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COA trustees approve salary increases and budget

At its August meeting, College of The Albemarle’s Board of Trustees approved a fiscal 2019 budget, heard numerous updates about programs, and adopted several policy changes.

This year’s budget reflects a $931,279 increase in state funds. Half that pays for salary increases as approved in the state budget. The other half results from increase student enrollment.

For salary allocation, college President Robert Wynegar proposed and the board approved for full-time employees as of July 1, the greater of a two percent increase or $1,275.

He told the board that most staff members will receive the $1,275 salary boost. Receiving the two percent are 19 staffers.

Staffers working in full-time modified positions less than 40 hours will receive a prorated compensation increase. Employees will see the additional income in the August 2018 payroll.

Additionally, full-time permanent employees, as of July 1, and who earn annual leave, are eligible for a one-time annual leave bonus of five days. The leave is available while the staffer is employed by the college. The extra five days annual leave has no cash value.

Regular part-time staff received a 61-cent per hour increase, effective Sept. 1. To receive the increase, the staffer must be employed before Sept. 1.

Wynegar told the board the salary increases do not bring all employees up to $15 per hour. He indicated he will look at salary scales.

The college’s total operating and capital improvements budget from all sources is $25,446,738.

Of that total, $22.77 million is operating with $197,026 in fund balance appropriated.

The state allocation to College of The Albemarle totals $15.74 million.

County funds total $2,561,078. According to the college’s budget documents, contributions from county budgets are as follows: Camden $45,000; Chowan $200,000; Currituck $190,000; Dare $427,578; Gates $6,000; Pasquotank $1.66 million and Perquimans $32,500.

For this fall semester, Wynegar is anticipating a two-percent increase in full-time equivalent units (FTE), which are used, among other things, in distributing state funding. College of The Albemarle may be moving from a small community college to a medium-sized community college. The threshold is 2,500 FTEs. Last fall semester the count was 2,532.

A new program, agri-business, drew nine students for its initial offering. Currently, two adjunct teachers are employed for the program. A staff position for the program will be re-advertised.

An electrical program only drew one full-time and one part-time student. The program was shut down two years ago but was still carried on the schedule.

For the Dare campus, Elizabeth City State University is pursuing options to offer courses in social work and criminal justice, reported Wynegar. Additionally, Coastal Studies Institute’s new director Reide Corbett is talking with the Dare Campus Dean Tim Sweeney about partnerships.

Under his agenda time, Wynegar proposed using the existing president house for expanding the Nursing Program’s simulation lab. The program-certifying Board of Nursing requires additional lab space. To pay for renovations in the house, the college would apply for $200,000 grant from the Golden Leaf Foundation.

The board had previously decided to demolish the building due to mold. However, reports indicate the mold inside the house is consistent with what’s outside. A summary report will be prepared. The matter was referred to the Building and Grounds Committee.

The board approved a consulting contract with Kennon Briggs, who served the college as interim president. In board discussion, it was made clear that the president or chairman of the board will direct inquiries to Briggs.

Dare County’s Robert L. Woodard, chairman of the Dare County Board of Commissioners and a trustee, broached the possibility of a joint contract between Dare and the college for Briggs’ services. Woodard indicated the county would seek Briggs’ help with building the new campus. Board attorney John D. Leidy will consult with Briggs on the matter.

At the last of the meeting, Woodard, addressed the board again. He reported that the Dare County board had approved the Capital Improvement Plan that calls for the new College of The Albemarle campus to be built in 2019.

He showed a video produced by Dare County about the welding program offered through the college and the NCDOT Ferry Division’s shipyard in Manns Harbor. The program’s instructor Jeff Spear was present. Under his coaching, the program has grown from three students to a waiting list. “This is good stuff,” said Woodard.

He announced a county-sponsored public information campaign to highlight the college. “We are going to bring students to COA in Dare.”

Three edited policies were approved by the board.

The policies are titled Creation and Revision (of policies), Program Advisory Committees addressing committees for specific trades, crafts or occupations, SACS (Southern Association of Colleges and Schools) Substantive Change assigning responsibility for reporting changes to the college’s SACS liaison. Four policies were deleted.

Two new board members were sworn in at the start of the meeting. Robert Pippen Jr. and Dr. Anthony Sharp. District Court Judge Eula Reid conducted the ceremony.

The board held a closed session. No action was reported.

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