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Chancellor gives Calhoun $500,000 special allocation

By Bayne Hughes · 340-2432

Chancellor Bradley Byrne told Calhoun Community College employees Monday morning that he is giving the college another $500,000 from his discretionary fund to make up a budget shortfall.

Byrne made the comments at the staff in-service in the Health-Sciences Center. It’s the second allocation he’s given the school since taking office in May. He gave Calhoun a $1.6 million recurring allocation in July. The second allocation is one-time money.

The head of the Alabama College System is trying to help Calhoun and other short-funded, two-year colleges rebuild their budgets. In 1995, the Legislature froze the funding formula for the system.

The formula doesn’t reward colleges building full-time credit hours, penalizing colleges like Calhoun that experience growth. President Marilyn Beck said Monday morning that enrollment could pass 9,000 when fall semester registration ends.

Byrne had $17 million remaining in his discretionary fund when he took office, and said, “I needed $30 million” to make up the budget shortfalls at several schools in the system.

Calhoun has a $60 million annual budget, including $40 million in unrestricted funds, which Beck estimated is about 75 percent less than needed. Dean of Finance and Facilities Jack Burrow said the state requires Calhoun to have about $11.5 million in reserves, enough to cover three months of operating expenses.

“Without these allocations, we’d have less than a month’s operating expense,” Burrow said.

Burrow said Calhoun would use some of the money to complete a capital improvement plan. The Math-Science building is the last building in a $44 million capital plan, but a $2 million landscaping and grounds improvement plan remains. This plan includes a new electric sign and signage for campus.

“All of the new buildings got landscaping, so this would include all of the remaining buildings and the area along the highway,” Burrow said.

The college is paying for this portion of the plan with a combination of grant money and the new allocation.

Beck said the college’s Huntsville campus would also get more full-time instructors.

“This is truly a tremendous boost for our college,” Beck said.

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