Preliminary audit figures better than projected due to cost cutting

August 22, 2013

During the Western Oklahoma State College Board of Regents meeting Tuesday, Tricia Latham updated the board on the present state of the FY 2014 budget. Figures show that the college expenditures are slightly under budget for the month of July by $12,373 and revenue is under budget by $26,756. The college anticipates an approximate $450,000 deficit to the FY14 operations. The budget model was built on a 53% reduction in Tuition and Fee revenue as opposed to FY13. Enrollment will be watched very closely and the budget will be monitored for mid-year adjustments. An approximate $418,000 deficit for FY 13 was anticipated, but preliminary audit figures are much better than projected due to a strong emphasis on cost cutting for the last quarter of the year. Those figures will be reported at the October regent’s meeting.

Guests in attendance were introduced by Dr. Phil Birdine and included Lisa Greenlee, Vice President for Academic and Student Support Services; Tricia Latham, Vice President for Business Affairs; Larry Duffy, Vice President for Development and Alumni Services; Chrystal Overton, Dean of Technical Education; John Phelan, Social Sciences Coordinator an IFA President; Jeri Thornton Dulaney, Dean of Arts and Sciences; Nicole Keenum, Mathematics Instructor; Brandy Cooper, Sophomore Nursing Instructor; Kristin Shelby, Reading Instructor; Briar Jenkins, Secretary to the President and Judith Norton, Director of Public Information.
The first order of business was the swearing in of Western’s newest regent, Dr. Dana Darby, Principal of Altus Christian Academy. Gilmer Capps, Regent Chair, administered the oath of office to Darby who begins her first seven-year term of service as regent secretary.
Steve Miller was also recognized for his service as to the board chair for the 2012 – 2013 term.
John Phelan, IFA president came before the board to present a request to change the current Instructional Faculty Association governing body to a Faculty Senate. The board approved the proposal. The first official meeting of the senate will be Monday, Aug. 26. Writing the senate constitution is the first order of business for the group.
The consent docket including the minutes for the June 11, 2013 regular meeting and the expenditure comparison report were presented and approved by the board.
Dr. Phil Birdine presented proposals for a revised nepotism policy and a new policy regarding ethics/conflict of interest. Both the nepotism and ethics policies have been reviewed and approved by the office of the Attorney General. Lisa Greenlee proposed a revision to the faculty credentials policy that is guided by procedures established by Western’s regional accrediting agency, the Higher Learning Commission, as well as those established by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education. Collectively, the three policies will serve to strengthen the operational integrity of Western. The board approved the adoption of all three policies.
Greenlee next presented a proposal regarding changes to Western’s Associate in Science Degree in Business, Computer Information Systems and Business Administration Options. The changes would give students another option in the communication area and will align the options more with other state institutions. Approval of Western’s Board of Regents and the Oklahoma Regents for Higher Education is required before implementation. The board approved the change to the programs.
Tricia Latham and Greenlee requested the renewal of the flight training agreement with Red River Flight Academy, LLC for fiscal year 2013-14. The agreement has been revised to include language that clearly states that the contract will be terminated without notice on the part of Western or Red River if the Air Agency Certificate is not renewed for any reason. The board approved the training agreement.
Dr. Phil Birdine presented a letter from the CEO of the Southwest Rural Electric Cooperative, Mike Hagy, that thanked Western for hosting the group for a meeting this past summer. Larry Duffy was invited to report on the WOSC Foundation, Inc. On July 3rd the Lucille Brewer Estate presented the final gift of a donation totaling approximately $197, 000. $25, 000 of the gift established the Lucille O. Brewer Lectureship in Early Childhood/Child Development. The balance of the gift was put into a scholarship endowment. Duffy also reported that three new plaques were added to the Partners in Education Excellence wall that recognizes the Foundation’s generous donors. The Lucille O. Brewer Lectureship in Early Childhood/Child Development, The Ken and Mary Ann Fergeson Lectureship in On-Line Education and the Eunice Griffin Lectureship in Business plaques are now displayed at the college. The 23rd Annual Jim Holland Memorial Golf Tournament held August 10 was a great success with 72 golfers participating in a 4 player scramble in one a.m. flight of golf. The tournament raised $11,000 for the Holland endowment and brought the endowment total to $215,000.
After an executive session, the board approved the employment of Nicole Keenum, Mathematics Instructor; Brandy Cooper, Sophomore Nursing Instructor; Jeri Thornton Dulaney, Dean of Arts and Sciences and Kristin Shelby, Reading Instructor. The board also approved the resignations of Suzie Braddock, Reading Instructor and Rachel Beckner, Developmental English Instructor. The retirement of Larry Duffy, Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations was also approved.
Lisa Greenlee updated the board on the faculty and administration’s preparations for the upcoming focus visit from the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association (HLC) scheduled for March 31- April 2, 2014. John Phelan chairs Western’s HLC committee that is tasked to write a report regarding the college’s quality of courses and assessment that is due to the HLC, January 2014. The committee will also be tasked to write a comprehensive report regarding the college’s compliance with criteria for accreditation due at HLC November or December 2014. The comprehensive visit from the HLC will be scheduled before February 2015.
The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Western Board of Regents is Oct. 8 at 7:30 p.m. in the Higher Learning Center.