JJC Board Approves College Budget for FY13

The Joliet Junior College Board of Trustees approved the fiscal year 2012-13 college budget at its June 12 meeting.
 
This is the 40th consecutive year that the college’s operating budget has been balanced. The total operating budget is $83.54 million, a 3.9 percent increase from the last fiscal year.
 
In order to present a balanced operating budget, the following planning goals were followed:
• Reallocate existing resources to fund new requests
• Evaluate requests based on data and measurable outcomes
• Ensure student success requests receive priority
• Adhere to the Strategic Plan and be goal driven
• Support operational efficiency initiatives
• Comply with documented compliance requirements or safety issues
 
JJC President Dr. Debra Daniels said the college’s FY2013 budget was designed to fulfill its mission of enriching people’s lives through affordable, accessible, and quality programs and services, and focuses on shared financial responsibility.
“This budget was developed with considerable and significant planning and input from the entire college community and is based on the 2013-2015 Financial Plan and annual priorities established by the Board of Trustees,” Daniels said.
Before a balanced budget was reached, however, the college’s financial team needed to overcome a $3.8 million deficit created by inflationary increases in health care and employment contracts; the operations of new facilities built through the Master Plan; and unstable state funding.
To do this, a $4 per credit hour increase in tuition was approved by college trustees in April to go into effect for the fall 2012 semester, while the college cut over $1 million from its operating budget. In addition, funds were secured from recent property tax increases consisting of 4.5 percent in total with 1.5 percent of that attributed to growth in new construction.
Acknowledging that the financial burden should not only be placed on students and taxpayers, the college cut over $1 million from its fiscal year 2013 budget, reducing travel and professional development, deferring computer replacements, reducing the marketing budget, and offering the student handbook online instead of printing copies.
 
The college’s Cost Savings Committee has saved an additional $300,000 for the FY13 budget as well.
Some highlights in the new budget include:
• Faculty vacancies in Fine Arts were reallocated to meet the growing needs in the areas of Natural Sciences Department.
• New faculty positions were approved for academic programs in sonography, landscape design and social science.
• Two new building service workers and three general maintenance workers will be hired to support the college’s master plan expansion.
 
The college’s financial team recently received the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA), a non-profit professional association, for its 2012 budget.
 
The Certificate of Achievement is the highest form of recognition in the area of governmental accounting and financial reporting. This is the seventh year in a row the college has received this award.

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