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Board of Trustees Work Session Focuses on Budget Recommendations

The St. Louis Community College Board of Trustees held a public work session on Monday, Oct. 30, to focus on budget recommendations.

In July 2017, the board asked administrators to address concerns regarding the budget and financial stability of the College. Of several actions taken, a Budget Response Team was created, which included five work groups. The groups were tasked with the responsibility to make recommendations to present to the board in November 2017.

During the session, the board reviewed and discussed the recommendations. No decisions were made; trustees will act on the recommendations on Nov. 30 at the regular board meeting.

The work groups – Employee Optimization, Employee Benefits Analysis, Employee Overload/Overtime/Sabbatical Analysis, Program Review/Consolidation and Departmental Outsourcing and Consolidation – were comprised of administration, staff, employee and union representatives.

There are three significant areas contributing to STLCC’s budget situation: a $5 million reduction in funds from the state of Missouri due to declines in tax revenue; new federal accounting standards that require STLCC to cover an unfunded portion of the Public School Retirement System for employees, which has resulted in STLCC being out of compliance with board policy for unrestricted net assets, or reserves; and a 35 percent decline in enrollment between 2011 and 2015.

To date, STLCC has taken steps to reduce its budget. Steps include a voluntary separation incentive plan for full-time employees; reduced operating costs by reviewing and analyzing spending; freezing non-critical and unfilled positions; selling the downtown administrative offices at the Cosand Center; and a 20 percent reduction in the number of administrators within academic affairs and at the leadership level.

The board will hold a special session for comments from the public regarding recommendations from the Budget Response Teams. The public hearing begins at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 14, at the Cosand Center.

Speakers will be limited at the Nov. 30 regular board meeting.