Grand Rapids Community College’s Board of Trustees met for their February meeting on Monday to discuss a mid-year budget plan which included a proposed tuition increase, a new public safety committee and the latest College Action Plan presentation.
Lisa Freiburger, vice president of finance and administration, presented a mid-year budget plan and mentioned there was a 2.5 percent projected decrease in enrollment and a projected 1 percent tuition increase. Any changes in tuition would take effect in the fall. The mid-year budget plan was approved by the board.
The projected tuition hike of 1 percent is a figure only slightly higher than the 2018-2019 increase of 0.88 percent approved last March, which was noted for being the lowest increase in GRCC’s tuition in nearly 20 years.
“The items that we’re continuing to look at, enrollment clearly, we’re watching that carefully,” Freiburger said. “State funding right now we see we’ve got a 1 percent built in for next year, we’re not expecting any significant increases there.”
Campus Police Chief Rebecca Whitman also presented to the board the four members of the Public Safety Advisory Committee. The committee is responsible for overseeing complaints brought to the department and serves as a third-party when complaints are presented. Under the Community College Act, there can only be an on-campus police department as long as there is a committee that handles complaints.
GRCC Dean Amy Mansfield, Director of Purchasing Mansfield Matthewson, Criminal Justice Department Head Nikki Banks and professor Hillery Haney were named to this year’s Public Safety Advisory Committee. Appointments to the committee are presented to the board once a year.
Director of Purchasing Mansfield Matthewson and Enterprise Director of Information Technology Michael Passer also talked about the latest College Action Project (CAP), or strategic goal number five, infrastructure and sustainability.
The goal of this action project is to improve campus safety and security investigate the effectiveness of the PeopleSoft program and to implement a campus-wide sustainability effort. Matthewson spoke on the indicators of success so far.
“Staff and students provided an overall rating of 4.0 out of five as meeting scores for several questions,” Matthewson said. “These results indicated a good level of confidence in GRCC’s commitment in providing a physical safe environment. Slightly less confidence was shown in relation to data security and crisis responding results, 3.8 to 3.9 right in there, although those scores are still considered very, very good.”
Following the CAP presentation, GRCC President Bill Pink gave his president’s update to talk about Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s recent visit to GRCC’s Leslie E. Tassell M-TEC building on Feb. 13.
“I just wanted to call attention to last week with Governor Gretchen Whitmer on our campus in visiting the Tassell M-TEC,” Pink said. “We were able to host her and many of her team members. Students and faculty were on display and a lot of our community partners were there as well. We were able to spend the first 15 minutes of her visit with just a meeting with the governor and several of our graduates from some of our programs as well as some of our employee partners… A main message in there was talking to her about the importance of the work of community college in the community.”
The next board meeting is scheduled for Monday, March 18 in the board library. To watch this meeting in its entirety, click here.
News editor Lisa Stapel contributed to this report.