BOT Review 2020-21 Budget in Annual Retreat

[Garden City, KS] June 26, 2020 -- Members of the Garden City Community College Board of Trustees must consider options for a possible budget shortfall of just under $1 million this upcoming fiscal year.

Based on current projections and with no change to the local mill levy, GCCC expects to collect a total revenue of roughly $16.8 million in the 2020-21 fiscal year, which begins July 1.

However, these revenues fall roughly $913,000 short of the planned $17.8 million budget that is required to maintain operations, GCCC President Dr. Ryan Ruda told trustees during a special meeting on Thursday.

The largest factor in revenue shortfall concerns student enrollment.

Dr. Ruda told members of the board that the college is planning for a potential 15% reduction in student enrollment this fall in its current budget calculations, a downward trend that is reflected at colleges and universities across the nation in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Much of what we're fighting is unpredictable projections -- how to plan with no reliable predictors of how many students will show up on campus or online this fall," he said.

This expected reduction in enrollment severely impacts the revenues GCCC can collect, to the tune of an estimated $584,897, according to the GCCC president.

Those potential revenue losses, coupled with a 10% expected reduction in state aid ($317,238), and other tax and miscellaneous revenue funds ($66,404) equates to $968,539 total overall loss in expected revenue for the 2020-21 fiscal year.

Adversely, the college’s projected spending for 2020-21 ($17.8 million) must account for added expenses in insurance and new program expenditures. 

With these added expenses, the annual budget reflects cost-savings from at least 11 full-time positions that have been frozen through retirement or attrition, in addition to 10% average reduction in operational budgets across campus.

"That is a 5% reduction to our employee base, without affecting current employees," Dr. Ruda added.

To reconcile the disparity between expected revenues ($16.8 million) and expenditures ($17.8 million), college leadership presented trustees with three options: going back to the annual budget to make further cuts; considering a 1.83 mill levy increase to reconcile the $913,000 shortfall; or, a mix of these options that also considers use of college fund reserves.

"We aim to be good stewards of taxpayer funds. GCCC has not increased the mill levy since 2012, and before that, since 2003," Dr. Ruda said. "However, we would be remiss if we didn't bring that option to the table."

The next board of trustees meeting will be held at 6 P.M. on Tuesday, July 21, during which trustees are expected to act on the budget.

To access all budget retreat materials, visit

In a separate special meeting held prior the budget retreat, trustees unanimously approved purchase of a network switch refresh at a cost of $501,184.

About two-thirds of GCCC's current network switches require replacement by 2022, and the remainder by 2023.

The critical infrastructure upgrade project, which will take roughly 10 months to implement, will improve speed across campus networks by 50%, enhance user upload and download speeds, and improve network security overall.

Garden City Community College exists to produce positive contributors to the economic and social well-being of society.


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