The Northern Oklahoma College Board of Regents approved the 2021-22 fiscal year budget at the June 16 meeting.
Included in that budget is a modest 2.8% increase in tuition and mandatory fees. The change will take effect in the Fall 2021 semester and will amount to an increase in resident tuition and fees of $60.00 per semester or $120.00 for the academic year for students on the Tonkawa and Enid campuses who complete 30 credit hours. The NOC/OSU Gateway Program will coincide with OSU rates. Those rates and cost comparisons are available at https://www.noc.edu/stillwater/students-stillwater/future-students-stillwater/tuition/ .
“I’m pleased that there is some good news with the budget this year,” said Dr. Cheryl Evans. “Although we’ve faced several reductions over the past years, for the coming fiscal year NOC’s budget includes state appropriations of $8.2 million, a 5.42% or $423,891 increase from last year FY2021.
“We still have a way to go as the State allocation my first year at NOC ten years ago for FY2012 was almost $10.5 million, but we are appreciative for the increase this year. Hopefully, our allocations will continue to be restored in years to come. Even with this increase, State appropriations account for only 33.5% of NOC’s overall operating budget; this number continues to be down significantly from the 70% provided by the State of Oklahoma in 2002 while our mandatory costs continue to rise.
She said the budget increase is a result of increased state allocations, the Higher Education Emergency Relief Funding (HEERF), and the tuition increase. This budget is based on an estimated 8% decrease in enrollment institution-wide in the coming school year as community colleges across the nation are anticipating lower enrollments due to declining numbers in college age demographics as well as the longer-term post-pandemic effect on underrepresented populations.
Additionally, mandatory costs, such as healthcare, property, tort, ELL, and vehicle insurance premiums continue to rise, adding to the demands on the budget.
NOC utilized a portion of HEERF, Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA) and American Rescue Plan (ARP) one-time monies as allowed by the federal government to support this budget.
Also included in the Oklahoma State Regents’ budget for a second year was funding to reimburse 100% of the cost of concurrent enrollment for high school seniors (tuition waivers only).
Also, the budget includes an average 3.22% salary increase for NOC faculty and a 3% across the board salary increase for full time staff.
Evans said, “We are grateful that the State Legislators also approved bond funding for the State Regents that will help support four faculty in STEM fields; NOC will receive a one-million-dollar match for our endowed funds currently held in the NOC Foundation.”
The board also bid farewell to retiring NOC President Dr. Cheryl Evans during her final board meeting and approved a proclamation in her honor.
“It has been an honor to serve as Northern Oklahoma’s President these past ten years and it has been one of the best overall experiences that I could have ever imagined,” Evans said. “The team of people that I’ve had the privilege of working alongside to serve students have made the best of times and the worst of times all meaningful and productive. Together we have strived to be good stewards of our resources and to improve on this nationally recognized institution. I’m proud of the accomplishments NOC employees and students have achieved. I know that all of you will continue to support and grow Northern’s mission and its tradition of excellence. I am grateful to be part of the NOC family and look forward to seeing all the good things to come for Northern.”
In other business, the board approved the Course Catalog, Student Handbook, and Athletic Handbooks for the 2021-22 academic year.
Regents also approved the Campus Master Plan for 2023-2030 and approved the monthly financial reports.
The board also reorganized for the new fiscal year as follows: Michael Martin, Chairman; Jami Groendyke, Vice-Chairman; Stan Brownlee, Secretary; Dale DeWitt, Member; and Jodi Cline, Member.
The Regents will meet next Wednesday, July 21 in the President’s Conference Room in Tonkawa at 1 p.m.