2011-12 college audit presented to GCCC trustees

1/16/2013

By RACHAEL GRAY

By RACHAEL GRAY

rgray@gctelegram.com

Local auditors Tuesday night applauded Garden City Community College for consistency, when the 2011-12 college audit was presented.

Charles Claar, of Lewis, Hooper & Dick, presented the audit to the GCCC Board of Trustees during a regular scheduled meeting.

Claar said the firm had no questions or findings on costs for federal funds and programs. No Kansas statutory violations were noted, he said.

Claar noted the consistency of the college and highlighted the money spent on maintenance and upkeep. For the 2011-12 school year, 13 percent of all operating costs were spent on maintenance.

"You haven't had a year that you've slacked off and let that go. And that saves taxpayers money in the long run. Costs go up in the long run when you don't maintain property," Claar said.

Trustee Terri Worf said federal programs are sometimes hard to account for accurately, and she credited GCCC staff.

"I think it reflects a huge amount of work and amount of staff that go into this," she said.

According to the audit, $7,684,390 makes up operating costs and $12,992,357 makes up non-operating costs in the GCCC budget. The total assets of the college are $32,930,622.

In a PowerPoint summary of the audit report, Claar told trustees that GCCC's revenue comes from eight major sources, including Finney County property taxes, 51 percent; state and local grants, 2 percent; the state of Kansas, 13 percent; federal grants and contracts, 24 percent; tuition and fees, 4 percent; auxiliary funds, 2 percent; other miscellaneous sources, 4 percent; and interest, 1 percent.¬  In past years when interest was higher, he noted, the college could sometimes count on as much as a half-million dollars in interest income.

The summary pegged expenditures at 3 percent for designated community services; 16 percent, student services; 4 percent, academic support; 38 percent, instruction; 7 percent each for depreciation and auxiliary expenses; 13 percent, operations and maintenance; and 12 percent, institutional support.¬ The board has underwritten expenditures with reserve funds the past four fiscal years, he noted, as a means of holding down property taxes and dealing with declining state support.

In addition to the audit, which was accepted unanimously, the board heard a Faculty Senate report featuring economics instruction, authorized purchase of Broncbuster Bookstore inventory in amounts over $20,000 in a unanimous consent agenda vote, received a monthly president's report from GCCC President Herbert Swender and devoted time to reviewing and discussing monitoring reports in connection with the board's policy governance system.

Economics Instructor Charles "Chip" Marcy provided the Faculty Senate information, focusing on two new courses called Financial Literacy for Life, which offers students an opportunity to learn financial basics; and Financial Success, keying in on money management, goal setting, checkbook balancing and related skills.

"We need to send your curriculum to the state legislature," Worf said.

"GCCC is a leader in enabling the nontraditional student or non-business major to acquire a sound, basic economic education that meets their specific needs," Marcy said. He noted that the courses meet a graduation requirement in the social science field and explained that only three other Kansas community colleges offer similar classes.

The instructor explained that GCCC also provides Macroeconomics and Microeconomics courses, but that both are geared for business or economics majors, rather than students in other disciplines.

The vote allowing larger bookstore inventory purchases will let the college operate the campus retail facility without violating a board policy, which stipulates that all purchases greater than $20,000 gain prior trustee approval. GCCC conducted a grand opening for the store in December, after assuming internal management from contracted operation by Follet Higher Education Group, of River Grove, Ill.

The store, located on the lower level of the Beth Tedrow Student Center, had been managed by Follet since 1997.

The change included a contract with MBS Textbook Exchange, Inc., based in Columbia, Mo., to provide wholesale textbooks, as well as operational software and hardware maintenance.

"The timing of the purchases may not coincide with the monthly board meeting," Swender said. "Most purchases will be under $20,000, but there may be an occasion when a large purchase must be made. The board will be notified of purchases made under this provision at the succeeding board meeting."

With Trustees Steve Sterling, Jeff Crist and Chairman Merilyn Douglass present in addition to Worf, the board set Feb. 19 as the date for the next regular meeting. Douglass reminded the board that the election filing deadline is Jan. 22 for three of the six seats on the board. As of Jan. 15, Douglass and Sterling had filed for re-election to seek new four-year terms, while Dr. Bill Clifford had not yet filed.

The board also said goodbye to Steve Quakenbush, the executive director of public relations at GCCC, who will become the executive director of the Finney County Historical Society in February.

Douglass, board chair, recognized Quakenbush with a standing ovation Tuesday night.

Quakenbush said he is excited for his next endeavor but will miss the college.

"Garden City Community College will always be a part of my life. We've changed lives for 93 years, and I'm proud to say I'm one of those lives," he said.

The BOE will hold its annual retreat at 9 a.m. Saturday in the Broncbuster Room of the Beth Tedrow Student Center on the GCCC campus, 601 Campus Drive.

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