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Victoria College considers budget with no tuition, tax increases

By KBell
July 16, 2012 at 2:16 a.m.
Updated July 17, 2012 at 2:17 a.m.


COMPENSATION STUDY

• VC hired the Texas Association of School Boards to evaluate its current compensation practices

• The study compared job duties and pay scales at community colleges, the University of Houston-Victoria and area employers

• About 93 percent of VC administrative jobs are at market level, the study found

• Support service jobs were about 98 percent of the market level

• The study recommended a pay grade scale that would provide a minimum, midpoint and maximum salary base for each job in the college. Previously, the college did not have recommended pay scales for administrative employees.

The Victoria College board is considering a 2012-13 budget that does not increase in tuition or taxes.

At a workshop Monday, the board reviewed a plan that would add more than 20 new jobs and offer a pay increase to current employees. The additional costs would be funded by an estimated 7 percent increase in property values, which would garner about $500,000 for the college.

"There are still some wild cards out there. We don't know what's going to happen to the state budget next year," VC President Tom Butler said. "But I think we're in a good position for what's coming."

The $29.5 million budget, which could be tweaked before final approval in August, calls for $484,447 for new jobs, like a museum curator, financial aid counselor and security guards. Another $267,773 will be reserved for the 2 percent cost-of-living increase - the same raise given last year - for all VC employees.

With nearly 30 percent of VC's budget coming from taxes, Butler said the college should be in good shape in keeping last year's tax rate of 16.06 cents per $100 valuation - a rate that was .75 of a cent greater than the year before. The tax ticket on a $100,000 home should remain at $160.

Voters in May approved a 20-year bond for VC's Emerging Technology Center. The bond will add another 2.97 cents per $100 value - or about $30 per year on a $100,000 home.

To compensate for nearly a $1.8 million loss in state funds last year, VC also increased tuition from $34 per semester hour to $43. Monday's budget draft factored in the same tuition rate for next year.

At Monday's meeting, the board also reviewed a study about VC's compensation practices. The study found some employees were being paid less than the minimum recommended for their job in the Victoria area. The budget draft calls for another $45,000 that would bring those employees' pay up to standard.

These jobs include financial aid counselor, director of marketing, academic advisor, registrar and deans.

Additional costs to next year's budget draft come from a new campus safety plan - which will include things like security cameras, new locks and access control on doors - and a much larger technology budget.

Since summer enrollment across the state and VC have decreased, Butler said, the budget is based on no enrollment increases.

"With oil and gas hiring so many people, I think we have to be careful about assuming next year's enrollment is going to be as large as this year's was," he said.

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