Impact Of Hocking College Budget Cuts Not Yet Known

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Facing a $4.7 million budget deficit for the current fiscal year, Hocking College's Board of Trustees approved a revised balanced budget at Monday's special meeting. 

The revised budget calls for cuts from many budget line items in the amount of $2.65 million, including cuts to faculty and staff payroll, student payroll and employee benefits. 


Those budget cuts and the effects on the collective bargaining agreements and personnel were the subject of a two-hour executive session during the two-and-a-half hour long meeting. 

The revisions call for a decrease of $351,256 in faculty and staff payroll for the fiscal year which runs from July 1, 2014, to June 30, 2015. This reduction is in addition to a $1.56 million cut in faculty and staff payroll from the fiscal year 2014 budget to the original fiscal year 2015 budget.

Laura Alloway, director of marketing and public relations for Hocking College, would not elaborate on how these cuts would affect personnel at the college until after interim president Betty Young meets with the representatives from the college's two bargaining units.

As of Tuesday afternoon, representatives from neither of the bargaining units had been brought in to the discussions about the revised budget according to Alloway. 

During her comments to the board, Chief Financial Officer Gina Fetty said the payroll cuts reflect an elimination of the projected payroll overrun and creates further reductions in payroll costs.

Strategies to achieve these cuts include campus reorganization resulting in a number of position eliminations; creation of furlough days impacting all permanent employees; eliminating positions that are voluntarily vacated by employees and the further elimination of supplemental faculty contracts for both nine-month and adjunct faculty for spring semester. 

A nearly $600,000 reduction in the employee benefits line item would align with the reduction in the faculty and staff payroll and resulting job cuts. It also includes a workers compensation rebate of $88,000 received by the college.

Other significant cuts to the budget will come from the supplies, course and lab fees and travel lines. While all travel and the purchase of items will not be stopped, it will now require approval from outside of the individual departments. This has been the case with travel for a few years, as all travel expenses had to be approved by either the president or provost. Restrictions on travel will be increased, with preference given to those traveling for recruiting purposes. The removal of spending authority in those three line items will save the college $1.175 million. 

The revised budget, according to statements made by Fetty, restores a balanced budget; establishes an organizational structure which supports current enrollment and positions the college for growth; enhances the quality of services; maintains service to students; protects the strategic reserve transfer for current and future financial health; and improves the delivery of assessments and career services. 

Alloway said she expects to have more details on the exact number of positions being cut available later in the week.