May 3, 2021 Audit Finance Committee Meeting
The Audit/Finance Committee of the Board of Trustees of Illinois Valley Community College District No. 513 met at 4:00 p.m. on Monday, May 3, 2021 in the Board Room (C307) at Illinois Valley Community College.
Committee Members Physically Present
Everett J. Solon, Committee Chair
Jay K. McCracken
Maureen O. Rebholz
Committee Members Virtually Present
Committee Members Absent
Board Members Physically Present
Jane E. Goetz, Board Chair
Board Members Virtually Present
David O. Mallery
Others Physically Present
Jerry Corcoran, President
Cheryl Roelfsema, Vice President for Business Services and Finance Mark Grzybowski, Vice President for Student Services
Chris Dunlap, Director of Information Technology Services
Others Virtually Present
Deborah Anderson, Vice President for Academic Affairs
Bonnie Campbell, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs
Leslie Hofer, Director of Human Resources
Kathy Ross, Controller
The meeting was called to order at 4:05 p.m. by Mr. Solon.
REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL RESULTS – AUDIT SERVICES
Board Policy requires the College to perform a RFP for audit services at least every six years. For the last six years, Wipfli LLP was engaged to perform the annual audit of the College. Kathy Ross informed that complete proposals were received from three firms: Clifton Larson Allen, LLP; Sikich, LLP, and Wipfli, LLP. All three proposals indicated that the firms have the necessary credentials and experience to perform a financial audit for the College, as required by Board Policy 4.6 – Audits. Ms. Ross noted that in addition to proposing the overall lowest cost for audit services for the College, Sikich currently audits more than 20 higher education institutions. In 2020, Sikich performed audits for the following six Illinois community colleges: Kishwaukee College, Elgin Community College, McHenry County College, Oakton Community College, Rock Valley College and Waubonsee Community College. Ms. Ross added that Sikich understands the task in today’s environment is to keep up with the ever-changing standards from GASB and the Office of Management and Budget with the new Uniform Guidance.
Motion made by Mr. McCracken and seconded by Dr. Rebholz to recommend that the proposal results for audit services be presented to the full Board. Motion passed by voice vote.
HIGHER EDUCATION EMERGENCY RELIEF FUND (HEERF) STATUS UPDATE
Mr. Grzybowski provided an update on how the College has spent our allocation of the HEERF I (CARES Act I) Fund. He informed that IVCC received an allocation of $1,373,121, half of which was passed on to our students as required. As of March 31, the College has spent $913,411 on the following areas: student aid totaling $686,561; faculty stipends; personal protective equipment; disinfectant, sanitizer, and other safety supplies; tools to support distance learning such as webcams and document cameras; transferring e-mail to the Office 365 platform; and virtual placement testing for the Assessment Center. Mr. Grzybowski reported that the College has also received a HEERF II (CRRSSA) allocation of $3,234,229 and also received word that a HEERF III (ARPA) allocation is forthcoming. He advised that although there is ever-changing guidance for the HEERF funds, the second and third installments of HEERF have expanded to uses for the institutional funds to include lost revenue and have extended the deadlines to utilize the funds. Mr. Grzybowski noted that currently we are examining the possibility of student aid and academic support technology and software as ways to spend our HEERF II (CRRSSA) allocation.
GEER FUNDS STATUS UPDATE
Mr. Grzybowski detailed how the College has spent our allocation of the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) Fund. He advised that the GEER Fund regulations are relatively general and state that funds can be used in any ways to prevent, prepare for, or respond to COVID-19. The allocation that IVCC received was $130,981. Mr. Grzybowski informed that as of the end of March, the College has spent exactly $103,193.32 in the following areas: supplies that included student laptops and masks; contractual services such as student Wi-Fi hotspots; and student aid ($64,800). He advised that since March 31, 2021 we have encumbered additional expenses in the amounts of $5,600 in facemasks for students and $17,064 in aid that was dispersed to 108 students. Mr. Grzybowski noted that 108 students applied and all were awarded funds. The criteria were: 1) low income; 2) first generation; and 3) special populations. Mr. Grzybowski added that these figures and final expenditures will be included and reported at the end of June 2021. Mr. Solon inquired where most IVCC students fell in the categories. Mr. Grzybowski advised that most of our students were in the low income status with first generation students coming in next. He added that some students were in more than one category. Mr. McCracken asked if the college has been working closely with the high schools in regards to this information and Mr. Grzybowski confirmed that it has, as usual. Ms. Goetz noted the committee’s appreciation for the great work presented.
