Home Featured News GRCC Board of Trustees approve 2019-2020 Operating Budget

GRCC Board of Trustees approve 2019-2020 Operating Budget

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The GRCC board of trustees held their board meeting for the month of June on Monday (Tessa Osborne/The Collegiate).

The Grand Rapids Community College Board of Trustees approved the proposed operating budget for the 2019-2020 fiscal year – including a 2.5 percent raise for GRCC President Bill Pink – at their June board meeting on Monday.

At 2 p.m., a closed session was held to evaluate staff members. One of the staff members evaluated was President Pink. According to GRCC’s monitoring executive performance policy, the president is evaluated annually in two critical areas: achieving goals and executive limitations. There are five categories that the board divides these goals into: teaching and learning, completion and transfer, infrastructure and sustainability, community impact, and equity. It was during this evaluation that the board determined that the president had been performing up to standards, and therefore, was deserving of a raise, however none of the board members commented on the president’s raise during the regular open board meeting.

Before the regular board meeting, a work session was held around 3:15, during which the board discussed how raising the cost of tuition is determined and how that relates to the budget.

“When we look at tuition, we ask ourselves ‘What can we do in terms of helping students? How low can we get on that tuition increase?’” said Pink. “We still need to be responsive to students’ needs from a finance standpoint, yet at the same time we need to be able to run the college at a good level.”

Tuition, as well as all the other items on the board’s budget, is all part of a five-year plan. GRCC Vice President of Finance and Administration Lisa Freiburger said that they have to “make sure all the pieces of the puzzle” are flexible enough to where they can afford to raise the tuition rate by less than 1 percent.

“We have to look at our other revenue sources,” said Freiburger. “Right now, property taxes are going up fairly significantly, which is helping us on the revenue side of things to keep tuition low.”

Then at 4:15, shortly before the regular board meeting, the board held a brief budget work session, where the proposed operating budget for the 2019-2020 fiscal year was approved by the board.

At the meeting proper, the board approved the Michigan New Job Training Agreement (MNJTP) Performance Fabrics. Freiburger explained to the Collegiate in an email last month that the Michigan New Jobs Training Program “is a state program that allows for the college to partner with employers to provide training.”

Following the approval, the Equity Monitoring Report was presented by GRCC Chief Equity and Inclusion Officer Afeni McNeely Cobham and GRCC librarian Sophia Brewer. Together, they attempted to convince the board that there is much more they can do to address diversity, equity, and inclusion at GRCC.  

According to their presentation, Cobham and Brewer believe one thing the board can do is “embrace the need to review and assess campus climate, practices, and policies from a framework that acknowledges the history of institutional and systemic exclusion.”

Following the Equity Monitoring Report, Pink gave his president’s update, during which he congratulated the GRCC golf team on a very successful season. The team finished 14th at nationals last month.

The board then approved a 2.5 percent pool and increase for tuition reimbursement for GRCC employees who take courses at other colleges or universities, $400 per undergrad and $500 per graduate courses, up from $250 and $300 respectively. This is the first time these rates have been changed in 10 years.

Lastly, the board approved a 2.5 percent increase to Pink’s base salary. Last year, Pink had an annual salary of $210,000. This raise will take effect July 1.

The Collegiate requested a copy of Pink’s contract before Monday’s board meeting. An administration staff member said Tuesday that the Human Resources staff is working to prepare it for release.

The board will not meet during the months of July and August. However, there will be a work session on Monday, Aug. 19 at 12:30 p.m. in the board conference room. The next board meeting will be on Monday, Sept. 17, at 4:15 p.m. in the board library. To watch this meeting in its entirety, click here.

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