The Heartland Community College board on Tuesday approved a tentative $32 million operating budget for fiscal year 2020, which begins July 1.
Vice President for Finance Doug Minter said that includes about a 6.4% increase in salary lines. The total increase in salary lines, Minter said, is about $1.4 million.
"That includes several things: typical across the board salary increases (2.5%), an effort that has been ongoing for at least 18 months called the position framework alignment which is striving to gain more market competitiveness, and the first wave of the minimum wage implementation," said Minter.
Also included is the creation of some new positions as part of an ongoing strategic realignment, some expenses related to retirements on campus, and a 25% jump in benefits costs caused by greater-than-estimated insurance claims experience last year. Minter said if not for a provision that caps increases, that category would have risen 29% instead of 25%.
Minter said the college does not plan to increase property taxes, though the levy will not be decided until the fall.
The budget is not balanced. College leaders said it's the second year of planned deficit spending as part of the strategic realignment.
Heartland President Keith Cornille said that revisioning is intended to strengthen the economy in the college service area of McLean, Livingston, and Logan counties.
"There is a Georgetown study that says by the year 2020 65% of all jobs in the U.S. will require some sort of postsecondary education, but not as much as a bachelor's degree, generally some college or to the level of an associate's degree. So that's the type of education and training we provide at Heartland," said Cornille.
Cornille said the college looked at the makeup of the district over the last year and found 58% of the population over the age of 25 are lacking that level of educational attainment.
"And when we took a little deeper dive into it, we found that 7.8% of those residents over the age of 25 in our district do not even have a high school diploma," he said.
Total population for adults in 3 counties that make up the majority of the district - McLean/Livingston/Logan: 150,867
- 87,668 have less than an associate’s degree
- 11,752 have less than a HS diploma
- 77.7% have less than an associate’s degree
- 12.6% have less than a HS diploma
- 73.7% have less than an associate’s degree
- 13.4% have less than a HS diploma
- 50.3% have less than an associate’s degree
- 5.5% have less than a HS diploma
Cornille said the numbers suggest inroads can be made particularly in Logan and Livingston where HCC enrollment is not as robust as in McLean County.
"Currently about 84% of our credits are generated on the transfer side of the house. We want to keep a strong transfer program, but balance that out with career and technical education programs so that we come closer in line with other community colleges across the state," said Cornille.
He said Heartland will start to see a gain in the second year of the programs it is putting in place.
"We're calling them work-ready programs that respond to the workforce needs. The first program we have coming on line will be this fall, with a medical assistant program," said Cornille.
"Part of what we're doing is shifting staff to have an office related to work ready and innovation, in other words a unit that will develop curriculum related to current job needs as well as those future job opportunities that are just starting to crest and are going to be the type of jobs that some people say we don't know about today," said Cornille.
He said HCC has tried to do this as vacancies have come open by taking those opportunities to shift people around and realign what the institution does.
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