Co-Lin OKs budget for new year

Published 8:44 pm Friday, June 4, 2010

The Copiah Lincoln Community College Board of Trustees votedThursday night to approve a budget for the 2010-11 fiscal year thatincludes an increase in tuition recommended in previous months.

College President Dr. Ronnie Nettles said for the first time ina long time, student fees and tuition are expected to bring in morerevenue than the state appropriations.

“That shows what’s happened to our state support over the lastfew years,” he said, adding that state appropriations are downroughly $544,000 from last year.

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The proposed budget comes to $23.5 million, though Nettles saidthose numbers are still somewhat tentative since the auditednumbers won’t come in from the state until November.

Nettles said Gov. Haley Barbour has indicated there could besome additional funding that will come in, but there’s nothingconcrete yet. He said there should be more information sometime inthe next week.

“We didn’t want to try to put any discretionary funds in thebudget,” he said.

Officials took steps to try to keep costs down through the year,Nettles said, including decreases in travel, increases in athleticgate fees, and delayed beginnings to the football and soccerpre-season practices.

In addition, the band will only travel to certain away games,and some classes will have a 15-student minimum instead of theprevious 10.

The board also discussed raises in other community collegetuition fees, as 11 of the 14 other schools across the state havealso been forced to raise tuition for the coming year. Meanwhile,Meridian Community College and Northwest Mississippi CommunityCollege have not made a decision yet, and Itawamba CommunityCollege is not raising tuition at all.

“Remember Itawamba is in a district where every county pays fullmillage to the schools,” Nettles said.

Co-Lin’s tuition rose 16.7 percent, well above the lowestincrease of 9.4 percent at Jones County Community College, and wellbelow the highest increase of 25.4 percent at Mississippi GulfCoast Community College.

Co-Lin went up from $900 a semester to $1,050 a semester.

The board also reviewed the trustees’ evaluations of thepresident, which were all positive. Of 26 positive statements aboutNettles’ performance in the last year, all answered “stronglyagree” or “agree” to every question, with the majority in the”strongly agree” categories. None of the questions showed a”disagree” or “strongly disagree” answer.

“I feel we are blessed to have Dr. Nettles as president ofCopiah-Lincoln Community College,” one trustee wrote on a survey.”He is very easy to talk with and presents a very positive image ofCo-Lin at all times. I am honored to serve on Co-Lin’s board withDr. Nettles at the controls.”

Trustees also accepted the resignation of Physical PlantDirector Darryl Jordan, who had been with the college for 35years.

“A few folks make my job a lot easier, and I don’t have to tellyou that Darryl Jordan did a great job, and I’m terrified of thefuture without him and his ability to get along with people andcommunicate,” Nettles said. “We’re losing a tremendous employee andresource to the college.”

The board’s July meeting was also suspended. The next meetingwill be held August 5.