The Richmond Community College Board of Trustees welcomed Joe Liles of Hamlet and Joe Kindley of Rockingham to their ranks. Liles was appointed by the Richmond County Board of Education and Kindley was appointed by Governor Beverly Perdue. Board terms are for four years. The board reviewed a revised copy of their bylaws, which have been updated to comply with legislative and Southern Association of College and Schools (SACS) mandates.
The board voted to approve with commendation RCC’s Critical Success Factors report. The report from the NC Community System shows RCC is one of 12 colleges exceeding state standards in eight areas ranging from how well RCC students perform when they transfer to universities to the passage rate of RCC graduates on licensure exams. The Customized Training Program received a 100% satisfaction rate from 47 local employers using the program for industry training.
The board approved an increase in tuition and in the cost of taking the GED exam. Both are set by the state, but must be approved locally. Tuition rose $10 per semester credit hour to $66.50. Maximum tuition is $1,064 per semester. Cost for taking the GED rose from $7.50, set in 1987, to $25. Testing is done online and costs more to administer. There was no tuition increase for Workforce and Economic Development courses.
An enrollment report shows 1761 students have enrolled for fall semester. A significant number of students are completing the application process to be eligible to schedule classes August 17 and 18.
The board previewed the 2011-2012 budget of $25 million from state, federal, and county budgets. RCC President Dr. Dale McInnis said the college will be able to survive budget cuts that took place because it received additional funds for the increased enrollment the college experienced last year. Those funds have been invested in new programs.
The board approved employee salaries, which have not increased in the last three years. The board also approved allowing employees to take one course per semester tuition-free.
Board members voiced concern over the concept being discussed in the legislature regarding the merger of 15 community colleges. RCC President Dr. Dale McInnis said the Richmond and Scotland County Commissions have gone on record supporting the college and the need for it to retain local control over its operations. He said the best thing to come out of the debate is the groundswell of support he has seen from trustees, the RCC Foundation board of directors, the boards of education, economic developers, and the industries RCC serves.
RCC Trustee Jim McCaskill said, “If it is not good for us, it is not good for the smallest community college. They are as responsive to the needs of their communities as we are. This is not a good idea,” he said.