Big Spring Herald

Fall enrollment down across Howard College campus

- By IRIS RANGEL Herald Staff Writer

Howard College Board of Trustees convened yesterday afternoon for a regular meeting. Before the open session, the Board of Trustees met in Executive Session to discuss Student Informatio­n System Confidenti­al Agreement/Consultati­on with attorney.

The Board of Trustees meeting began with approval of routine matters: Minutes of Regular Meeting Aug. 31, 2020, Checklist for Aug. 2020, Monthly Reports of Auxiliary Services, Personnel Matters, and Internal Audit Report. A motion was made by Trustee Maxwell Barr to approve all routine matters and was seconded by Trustee Ben Zeicheck. The motion passed unanimousl­y.

During the Service Award Presentati­on, Chairman John Freeman and Trustee Michael Flores were awarded pins for 25 years of service on the Board of Trustees.

“We really appreciate it; two years as a student, five years teaching, and now 20 years on the Board seems like a long time,” Freeman said.

Flores added, “I first joined the Board in '95 and I was just meant to finish someone else's term, but I've been here for 25 years and it's been an honor. Hopefully I'll be here many more years.”

Regarding the Student Informatio­n System, the Confidenti­al Agreement discussed in Executive Session earlier was motioned for approval by Trustee Flores and seconded by Trustee Barr to pass unanimousl­y.

The budget for Howard College, discussed in previous meetings, was presented to the board by President Cheryl Sparks. With the decision from Trustees to increase the tax rate to 2% instead of 3%, the budget required some reworking in order to reflect the 2% increase. Sparks also informed Trustees the 20-21 Final Budget Update included final budget recaps for each campus and updated tax informatio­n.

Regarding the Legislativ­e Appropriat­ion Request Update, the delay in said request equated to six weeks of time due to the pandemic. Sparks also noted from the last meeting, that a request for a 5% reduction in funding for the SWCD campus be restored along with a request for additional funding to address SWCD's low faculty salaries. As also stated in previous meetings, funding for the SWCD campus is through state funding and certain students do receive exemptions for tuition. The request for the 5% reduction restoratio­n would equal $166,000. The request for competitiv­e faculty pay would equal $137,500. The

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