Mesalands board approves 2020 operating budget

 

April 24, 2019



The Mesalands Community College board of trustees on April 16 approved a $9.6 million operating budget for fiscal year 2020 that runs a deficit of about $153,000.

College President John Groesbeck, however, expressed confidence Mesalands can close the gap by consolidating a few positions or not replacing personnel who leave.

Amanda Hammer, vice president of administrative affairs, said the college anticipates $9,602,449 in expenditures and $9,448,617 in revenue, leaving a deficit of $153,832.

Groesbeck said it was difficult to get a firm assessment of the operating budget because of a “flurry of bills at the last minute” in the recently completed New Mexico Legislature session, plus a May 1 deadline to submit the budget.

The budget lists expenditure increases of $153,000 for instruction and general costs, $167,000 in auxiliary enterprises and $98,000 in intercollegiate athletics.

In other business:

• Groesbeck expressed satisfaction with the Legislature session. The college received $350,000 in capital-outlay money for an integrated renewable energy program, plus another $125,000 to hire faculty for it. State Sen. Pat Woods awarded Mesalands $50,000 from his appropriation money for online degree programs. Many higher-education employees received a 4% raise after no pay hikes for years.


• Groesbeck said Mesalands and North New Mexico College in Espanola are exploring the idea of offering joint programs to students — electrical engineering from NNMC and wind-energy programs from Mesalands.

• Aaron Kennedy, vice president of student affairs, said the college is looking at a Mesalands Housing Alliance where students can live in the wings of Tucumcari motels. He said the Stampede Village student-housing complex is nearly full, and the college likely would need alternatives.

• The board tabled a proposal to acquire a Wells Fargo small-business credit card for small purchases by the college’s officials. Hammer said she could not recommend the board authorizing it after discussing the matter with the college’s accountant. He said officials ought to look instead to a procurement card program through the New Mexico Finance & Administration Department.

• The board approved a contract with Atkinson & Co. Ltd. for the fiscal-year 2020 audit for $44,229. Atkinson, based in Albuquerque, has been the college’s auditor for the past three years.

• Groesbeck reported Staci Stanbrough, an animal-science faculty member, is leaving the college and moving away from the area. He said he was “grateful” for her service and thanked her for serving the college.

• A new Mesalands business faculty member is Shannon DeMuth, who also will set up a Wordpress boot camp that can attract nationwide interest from people wanting to learn the popular open-source internet content management system.

• The board heard a report from coach Matt Hughes about the college’s rodeo program. He said his team was sitting in third place in the regional standings, with a decent chance of finishing the season in second and qualifying for the College Finals Rodeo in Casper, Wyoming. He said Mesalands has defeated rival New Mexico State three times this season. He said two athletes — AJ Kee and Roy Jackson — nearly are locks to qualify for the College Finals Rodeo and hopes to qualify two more.


Hughes said he’s losing many good athletes to graduation after the season but expressed satisfaction with recruiting efforts, including drawing competitors from Australia. He said his next goal is to build up the Mesalands women’s team.

 
 

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