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Highland Trustees discuss tuition increase, approve new certificate

FREEPORT � The Highland Community College Board of Trustees approved the first reading of a proposed tuition increase and voted to add a new certificate program during their regular session on February 21.

The proposed tuition increase was approved by Trustees during a first reading. With state funding now contributing only 13 percent to the HCC operating budget and a recent decrease in local property tax revenue, Vice President of Administrative Services Jill Janssen explained that a proposed increase of $6 per credit hour would help offset costs while still maintaining a consistent tax rate for local property owners.

At this time, technology and activity fees would remain unchanged at $7 and $2 respectively. A second reading of the proposal will be presented to Trustees in March for approval. If the increase is accepted, the new tuition rates would go into effect during the fall 2012 semester. funny christmas pictures

Janssen also elaborated that while annual costs prior to 2008 increased an average of 5 percent each year, the College exercised fiscal responsibility to reduce that growth rate to 3 percent over the last three fiscal years. This was achieved despite a two-year period of record enrollments resulting in a 12 percent surge in the student population that required additional campus-based services.

�During this time, we served about 250 more students than in average years,� said Janssen. �Contractual services, purchases of capital equipment, employee training, utilities, and certain benefits were renegotiated or reduced by other means in order to reduce costs.� funny pictures

In a related matter, a lab fee increase for the medical coding course was approved by the Board. Previously eight credit hours, the course was reduced to four credits requiring an additional fee to cover materials and testing fees. While the new rate will be reflected in the lab fees, it does not change the overall cost to the students.

Aside from fiscal matters, Trustees passed a resolution opposing legislation that would preempt an educational institution�s right to prohibit or adopt policies to regulate possession of firearms on campus � whether owners are licensed to carry or not. Mirroring a national campaign to keep guns off of college campuses, the Board concurred with the administration�s recommendation that only trained security officers should be allowed to possess guns on campus, concealed or otherwise.

Trustees also approved the addition of an auto body repair certificate, previously only offered as an associate of applied science degree. The 48-credit hour occupational program would allow students to more quickly gain entry-level skills in the field and populate the local workforce. funny images

The Board granted tenure to biology instructor, Karla Giuffre; economics instructor, Joe Grove; nursing instructor, Chrislyn Senneff; and wind turbine technology instructor, David Vrtol. Each of these faculty members is completing his or her third year of service to the College and has been recommended for tenure by the dean of the respective division and tenure committee.

In other business, the Board also approved the following items: funny photos

�Part-time and overload instructors for Spring 2012
�A bid from Midland Paper for the 2012 paper supply
�The use of Wipfli for Highland�s annual audit
�Job description for the grant-funded Illinois Green Economy Network (IGEN) Coordinator of Adult Transition Services
�January 2012 bills and agency fund report

The next Board of Trustees meeting will take place on March 20. For more information on the full agenda, visit the Trustees home page at

2998 W. Pearl City Road
Freeport, IL 61032-9341

Fax 815-235-6130

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