Southeastern Illinois College begins academic year with a budget in the black, thanks to sound fiscal planning and management and in spite of continued funding challenges.
The college’s Board of Trustees held a first reading of the Fiscal Year 2014 budget at Tuesday’s board meeting, and that budget, while tight, still comes in with positive numbers.
“With the fact that we’re still looking at reductions from state and federal support, it’s a testament to the sacrifice, hard work and financial planning that we’ve engaged in that we are able present a balanced budget,” said Dr. Jonah Rice, SIC President.
Rice noted that some maintenance projects have been deferred that will be engaged in the spring, and that the college may seek the use of bond funds for repairs and general maintenance.
Southeastern is in line to receive a critical piece of medical training equipment for its nursing students, paid for by an anticipated Delta Regional Authority Grant.
Pending final approval by the governor, SIC would be home to a Maternal Neonatal Birthing Simulator, named “Noelle.”
Gina Sirach, Dean of Academic Services, said that “Noelle” would allow students to do clinical simulations that teach how to assist with both routine and high risk deliveries, as well as simulation experiences with the “newborn.”
“This is a high value item and would be a great asset,” Sirach said of the simulator, which carries a price tag of just over $30,000. “We don’t have any OB clinical sites in our district, so this would allow us to do more on campus with regard to OB-related training.”
The college is also preparing for a visit by State Representatives David Reis and possibly Brandon Phelps later this week, to inform them of the college’s SAFELAND Training, as well as other opportunities in the emerging energy sector.
Southeastern also began a new semester on Monday, Aug. 19, with some positive enrollment news. Enrollment appears steady, and at the end of the previous week numbers appeared to be slightly above those from a year ago – marking a good trend considering that statewide, a down swing in overall enrollment is suspected.
The board also reviewed an athletic drug testing policy and heard updates on strategic planning and the chief financial officer search.
The board approved two new full-time instructors: Clifton McReynolds as Music Instructor, and Carla Burns as Associate Degree Nursing (ADN) Instructor. The board also approved a new part-time employee, Terrah Oldham, as part-time Student Services Support Specialist, as well as the transfer of Shelly Boots to the part-time TRiO/SSS Program Specialist position, along with several adjunct instructors.