Board Report: May 18, 2011

Budget Reflects Commitment to Superior Education and Strategic Expansion

(Bradenton, Fla., May 18, 2011) – State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota (SCF) District Board of Trustees on May 18 approved a $47.1 million budget, reflecting the college’s commitment to maintaining superior education while pursuing a strategic expansion of programs to meet the community’s needs.

An erratic economic recovery, ongoing strains on the state budget and the elimination of fiscal stabilization funds from the federal government contributed to the 2011-12 budget showing a decrease from last year’s $50.76 million budget.

“Our state and College continue to experience the toughest economic period in decades, and I appreciate the excellent work of our College family, guided by the sound fiscal management of Dr. Carol Probstfeld and a 14-member college-wide budget committee. They conscientiously labored to develop a budget that maintains forward movement while continuing to offer exceptional value to students, families and taxpayers,” said SCF President Dr. Lars A. Hafner.

Probstfeld, SCF’s vice president of business and administrative services, pointed out that the state contributed 46.6 percent of revenue for the 2011-12 budget.

“Since less than 50 percent of funding comes from direct state funds, it is accurate to refer to SCF as a state-subsidized college and not as a state-funded institution,” Probstfeld said.

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. SCF’s two-year associate-level Florida resident tuition will be $78.84, a value for taxpayers compared to the two-and-a-half times or 149 percent higher rate of $196.42 per hour at the University of South Florida Tampa, a figure that reflects the announced 15 percent increase. The per hour tuition cost for an in-state student in SCF’s four-year baccalaureate program is less than $9 per hour more than the two-year level cost at $87.42. A full list of tuition and fees will be available later on the SCF website.

“The Florida Legislature took the unusual step of passing an 8 percent tuition increase for the Florida College System and including the increase in the conforming bill, which confirmed lawmakers’ desire and intent to keep our state colleges stable,” Probstfeld said.

SCF District Board of Trustees Vice Chair Steve Harner said, “Our graduates perform as good or better than other students when they get to the university level, so not only is SCF a good dollar value but the quality makes it worth even more.”

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

A 3 percent salary adjustment for full-time employees is included in the 2011-12 budget.

“We have a lot of great employees at this College and we want them to know we appreciate them,” said SCF District Board of Trustees Chair Ron Allen.

“SCF operates as an efficient, productive College because of the commitment of our most valuable resource, our employees. Individually and collectively, our College family made sacrifices to maintain a high level of service to our students,” Hafner said.

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

State Public Education Capital Outlay (PECO) funds, which are separate from the general operating budget, include an allocation of $818,253 for college-wide general maintenance, renovation and remodeling projects, and a $5 million allocation that will allow the SCF library project to continue moving forward in building infrastructure necessary to support the project when construction is fully funded.

Separate from the SCF college budget, the college’s budget for the State College of Florida Collegiate School, a public charter school with sixth and seventh grades expanding to eighth grade this fall on the College’s Bradenton campus, also was approved by the SCF trustees.

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, 2011.

In other action, the board approved the following:

• The 2010-2011 Annual Update to the Florida Educational Equity Act Report, which explains the efforts and progress the College has made to provide equity in student programs and activities.

• Authorization for the president to add intercollegiate and club athletic teams that align with the college’s mission.

• The regular SCF Collegiate School report by Head of School Kelly Monod, including a prototype of a Lego robot being developed by SCFCS students in conjunction with G.WIZ Science Museum in Sarasota; an upcoming production of “Willy Wonka Jr.” featuring SCFCS students; and an update on construction for the planned expansion to the eighth grade.

In comments, Hafner recognized:

• SCF’s tennis coach Betsy Nagelsen McCormack for the women’s tennis team’s success at the National Junior College Athletic Association national tournament in Tucson, Ariz., in May. In its first year as a program at SCF, the women’s team qualified for the national tournament.

• SCF Venice Provost Darlene Wedler-Johnson for organizing the opening celebration of the Fit Trail on May 16.

The board also recognized:

• Volunteers Fredi Brown, Norma Dunwoody and John James for receiving the highest national volunteer honor, the President’s Call to Service Award, for dedicating more than 4,000 hours of service to SCF in their lifetimes; and Volunteer Coordinator Judy Wishart for her work in developing SCF’s volunteer program and increasing participation. Click here to read the press release.

• SCF Bradenton Math Olympics team member Joe Comer, who plans to attend New College of Florida, and faculty coaches Dr. Joni Pirnot and Altay Özgener for being the first SCF Math Olympics team to win first place in the big college division at the statewide competition held in April at the University of North Florida (UNF), Jacksonville. Click here to read the press release.

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