Board Report: June 23, 2010

SCF Budget Provides Stability and Value, Maintains Momentum

(Bradenton, Fla., June 23, 2010) – State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota (SCF) District Board of Trustees on June 23 approved a $50.76 million budget, reflecting the college’s commitment to an excellent higher education value built on its mission of student success and meeting community needs.

Despite a lingering economic recession the 2010-11 budget of $50.76 million is up from last year’s $44.7 million.

“I am grateful to our entire college family, led by the steady fiscal management of Dr. Carol Probstfeld and a 14-member college-wide budget committee, who worked diligently to develop a budget that provides a stable platform for SCF to keep moving forward while continuing to offer students, families and taxpayers excellent value,” SCF President Dr. Lars A. Hafner said.

Probstfeld, SCF’s vice president of business and administrative services, noted that the state, for the first time in several years, funded state and community colleges’ growth, resulting in a modest boost for SCF although SCF last year was the second fastest-growing college in Florida.

However, the state’s overall allocation to SCF’s operating funds continued a downward trend, with the state contributing just 43 percent of revenue for the 2010-2011 budget.

“It’s no longer accurate to refer to SCF as a state-funded institution,” Probstfeld said. “SCF now is a state-subsidized college.” This means that more than 50 percent of funding comes from sources other than direct state funds.

While most universities are increasing tuition by the maximum allowed rate of 15 percent, SCF as a state college adopted the state-approved increase of 8 percent.

An 8 percent load-hour increase takes SCF’s two-year associate-level Florida resident tuition and fees to $94.90 per hour from $87.88, or $7.02 per hour more. Based on tuition hike estimates, an in-state student taking 30 load hours a year at SCF would pay $2,847 compared to an estimated $5,267 at the University of South Florida Tampa for a 46 percent savings of $2,420.

The per hour cost for an in-state student in SCF’s four-year baccalaureate program is about $10 per hour more than the two-year level cost.

SCF has made every effort to increase the amount of grants, scholarships and other forms of assistance available to students.

The budget supports new strategic plan initiatives emphasizing technology, sustainability and community-based partnerships, and college priorities including enrollment increase support, classroom and eCampus infrastructure improvements and increasing academic programs.

Personnel costs make up 69 percent of the budget, unchanged from last year. For the first time in three years, the budget provides full-time employees with a 3 percent salary adjustment.

“Our dedicated employees have been exceptionally innovative stewards and managers during tough times. It’s important to the community that SCF remain an open-access college, and our college family together and individually made sacrifices to maintain a high-level of service to students,”” Hafner said.

Despite the recent challenging economy, in the past couple of years no SCF employees have been laid off for financial reasons.

Separate from the SCF college budget, the college’s first budget for the State College of Florida Collegiate School, the new public charter school, starting with sixth and seventh grades in August on the college’s Bradenton campus, also was approved by the trustees.

State Public Education Capital Outlay (PECO) funds, which are separate from the general operating budget, include an allocation of $2.3 million, a $1 million increase over last year, for general maintenance, renovation and remodeling projects collegewide.

SCF’s fiscal year operates from July 1 through June 30. The budget approved by the District Board of Trustees will be effective July 1, 2010.

In separate board action, SCF Board Chairman Steve Harner presented the trustees’ annual evaluation of the president. Calling it an “extremely positive evaluation,” Harner thanked Hafner for his leadership and recapped trustees’ comments.

“You are a gifted leader and have done an extraordinary job as president. We especially appreciate the innovation you have shown, your great leadership skills in creating new programs and the direction the college is taking,” Harner said.

Quoting trustees, Harner described the president as “a man with integrity, a people person and great motivator, very passionate that the college meets the needs of the students and community.”

Hafner thanked the board members for their support, vision and entrepreneurial spirit.

In other comments, Hafner announced that the new Bachelor of Applied Science degree in energy technology management was approved by the State Board of Education last week; shared the SCF Foundation’s publication for the tennis and wellness center’s fundraising campaign, “Beyond the Net;” complimented the Corporate and Community Development Division on having passed $1 million in revenue; and announced that SCF was included among the top 100 associate degree producers listing in the new Community College Week.

The board also took action on the following:

• Approved the pursuit of new university and community partnership opportunities and new academic programs. The process will begin for new academic programs including an Associate in Science degree in biotechnology; Bachelor of Science degree in Education in middle grades math and middle grades science; and Bachelor of Applied Science in technology management, marine industry management and media production management.

• Articulation agreements with the following schools Auburn Road Presbyterian School, Bradenton Christian School, Bradenton Prep Academy School, Brickhouse Academy, Cardinal Mooney High School, Family Life Community School, Gulfcoast Christian Academy, Hope Presbyterian School, Horizon Educational Systems, Manatee County School Board, Morning Start Learning Center, New Gate School, Potter’s Wheel Academy, Prew Academy, Providence Community School, Queen of Angels School, Risen Son Academy, Sarasota Christian High School, Sarasota School Board, Shepherd’s Hill Christian School, Sonhaven Preparatory Academy, The Pendleton School, Trails Private School Systems, Venice Christian School and West Coast School for Human Development.

• SCF’s application for a grant to fund the College Reach Out Program (CROP) for $115,645 will serve approximately 250 low-income, educationally disadvantaged middle and high school students in Manatee and Sarasota Counties. If awarded, the grant will provide educational enrichment and cultural activities, motivational speakers, study-skill strategies and college admission information. Grant funds support a portion of the program staff salaries and benefits, student transportation for educational and cultural experiences and supplies. SCF also will provide $111,276 cash match and $5,392 in-kind match.

• SCF is partnering with Mustang Vacuum Systems (MVS), a local manufacturing company, in a two-year Quick Response Training (QRT) grant through Workforce Florida, Inc. If funded, SCF will serve as fiscal agent and receive approximately $12,000 for that role. In addition, SCF will serve as one of the training providers for a portion of the training for 107 new MVS employees.

• Board members applauded the selection of Steve Harner to represent the District Board of Trustees on the SCF Foundation Board.

The board’s next regular meeting will be held in August.

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