The Grand Rapids Community College Board of Trustees met on Monday, June 12, to approve a $120.6 million budget for the 2023-24 fiscal year and shared their evaluation of GRCC President Charles Lepper after his first 20 weeks at the college.
The meeting began with a work session with Lisa Freiburger, the Vice President of Finance and Administration, who proposed the budget plan for the upcoming academic year. She discussed the budget estimating around $120.6 million in expenses and $121.3 million in revenue for the upcoming academic year. The board approved Freiburger’s budget proposal.
The board also approved Lepper’s review that evaluated his performance as president within his first 20 weeks. David Koetje, Chairperson of the Board of Trustees, had only positive feedback to share.
“We are just incredibly delighted to just tell the public how pleased we are with his performance,” Koetje said.
A 4% increase in the salary of the GRCC executive leadership team was approved during the meeting. This was suggested by President Lepper after discussing the matters of the college’s Meet and Confer Employee Group.
“My recommendation is executive leadership, which is primarily direct reports to the president, to increase their salary pool by 4%, which would mirror meet and confer,” said Lepper.
During the president’s update, Lepper discussed a recent article written by MLive that states that GRCC is the top college choice for the high school class of 2022 within Kent County, with 27 percent enrolling at the community college.
“Recently, there was an article from MLive that identified GRCC as the top destination in 19 of the school districts within Kent County,” said Lepper. “Besting Grand Valley State University by 13%, so we are very proud of that.”
Several items were approved during the meeting ranging from $25,000 to $100,000.
- Purchase order issued to provide individual math assessment and remediation tools used by students: $31,460.
- Purchase order issued to provide web-based modules for electronic learning, geared towards technical trade areas: $26,042.
- Purchase order issued to provide dental vacuum system consisting of two AERAS RV10-23 vacuum pumps and associated components: $26,029.88
- Purchase order issued to provide all AV equipment for commencement ceremonies in the fieldhouse: $31,500.00
- Purchase order issued to provide Cisco Smartnet hardware maintenance: $36,866.90
- Purchase order issued to provide an increase of $7,000 for student recruitment at Whitecaps games: $30,000
Other Special Funds
- Purchase order issued to provide annual Perceptive software maintenance and support: $83,440.19
- Purchase order issued to provide Dental Vacuum system consisting of two AERAS RV10-23 vacuum pumps, one 30-gallon tank, and associated components: $26,209.76
- Purchase order issued to provide a replacement for the Sneden Hall welcome center roof: $80,913.66
- Purchase order issued to provide Y5 Evaluation services charges includes which Performance Insights license: $33,400
- Purchase order issued to provide furniture upgrade in the Leadership Hub at Student Life: $34,059.80
- Request permission to increase blanket purchase order by $20,000 to provide Spotify ads for student recruitment: $119,500.00
Before the meeting ended, the GRCC General Counsel, Brett Meyer, proposed a contract for the Alliance of Professional Support Staff (APSS) and compensation for the Meet and Confer Employee Group (M&C) to help better all terms and conditions for faculty and staff members. This was later approved by the board.
“The board is always impressed with you folks that sit down with us and work on the perimeters that are important to us and to this college,” Koetje said. “And as we tie a relationship to our employees with what we have passion for and our values, you carry that out and turn that into a language that has numbers around it, and that lands into an agreement.”
The next board meeting will be held on Aug. 21 at 4:15 p.m., on the 4th floor in Raleigh J. Finkelstein Hall.