Board of regents increases budget

Photo by VANESSA GARCIA Opinion Editor
The board of regents approved the 2013-2014 budget Aug. 27.
Photo by VANESSA GARCIA Opinion Editor  The board of regents approved the 2013-2014 budget Aug. 27.
Photo by VANESSA GARCIA Opinion Editor
The board of regents approved the 2013-2014 budget Aug. 27.

The Amarillo College board of regents approved a 2013-2014 budget of $59 million at the Aug. 27 regular meeting. The budget, a 1.6 percent increase over last year, will go into effect Sept. 1.

Setting the budget for the next school year is a crucial agenda item for the regents because the budget is based upon supporting student success.

The budget includes a variety of expenses, including tuition and fees, scholarships, construction of new Hereford Campus facilities, carpet replacement and new parking lots.

The budget includes a 2.5 percent raise for board-appointed members who were hired by June 1. Reductions in the budget included school supplies, school travel, emergencies, funds and school equipment. The budget includes a $25 per semester hour increase for adjunct and overload pay.

Another expense listed in the budget is hail damage from May 28. A report indicated that 13 vehicles and 30 buildings were damaged.

Eighteen of the damaged buildings were on the Washington Street Campus, three on the Downtown Campus and nine on the West Campus.

Modification of the student conduct rule for weapons on campus also was approved. The modification states that no student should be allowed special authorization of possession of any firearm while on campus; the previous policy allowed students to carry a firearm on campus with prior authorization.

Regents Chairman Don Nicholson said he agrees with the new policy but suggested modernization of the definition of a weapon.

Administrators present at the meeting honored educator Robert Boyd with a special achievement award. Boyd spent 48 years working in education, with 31 of those years at AC. He retired as head of the Language, Communication and Fine Arts Division.

“Thank you so much for your service,” Nicholson said.

Other items on the agenda:

• Student Government Association President Mario Villarreal presented the 2013 Fallfest theme of “mob scene.”

• Jill Gibson, an assistant professor, and Judy Carter, honors program administrator, presented a brief slideshow of the presidential honors student trip to China this summer.

• The 2013 tax rate increased by 4.5 percent. The tax rate raised taxes for maintenance and operations and lowered the bond rate. The result is that AC will not raise the total tax rate for the new tax year.

• The board approved the sale of county property obtained through a sheriff’s sale and the interlocal agreement with the Texas Association of Community Colleges to provide shared contract pricing with other community colleges.

• The board approved printing AC Continuing Education class schedules for 2013-2014 and audio equipment and installation from Lubbock Audio Visual Inc.

The budget should not exceed $400,000, regents said.

• Replacement of network equipment, switches and related infrastructure was approved; the cost should not exceed $350,000. The replacement on printers, personal computers, servers and peripheral purchases should not exceed $700,000.

• A continuation on TracSystems Pharos printing solution services was approved. The expenses should not exceed $70,000.

• Demolition and removal of the auto body building on the East Campus was approved.

• A request order with the amount of $98,352 was made to finish the construction of two restrooms on the West Campus and for the construction of an all-weather road on Greenwood Street at the Hereford Campus to give the fire marshal access to the street. The request order was approved and passed.

• Enrollment was reported as 1.5 percent ahead of last year.

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