The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Budget process, media-blitzing discussed in board meeting

by Karen Gavis/editor-in-chief

Chancellor Erma Johnson Hadley presented an overview of the 2013-14 budget planning process during the Feb. 21 board meeting.

However, a lot will depend upon what happens in Austin this legislative session, she said.

“We like the public to know when we talk about our budget,” Hadley said and also mentioned that the information would be posted on TCC’s website.

During the budget process, everyone’s ideas are analyzed through a mathematical viewpoint, vice chancellor of finance Mark McClendon said.

Hadley said if the college received unexpected money, such as, if the tax base valuation increased, other items could be considered based on scores from proposed innovation forums.

After the overview, board member Conrad Heede offered a list of suggestions that included items like asset management, more adjuncts to fill teaching positions and a reward system for those who presented money- saving ideas to the forums.

Board member O.K. Carter said he is concerned that the college is “nibbling away” at its ability to pay-as-you-go and he would probably not look favorably on a tax increase.

”I’m pretty certain we’re at sort of the maximum tax rate that is in the toleration of the community,” he said.

Hadley said the formula for funding is changing at all community colleges. A portion of the college’s funds will be withheld but can be earned back through something called success points, which are earned for things like students passing developmental courses, achieving 15 credit hours, etc. In the previous biennium, TCC lost 24 percent of its funding, which “was typical of most community colleges,” Hadley said.

“It is right here, right now that we’ll be talking about success points,” she said. “We’ve got to find a way to make this work.”

Another budget concern for the college this legislative session is employee health insurance and retirement benefits. Hadley said the Legislative Budget Board is urging lawmakers not to match all benefits but pay only for benefits to the extent of the budget allotment.

”I don’t know how this is going to turn out, but they are pushing it really, really hard,” she said.

Although TCC’s most recent tuition hike generated $4 million more in annual revenue, that money is strictly for sticky spaces that are being planned to provide students comfortable study areas, Hadley said.

While several million-dollar-plus items such as the renovation of NE’s fine arts building and an entrance to SE from State Highway 360 access road were approved by the board, it was also mentioned money would be saved if there was no opposition in the upcoming board of trustees election.

Following the budget discussion and a presentation of TR’s library technology program, a media blitz plan was shown by Doug Briley, CEO of Warren Douglas advertising agency.

“The whole campaign is built around TCC & Me,” he said.

Slogans such as “We made my family proud” will be paired with faces of TCC students and placed in strategic locations such as sides of buses, benches and billboards.

Messages would be selected depending on their appropriateness for a particular section of town, and the three-month plan could roll out by mid-March, Briley said

“This will create some awareness,” he said. “It will appeal to the market on an emotional level.

Briley said the plan differs from previous TCC billboard ads because it involves brand building.

Board president Bill Greenhill liked the plan and said he would welcome an increase in communications both internally and externally.

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