member Dr. Ronald Serfoss also reminded the board that Julius W. Hegeler II has offered to pay the interest payments on the bonds for the college.

n Heard the college was recognized as one of eight institutions nationwide that is a leader in the national student completion movement by Achieving the Dream for showing evidence of measurable improvements in student achievement.

Through DACC’s efforts, the college has seen increased success rates in math and English gatekeeper courses from 56 percent in 2008-2009 to 66 percent in 2011-2012 and a decrease in achievement gap for math and English gatekeeper courses between minority and white students from 14 percent in 2008-2009 to only 3 percent in 2011-2012.

“The students are the beneficiaries of this,” board President David Harby said of the initiative.

n Recognized the DACC cheerleaders.

n Heard a report from the math/science/health professions division.

n Discussed the Illinois Community College Board state revenue budget comparison. The trustees discussed loss of grant money from the state.

n Approved to spend $111,200 to construct a new sign for in front of the college that would have columns as a part of the design and to approve Walton & Associates for architect and engineering services. The cost of the sign will be offset by $45,107 from the Illinois Department of Transportation for temporary and permanent easements and $35,000 in insurance reimbursements for lightning damage to the existing sign.

n Approved to hire PlattForm Advertising for $34,600 to redesign DACC’s website. The redesign is estimated to take six months.