ICC budget up slightly from last year, reflecting enrollment

By Sandi P. Beason

Daily Journal

TUPELO – The budget for Itawamba Community College's fiscal year 2004-2005 is up slightly from last year, reflecting increased enrollment.

Last year's total budget was $47,028,033, compared to the $51,842,095 approved Monday by the college's board of trustees.

“That's about a 10 percent increase overall,” said Jerry Senter, vice-president of business services. He noted that about 70 percent is for salaries and fringe benefits, “which is in line with our purpose of educating people in the five-county area.”

ICC President David Cole said the college has seen an 80 percent increase in enrollment in the last 10 years, and that trend is expected to continue.

For the Spring 2004 semester, ICC had 2,064 full-time students on its Fulton campus, 770 full-time on its Tupelo campus and 356 full-time night and Internet students.

The numbers have steadily increased since 2000 in all categories.

“Based on the summer registration and orientation, we are up over last year's numbers at this time,” Cole said. “About 58 percent of our budget is derived from state funds that come from an enrollment-driven formula. If you have an increased enrollment, you are able to draw more funds.”

The amount appropriated per student has decreased roughly $1,000 over the past five years, he said, so even though the budget reflects more money appropriated by the state than last year's figures, less money has been generated.

“There was a need to increase the capacity of the college,” Cole said. “That's personnel and facilities. We are opening up this fall a new humanities building. Last year we opened a new men's dormitory. We're trying to meet the needs of people who access the college.”

ICC received $13,724,299 from the state this year, compared with $13,285,646 last year. It received $3,826,700 from its five counties – Itawamba, Lee, Monroe, Chickasaw and Pontotoc – up from $3,780,658 last year.

This year's budget includes approximately $450,000 from the ICC Foundation, and $1.9 million for scholarships.

This year, ICC will not have a reserve fund in case of state budget cuts.

“Last year, we set aside 5 percent in a contingency fund,” Cole said. “We had been advised that in the case of a mandated cutback by the governor to have some money in a reserve fund. We were advised that the budget was sound this year, and we would not need to budget for the contingency fund.”

Contact Sandi P. Beason at 678-1598 or sandi.pullen@djournal.com

Click video to hear audio