Co-Lin board OKs budget for 2014-15 year

Published 10:35 pm Saturday, May 3, 2014

The Copiah-Lincoln Community College board of trustees approved a budget Thursday afternoon for the 2014-2015 fiscal year that includes a tuition increase for area students, which will go into effect this fall.

Tuition will go up $100 at the college after board members voted unanimously to approve the increase. The increase is in response to decreased enrollment, a trend that is happening statewide, Dr. Ronnie Nettles, Co-Lin president, said. “At least half the community colleges in the state are raising their tuition anywhere from $90-$150. This is necessary to keep a balanced budget,” he said.

Graduation is right around the corner at the college. A total of 515 students will be graduating from all three college campuses. Of that number, 340 students will graduate from the Wesson campus, with 219 participating in the graduation ceremony May 16 at 9:30 a.m. in the Mullen gymnasium. The associate degree nursing pinning/graduation will take place May 9 at 2 p.m.

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Despite decreased enrollment, the total number of AA and AAS degrees awarded to students at Co-Lin continues to go up. A state report card reflected this increase, and noted 93 additional degrees awarded to students over the previous year.


Budget expenses and revenue in the 2014-2015 budget come to $25,659,089 for the year. Notable items include a decrease of $275,000 in student fees, an increase of $188,000 in salary expenses and an increase of $30,000 in scholarship funding.

Another area is utility costs, which have decreased at the college and could decrease further into the future, according to Nettles. “We are being very proactive about reducing utility costs. So far, we have been able to save money. Next year, we intend to save even more,” Nettles said.

County revenue remains level from last year. However, the trustees intend to request an increase in support funds from the county board of supervisors, Nettles said. The trustees also approved a five-year project request for capital needs for the college district.

In personnel matters, board members approved the resignation of an assistant librarian at the Natchez campus and the retirement of Career Technical Education Student Services Coordinator Wanda Smith. Smith worked at Co-Lin for 24 years.

In other business, the board approved the purchase of three 12-15 passenger vans and 19 purchase orders that totaled $427,015.

More than 1,000 visitors have checked out the Smithsonian exhibit in the Mutton Building of the college, Nettles noted. The exhibit, which includes a historical look at the evolution of Wesson, will end May 9.

Other events, during a busy April, included:

• The college celebrated its annual awards day and recognized scholarship award winners and scholastic achievement award winners April 16.

• The Student Government Association sponsored Spring Fling activities that included a mechanical bull, rock wall, crawfish boil, an ultimate challenge, movie night, kickball and ultimate frisbee.

• The Centurions History Club went to the Churchill symposium in New Orleans.

• The college hosted a C4 Rally that encouraged students to graduate.

“It’s been an incredibly busy month with trips, music programs, spring shows, recitals and athletic teams wrapping up their seasons. Now, we are preparing for graduation,” said Nettles.