June 19, 2024

GCCC Board of Trustees Ratify 2020-21 Budget

Garden City Community College

[Garden City, KS]-Aug. 11, 2020 — Members of the Garden City Community College Board of Trustees voted to approve the budget for the 2020-21 fiscal year during a special virtual board meeting on Tuesday night inside the President’s Conference Room.  

Last month, Trustees voted 5-1 in favor of a 1.5 mill levy increase, helping to offset a near $1 million-funding gap for the upcoming year. The increase is estimated to generate $747,826 in additional revenue for the college. This was the first time since 2012 that trustees voted to increase GCCC’s tax rate.  

“For every dollar of public money that’s invested in the college, taxpayers receive $1.30; that’s a 2.1 percent return on investment,” College President, Dr. Ryan Ruda said during July’s meeting.  

According to a 2019 study by EMSI, an Idaho-based labor-market analytics firm, local taxpayers benefit considerably from GCCC on an annual basis. That study showed that student spending added an additional $2 million to the local economy while college operations had a $14.5 million impact. In addition, the college employed 351 full-time and part-time faculty during that same time, resulting in a payroll of nearly $13 million. In all, GCCC had a $77.3 million impact on the local and regional economy.  

Following the special meeting, the board of trustees unanimously approved a modernization plan for Ellucian, a software platform that specializes in higher education resources, during their regularly scheduled meeting. It’s a system that acts as the backbone for all processes at GCCC. The new five-year agreement, which adds analytics, intelligent learning platforms, mobile capabilities, position management for human resources, operational data stores and an on-demand library, comes with a cost savings of $79,402 compared to a year-to-year renewal.  

“We negotiated to help modernize the solutions to help support students with additional software,” said Corey Craine, an account executive for Ellucian. “I believe this is a win-win for both sides, especially during these times of uncertainty. We have had a longstanding partnership with Garden City Community College, which has spanned many decades. So, I believe this deal shows a strong partnership between the two organizations.” 

Dr. Ruda explained that the additional software helps streamline processes in all systems across campus.  

“We are fully on board with automating a lot of the services that were done manually in the past,” he explained.  

The total cost of the software over five years is $2,074,940.  

In other action, the board approved a change to the college’s policy governance handbook that now states that GCCC will build a reserve, with a minimum of $500,000 by July 1, 2022, for help towards non-covered insurance claims.  

“I believe we need to stay away from having an end goal,” Dr. Ruda said. “We want to keep building and adding to that fund. We need to look to surpass the 20 percent funding, and at the same time, stress the importance of having this type of protection.” 

The board agreed.  

“I know it’s going to take time to build this fund up,” Vice-Chair Merilyn Douglass said. “This at least gives us a starting point.” 

In Dr. Ruda’s monthly president’s report, he informed the board that GCCC received the Student-Support Services Grant. This is a federal grant through the U.S. Department of Education, which had been cut for this funding cycle. The approval was for $326,427 per year for five years, totaling $1.62 million. It supports four full-time staff, who serve as advisors to first-generation and/or low-income students, and provides counseling, advising and support services to help them be successful at GCCC, be retained, and graduate and transfer to a four-year institution. The program is funded to serve 200 students per year.  

Finally, Director of Advising, Leslie Wenzel, gave a presentation on the college’s new mobile application: Ready Education, which launched on Aug. 1 and is now available for download in the app store and Google Play. The app gives students quick and easy access to personal course schedules, virtual-event calendars, mental-health support and community-building tools. It also has a built-in contact-tracing platform.  

“We want to thank Leslie and her committee for getting this done,” Dr. Ruda stated. “This app goes a long way in improving student engagement.” 

The next meeting of the trustees will be held on Sept. 8, 2020 at 6 p.m. CST.