Board of Trustees Briefs

The Austin Community College District Board of Trustees held its regular session on Tuesday, March 3 at Highland Business Center. Following is a summary of some of the items discussed. To view meeting agendas and minutes, visit the Board Meetings Records webpage. To view a video of the proceedings, go to the Board Meetings Audio & Video Recordings webpage.

Adjunct Faculty Employment and Benefits

Neil Vickers, vice president of finance and budget, submitted an overview of board policies governing faculty workloads, adjunct faculty employment, employee benefits, and employee compensation. (Board Policies D-3, D-6, F-9, and F-10).

Vickers noted that neither the Affordable Care Act nor new Teacher Retirement System rules directly impact the college’s health benefit program; however, they have impelled continuing discussions about adjunct faculty workloads, benefits, and compensation. He said it would be difficult to make substantive changes to one of the cited policies pertaining to compensation and benefits without changing all of them.

Board policy D-6, states the college’s goal is for adjunct faculty whose total work for ACC equals half-time or more annually to have adequate health insurance benefits. Much of the board’s discussion revolved around how to measure “half-time” for an adjunct faculty. While both policies D-6 and F-10 include a methodology for measuring adjunct faculty time, the trustees discussed whether a new methodology should be explored. No decision or recommendations were made; the discussion will continue at future board meetings. It was stated that any changes would need to be adopted  by June to be reflected in the next year’s budget.

FY2015 Budget Study

Vickers also presented projections for future revenue and operating costs based on current service levels. While board policy requires three-year budget projections, the college offers a longer-term budget outlook.

Vickers submitted projected revenues, expenses, and tuition rates through FY 2024, along with tuition data from other Texas higher education institutions. For the spring semester, ACC has some of the lowest tuition and fees rates (in-district) of any Central Texas public college or university.

The data presented were preliminary and serves as a starting point for the budget process, which will proceed over the next four months. The board requested budget scenarios that do not include tuition increases for next year.

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