An Operating Budget for 2010 – 2011
On May 26, 2010, the SFCC Board of Trustees approved an operating budget of $22,432,500 for the 2010-2011 fiscal year. A few days later, Governor Crist signed the appropriations bill into law, and now we can look forward to the coming year with some relief and some positive expectations.
Including state and federal funds, as well as tuition and other miscellaneous income, our operating revenues are projected to increase 4.1 percent over last year. It is the first time since 2007 that we’ve received an increase in funding from the legislature. During the past three years, we’ve experienced enrollment growth of 23.8 percent while enduring a 9.8 percent decline in state and federal funding. Because of the tremendous growth in the number of tuition paying students, we’ve been able to partially offset and absorb this funding deficit while maintaining an appropriate fund balance.
Three new full-time positions are included in the operating budget to help us cover areas most impacted by the growth of the college. A new faculty position for college preparatory mathematics will help us with the large number of sections required in this critical area of our academic program. Perhaps, there is no department at the college that has experienced the pressures of growth more than Financial Aid, and we are adding a full-time coordinator to assist our students as they struggle to overcome financial barriers to their educational goals. Finally, we are filling a general maintenance position to help us with many facilities challenges we face.
The new budget will include a 2.5 percent across-the-board salary increase for all eligible employees. We also adjusted the salary schedules to maintain our competitive edge when hiring new employees. Other salary adjustments include additional compensation for faculty who have earned continuing contract, and also for those who have served the college for approximately 10 years.
Our budgeting philosophy remains conservative. We are projecting a 7 percent fund balance, but we’ll do our best to end the year with at least 8 percent. This practice helps us prepare for future funding reductions. We expect that next year the federal stimulus money will no longer augment state funding. When we project tuition and other local revenues, we generally assume no growth. At the same time, we budget sufficient expenses to cover our realistic expectations of enrollment growth. This guarantees that all of our budget surprises are likely to be positive. We are also preparing for the possibility that the legislature might reduce our funding during the year if state revenues do not match current projections.
Compared to recent years, we are delighted and frankly relieved to have a budget that will allow us to better serve our students and our communities. It’s been a very difficult time for everyone.