ATHLETICS UPDATE – CROSS COUNTRY RECOMMENDATION
Mr. Grzybowski informed that he and Cory Tomasson are recommending that the College add Men’s and Women’s Cross Country as intercollegiate sports to compete at the Division II Level for the 2022-23 academic year. Mr. Grzybowski noted that Mr. Tomasson and he strongly feel that our athletics program in general can be leveraged to enrich the student experience as well as serve as an enrollment incentive for students who may not have previously considered IVCC as a postsecondary option. He reported that through canvassing the six Arrowhead Conference colleges, they learned that the following offer cross country as an intercollegiate sport: Carl Sandburg, Kishwaukee and Sauk Valley. Further, conference member Highland Community College will be offering cross country in 2021. Additionally, conference member Black Hawk College has begun discussions about adding the sport as well. For reference, cross country is currently offered at the following Region IV Illinois Community Colleges: College of Dupage, College of Lake Country, Elgin, Harper, Truman, Joliet Junior, Malcom X., Moraine, Oakton, Prairie State and Waubonsee. Mr. Grzybowski noted that we believe that there is an untapped demand that exists within our school district. Men’s cross country is offered at 18 of 20 of IVCC’s district high schools and is 17 of 20 for women. He advised that Mr. Tomasson anticipates a total roster size of between 10 to 20 additional student athletes all of whom would be required to enroll in at least 15 credit hours each semester in order to maintain athletic eligibility and graduate within four semesters. Mr. Grzybowski informed that expenses would be nominal and consist of uniforms, tuition waivers, coach stipend, and travel expenses as all meets are held at larger colleges or universities. The committee expressed appreciation for the willingness to bring these kinds of ideas forward.
ATHLETIC WAIVER RECOMMENDATION
Mr. Grzybowski noted that in an effort to utilize intercollegiate athletics as means of both providing an enriching student experience and as an enrollment incentive, Cory Tomasson and he recommend moving all athletic programs to Division II status. In conjunction with moving to Division II status for all sports, Mr. Tomasson and he recommend reallocating and restructuring athletic tuition waivers so that all IVCC sports would have the ability to offer a designated number of waiver hours to student athletes. The recommendation seeks to accomplish the following goals: 1) by moving to Division II status in all sports, IVCC will be more appropriately aligned with other Arrowhead Conference Teams; 2) it would allow for a student athlete to participate in more than one sport at IVCC with greater ease; and 3) the new structure would allow teams to more effectively recruit student athletes, and thus in turn would optimize the roster size of each team and increase credit hours. Mr. Grzybowski added that the enrolled credit hours, tuition and fee revenue and credit hour reimbursement would increase at a rate that would ultimately benefit IVCC. A spreadsheet was provided depicting how the proposed tuition waiver allocation and structuring method would compare to the previous waiver allocation methods. Mr. McCracken commented that getting more students in the pipeline and boosting credit hours provides a good solid plan.
FITNESS CENTER UPDATE
Mr. Grzybowski reported that Dr. Anderson, Mr. Groleau, Mr. Tomasson and he met on April 15 to explore options for future utilization of the IVCC Fitness Center. One potential model that the group felt warranted further exploration is one that is similar to what is in place at Oakton Community College. Oakton reported that its center is able to be utilized by students, employees and retirees while also providing health, wellness and immediate physical therapy options for their athletic teams and athletic trainers. Mr. Grzybowski informed that our group recommends that we further investigate the specifics of the Oakton model as well as those aspects that are appealing at the remaining 17 community colleges that had provided us with feedback regarding the operations of their respective fitness centers. Mr. Grzybowski noted that we are interested in reviewing exactly how our counterparts’ centers are financed, operated, staffed and maintained. Tony Ruda, Health & Wellness Instructor, questioned why he was not involved in the discussions regarding the fitness center and given an opportunity to weigh-in. Dr. Corcoran pointed out that Mr. Ruda was a member of the committee that was looking into the degrees changing from 64 to 60 and he had an opportunity to provide input at that time. Dr. Corcoran noted that while he respects Mr. Ruda and his opinion, it is important that we work on degree attainment for our students and be in step with what is going on with other community colleges in our state. Ms. Goetz commented that the committee appreciated Mr. Ruda’s perspective.
FY2022 PRELIMINARY BUDGET ASSUMPTIONS
Kathy Ross informed that the major operating funds of the college consist of the Education Fund and the Operation and Maintenance Fund. Ms. Ross noted that the major sources of revenue for these funds consist of property taxes, tuition, and state funding. The assumptions used for these categories are the following: property tax increase is at three percent; tuition rate remains the same with no increase at $133, enrollment credit hours at 47,400; and state funding at $2,298,000. Ms. Ross advised that tuition and fees are based on credit hours of 47,400 and the FY21 budget was based on 51,000 credit hours. However, due to the effects of COVID-19, the most recent enrollment report shows 45,053 credit hours for FY21. The FY22 budget for credit hours represents a five percent increase of the FY21 projected actual credit hours as the college is preparing to have more students back on campus starting in the fall. Ms. Ross noted that the largest expenditures are for personnel costs. Current assumptions for the FY22 budget compared to the FY21 budget include a 2.5 percent increase in salaries. Ms. Ross informed that benefits are budgeted with a five percent annual increase and health insurance rates for calendar year 2021 increased by four percent due to increases in overall health care costs. She advised that conference and training costs have come in at a five percent decrease. This is mainly due to COVID-19 and while some conferences are anticipating in-person options in the fall, there are still plenty that will continue to offer electronic delivery options at a lower cost. Ms. Ross informed that the Budget Council will be wrapping up its portion of the budget by mid-May with the Business Office completing the tentative budget for the July Board meeting and final budget for approval at the August Board meeting.
Mr. Solon thanked the administration and staff for the outstanding information that was presented.
Mr. Solon declared the meeting adjourned at 4:45 p.m.