News Column

Early Bond Payoff Question Before Board

May 16, 2014

KINGMAN, Ariz., May 16 -- Mohave Community College issued the following news release:

Prudent financial management has been a hallmark of the current administration at Mohave Community College for six years. As a result, the college is moving ever closer to being debt-free.

At its May meeting today, the Board of Governors will be asked to allow the administration to use a portion of its reserve funding to pay off the college's two outstanding bond issues early. This move would eliminate the remaining seven years of interest payments, saving the college more than $300,000.

The reserve funds currently earn 0.5 percent interest and the college pays 3.7 to 4.25 percent interest on the bond issues. The Board approved a similar request five years ago, which brought about an $830,000 savings for the college.

This item is one of three that require a vote of the Board before the full budget for 2014-2015 can be finalized for presentation in June. The college is also seeking approval to use its reserve in the MCC/Mohave Schools Insurance Consortium to offset increased medical insurance premiums for 2014-15. MCC is the only institution in the consortium that has not already used its reserve. This move will help to keep the cost of medical insurance lower for employees.

The third item for a vote of the Board is approval of the salary schedule for the next fiscal year. The college is proposing a $25 per-credit-hour compensation increase for associate (part-time) faculty and a 1 percent increase for all other categories of employees, to help offset inflation.

A fourth item that would affect the 2014-2015 budget is the proposed construction of a multi-purpose facility on the Neal Campus-Kingman. The new facility is in the earliest stages of discussion and would require many more steps before bidding and construction are considered.

If approved by the Board at a later date, it would replace outdated temporary classrooms, faculty office and enrollment services spaces, and provide space, which is not currently available on the Kingman campus for events.

Reserves have been set aside for the new facility and the item does not require a vote of the Board at this time.

The Board will be asked to approve three fees for the upcoming year that were not included on the fee schedule approved in March. They are for test fees and transcript fees.

The Board will also hear a request to approve the awarding of a contract to Starkweather Roofing, Inc., for the repair and restoration of roofs on buildings 200 and 300 on the Bullhead City Campus for a total expenditure not to exceed $129,666. The Cave Creek, Ariz., company had the lowest bid and highest scoring of the five companies bidding.

Two Powers and Duties Policy issues will be before the Board as well. The Board will have a second reading and vote on a policy regarding regulating competition with private enterprise, in compliance with Arizona law.

They will hear a first reading on four policy issues. The first allows the Board to enter into reciprocity agreements and the second to enter into research and development agreements regarding products that may emerge as a result of the community college district's research.

The third issue requires the Board to institute a plan on all campuses to increase student voter registration and voting in elections, and the fourth deals with instructions for college employees who are responsible for selecting course materials.

Of particular interest to students will be a report by Dean of Instruction Jill Loveless who will report on the college's Open Education Resource (OER) initiative. OER materials are open-source textbooks and classroom materials that save students an average of $100 per class.

Currently 23 courses will be introducing OER materials. The savings will continue to grow as the initiative progresses, adding additional courses.

MCC President Dr. Michael Kearns said, "Reducing the cost of textbooks has been a high priority of the college for the last several years. The office of instruction has been researching the most effective solutions and will expand on this great start to make higher education more affordable for everyone.

"The bulk of our students qualify for financial aid which covers most of their tuition and fees; but in the past, textbooks have cost as much as $150-$200 each. This initiative will significantly reduce expenses for students," Kearns added.

The Board of Governors' meeting will begin at noon on Friday, May 16 in Room 508 on the Bullhead City campus at 3400 Highway 95. It will be broadcast live by Interactive Television (ITV) to Room 508, on the Neal Campus-Kingman at 1971 Jagerson Ave., on the Lake Havasu City campus at 1977 Acoma Blvd., West., and to Room 301 on the North Mohave Campus at 480 S. Central in Colorado City. The public is invited to attend in person or by ITV.

The public can view the full agenda, including appendices not exempt by ARS 38-431.0, in the library on each MCC campus within 24 hours prior to the scheduled meeting. They can obtain a copy through the Office of the President, 1971 Jagerson Ave., in Kingman, or go online to:

Pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act, MCC endeavors to assure accessibility to its programs, facilities and services to all persons with disabilities. Persons needing accommodation for this meeting can contact the Disability Services Office at 928-757-0813.

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Source: Targeted News Service

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