February 9, 2023 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 Thursday, February 9, 2023 in the Board Room (C307) at Illinois Valley Community College.
Committee Members Physically Present
Jay K. McCracken, Committee Chair
Amy L. Boyles
Maureen O. Rebholz
Committee Members Virtually Present
Committee Members Absent
Board Members Physically Present
Angela M. Stevenson, Secretary
Jane E. Goetz
William F. Hunt
Others Physically Present
Jerry Corcoran, President
Matt Seaton, Vice President for Business Services and Finance
Gary Roberts, Vice President for Academic Affairs
Mark Grzybowski, Vice President for Student Services
Mary Beth Herron, Director of Human Resources
Kathy Ross, Controller
Eric Johnson, Director of Financial Aid
Anthony Cervini, Sikich, LLP
Others Virtually Present
The meeting was called to order at 4:00 p.m. by Mr. McCracken.
The comprehensive annual financial report for fiscal year ending June 30, 2022 was reviewed by Anthony Cervini from Sikich LLP. Mr. Cervini advised that the audit for IVCC earned a “clean” and unmodified report with no deficiencies or material weaknesses. This opinion is the highest level of assurance that the auditors can offer. Mr. Cervini congratulated the college, administration, faculty and staff on this achievement and for a job well done. He noted that there were two minor instances of noncompliance identified during the 2021/2022 Financial Aid audit. Mr. Cervini added that an action plan to ensure that these instances would not reoccur was immediately created and implemented by the Director of Financial Aid. Mr. Cervini offered congratulations to IVCC for being presented a “Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association” annually for the years ending June 30, 1994 through 2021. Dr. Boyles pointed out that in the audit report it was noted that IVCC is one of the very few community colleges that has no bonded debt as of June 30, 2022. Mr. Cervini commented that IVCC is in a “unique class” and that not many colleges could report being debt-free. Mr. McCracken thanked Mr. Cervini, the auditors and the entire Business Office team for their outstanding work.
FINANCIAL PLAN 2024-2026
Dr. Seaton presented the financial plan covering fiscal years 2024-2026 and noted that it is intended to provide a framework for the Board of Trustees and the administration to discuss the implications of major financial decisions. He thanked Kathy Ross and the Business Office team for their work in preparation of the plan. This three-year financial plan is part of the annual planning cycle that integrates the college’s strategic plan with the financial resources necessary to meet these strategic planning objectives. The major operating funds of the college consist of the Education Fund and the Operation and Maintenance Fund. The major sources of revenue for these funds consist of property taxes, tuition and state funding. In a comparison of similar sized Illinois community colleges, based on the most recent information available, IVCC has the lowest total operating tax rate and the third lowest rate for total tax rate. Following the same trend as universities and colleges throughout the nation during the pandemic, credit hours for FY18 through FY22 decreased by 23.5 percent. However, FY23 IVCC has seen a significant increase of over 7 percent for Fall and 9 percent for Spring semesters. Credit hour projections for FY22 are 46.038. The college has chosen to freeze the tuition rate and universal fees during the fiscal years affected by the pandemic. In comparison, the average increase for all community colleges during that five-year timeframe has been 7.6 percent with IVCC’s peer colleges increasing 11 percent. Projections for the college’s salaries, benefits, health insurance rates, technology, contractual services and materials/supplies were shared in the three-year plan. These projections are a basis for discussion and further planning as the college addresses the future needs of the district.
TUITION/FEE RECOMMENDATION FOR 2022-2023 ACADEMIC YEAR
Dr. Seaton advised that after review of our current tuition, fees and enrollment statistics it is recommended that the Committee approve a tuition increase from $125.60 to $130.60 per credit hour to be effective with the summer 2023 semester. The proposed universal fee would increase by $1.00 for technology and $0.60 for student activities for a total of $9.00. The combined tuition and universal fee would be $139.60. The increase of $5.00 per credit hour is a 5.0 percent increase over the FY22 combined tuition and universal fee of $133.00. Dr. Seaton noted that the student activity fee has not been increased in over a decade, even though new clubs and organizations have come into existence that utilize this revenue. In addition, the technology fee has not increased in over five years, and with the escalating cost of technological components, this increase is needed. Several grants have been utilized by the college to provide the technology needed to support an online learning platform. Once the grant funds are spent, the college needs to be able to incorporate the ongoing costs into the operating funds. Dr. Corcoran noted that, as is our custom and practice the proposed tuition and fees were shared at a meeting with the SGA and the information was well received by that group. Committee members expressed concern for area students and families and the timing of the proposed increases. The Committee suggested looking at other possibilities for tuition and fee adjustments such as a 2.5 percent increase for the next academic year. In addition, the Committee inquired about what the proposed tuition increase would provide and requested the opportunity to review supplemental information before making a recommendation to the full Board.
Motion made by Dr. Rebholz and seconded by Dr. Boyles to table the tuition/fee recommendation for the 2022-2023 academic year, as presented and review an updated version of a 2.5 percent tuition increase or other alternative proposals at a later meeting.
Roll Call Vote: “Ayes” – Dr. Rebholz, Dr. Boyles and Mr. McCracken.
Dr. Roberts noted that course fees are reviewed annually by Program Coordinators and Deans using the approved Course Fee Guidelines. He advised that there are currently 316 active courses with approved course fees. The recommendation is to change 186 course fees to include 153 increases; 1 decrease; 4 new courses; 3 existing courses with a course fee added; and the removal of course fees from 25 existing courses (15 courses have been withdrawn, 2 have been replaced by another course, and 8 are now taught in a format that no longer requires a course fee). The guidelines and a list of the proposed course fee changes were provided for the Committee to review. Dr. Roberts added that these fees are specific to a program and are used to cover expenses. Dr. Corcoran noted that the course fees and adjustments were shared with the SGA and there were no objections from that group for moving forward with the proposal.
Motion made by Dr. Boyles and seconded by Dr. Rebholz to recommend the course fees and adjustments, as presented be shared with the full Board.
Roll Call Vote: “Ayes” – Dr. Rebholz, Dr. Boyles and Mr. McCracken
Dr. Corcoran thanked Dr. Seaton, Ms. Ross and the Business Office team for their work in preparation of the documents that were presented to the Committee.
Mr. McCracken declared the meeting adjourned at 5:02 p.m.