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Co-Lin increases tuition

Copiah-Lincoln Community College students will see an increase in tuition this fall.

Co-Lin’s Board of Trustees voted Thursday to raise tuition $45 for full-time students each semester. The student activity fund fee will also increase $45. Co-Lin President Ronnie Nettles said the school’s tuition will still be in line with other community colleges.

“We were very careful to not do more than needed,” he said. “We are very conscientious because tuition affects access.”

Other efforts to create a balanced budget have included not rehiring for some positions and to hire part-time instructors.

Over the past couple years funding has decreased as well as attendance. Officials say enrollment often increases during economic recessions. As the economy improves, enrollment tends to drop.

Nettles said that even though enrollment numbers are lower, they are graduating more people this year than they have before.Co-Lin’s enrollment currently   sits at 27,031 for the spring semester. Those numbers have not yet been audited.

The board also adopted a policy that would allow veterans to have their out-of-state tuition waived. Nettles said that the GI bill will not pay out-of-state tuition.

Nettles said they do not have many out-of-state veterans, so the effect would be minimal. The policy would bring the school into compliance with Senate Bill 2127 dealing with out-of-state waivers.

The only veterans not eligible for the waiver would be those who had been discharged dishonorably.

In other business:

• The board acknowledged the death of board member Rickey Smith. Nettles said Smith would have received his 10-year service pin this summer at conference. He suggested the board invite Smith’s wife and family to a fall board meeting so they could present the pin to her.

• The board approved the lowest bid for the pedestrian corridor project that is being partly funded by Mississippi Department of Transportation. The bid from Mayrant & Associates, LLC was $1,094,238.56.

• The board accepted the resignation of social science instructor Brett Shufelt and fine arts instructor Roberto Bonilla.

• The board accepted the retirement of ABE/GED instructor Sarah Marchbanks and humanities instructor Janis Carol Royals.

• The board accepted the hiring of math instructor Charlotte Stewart, Spanish instructor David Higginbotham, assistant band director Jason Mathena, early childhood education instructor Lenora Magee and welding instructor Don Blandon.

• The board accepted the hiring of Tuwanna Williams as college navigator. This position will assist students in the new diesel program. The program is funded by a federal grant.

• The board accepted the hiring of Melia Bassett and Amye Howell as I-Best instructors. I-Best instructors work with in certain programs, such as the diesel program, to teach skills such as English and math.

• The board accepted the transfer of Brett Brinegar from director of Student Affairs/ADA to full-time history instructor and chairman of Natchez Literary Cinema Celebration.

• The board gave the go-ahead for the administration to request an increase in support funds from area boards of supervisors for the next fiscal year.

• The board approved for an architect to examine the president’s home to see what renovations it needs. The home was built in the 1970s and has not been upgraded since then. The board would also like the architect to explore the cost of building a new home.

• The board discussed the upcoming election of board officers and executive committee members. Written nominations must be turned into the president’s office by 4 p.m. on May 26. The vote would be held at their June board meeting.