A $4 million dollar budget surplus and how to spend it was the hot topic at last (Tuesday) night’s workshop for the Blinn College Board of Trustees.
A variety of ideas were discussed by the Blinn Board, ranging from additional faculty compensation, new administrative positions and expanding the college’s Bryan campus. Kelli Shoemaker, Blinn’s Chief Financial Officer and Vice President of Financial Services, pointed out that $2 million of the surplus came from money that was earmarked for purchasing the Lynntech facility in College Station. Last month that purchase was cancelled by the Board, but they are still looking at other locations for Blinn’s Bryan/College Station campus.
Board member Carolyn Miller presented an idea for a pilot program to compensate faculty members who are teaching at a 90 percent work load or higher. Miller suggested allocating $250,000 per semester to be divided among faculty members who met a certain criteria. Already included in Blinn’s proposed budget is a $600 bonus to full-time faculty and staff to help cover the cost of rising health insurance premiums. Total cost of the bonuses is $425,000.
Blinn’s growing Bryan campus population was discussed as another possible use for the surplus money. While the search continues for a long term land solution for that campus, the Trustees are looking at ideas for the short term. Adding a second floor to one of the Bryan campus buildings for biology and chemistry department labs was discussed.
$500,000 of the surplus money could be used to pay for 2 new faculty positions and 12 new staff members. Blinn is looking at hiring a Director of Strategic Initiatives, a Chief of Staff at the Bryan campus, and an assistant to the CFO.
Discussions about the surplus funds will continue in future Blinn Board meetings