By RODNEY HART Herald-Whig Staff Writer John Wood Community College is recommending seven staff positionsbe eliminated and three others not be filled in the face of lowerrevenue. The college at 48th and Harrison in Quincy has 200 full- andpart-time employees. The proposal to reduce jobs will be presentedto the Board of Trustees at the June 20 meeting. JWCC President John Letts did not say which positions are beingtargeted for elimination. |
A faculty job in early childhoodeducation, a business office specialist and an adviser in thecareer and advisory services office will remain unfilledindefinitely. Retirements and a resignation left the jobs open,Letts said. Letts said a proposed budget of about $15.5 million will bepresented to trustees June 20, nearly $600,000 less than lastyear's budget. Spring enrollment at John Wood Community College wasdown 15 percent from a year ago, and the school experienced a 14percent decline in credit hours. There are no raises for staff built into this year's tentativebudget.
Last year, the union representing faculty inked a three-yearcontract, so raises for the next two years for teachers are stillin place. Trustees approved a three-year agreement with faculty in August2011, with full-time faculty pay increases of 3.25 percent in thefirst year and 4 percent in each of the following two years. "We didn't hit our projection last year for tuition and things aretracking a little less this year, so we are being conservative,"Letts said. "Those (unfilled positions) and the seven jobs we are looking at,obviously it's not a best-case scenario, but for the number ofcredit hours we are looking at and the numbers of students ... wewere staffed for 55,000 credit hours and we are projecting lessthan 50,000, and you can't have those extra people if you don'thave the revenue to support it.
It's harsh, but it's a fact." Letts said this past year, less credit hours taken cost the schoolroughly $750,000 in revenue. After two record-breaking years of higher enrollment and credithours taken, numbers were down in the fall of 2011. Figures showthat 2,390 students took 24,264 credit hours in the fall semester.The student number was down 4.4 percent from a year ago, and thecredit hours total was down 5.3 percent. This spring, 2,187 students took 21,672 credit hours.
Letts said summer school enrollment is down several hundredstudents. "But the fall numbers are more optimistic and we are starting torebound a little bit, and we have some new initiatives we areworking on, so I'm hopeful," Letts said. Three years ago, the college adopted a "doomsday budget" approach,closed its cafeteria and eliminated about 16 percent of itsnon-faculty staff. Letts said many of the positions were eventuallyrefilled. Trustees voted in April to approve a $3 per tuition credit hourincrease for the 2012-13 school year.
The board approved a similar$3 hike last year. Tuition for in-district students and onlineclasses will increase this fall to $123 per credit hour, notincluding a $10 per credit hour student services fee. Tuition has increased $37 per credit hour in the last five years.Much of that came nearly three years ago, when trustees approved a19 percent tuition increase of $20 per credit hour. Tuition has increased at JWCC every year since at least 1998,mainly between $3 and $7 per credit hour annually. — firstname.lastname@example.org/221-3370.
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