Hopkinsville Community College Board of Directors held a meeting Monday at the new Emerging Technologies Center. HCC Chief Business Affairs Officer Dr. Dale Leatherman presented the board with a finance report.
Leatherman told the board that at the end of fiscal year 2018-2019, the school had $1,577,282 left over to place in the college’s fund balance. That increased the balance to $6,891,018, after $375,000 was taken out for emergencies per state requirements.
“When you look at that (fund balance) you think ‘Wow, we have a lot of money to spend,’ ” Leatherman said. “But really, that’s not the case.”
He said that the money could be used for reserves in the event of a particularly rough financial year. He pointed to rising retirement expenses in Kentucky as a possible need for that money.
Leatherman said that fall tuition paid is down around 1% compared to last year, but it is still very similar.
“Last year was a particularly good year for the school,” he said.
The HCC budget was increased for the current school year, but the school is down about 5% from that year for meeting the budgeted goal.
“But we still feel comfortable that we’re in real good shape,” Leatherman said.
HCC President Dr. Alissa Young told the board that fall enrollment dropped a total of 4.2% from 2018 numbers for the fall semester with Hopkinsville and Fort Campbell campuses’ enrollment combined. Hopkinsville’s campus fall enrollment dropped 7.5% but Fort Campbell’s actually increased 3.8% in the fall.
“We think that there are perhaps a number of factors contributing to this,” she said. “The economy … things are going well. Unemployment is low. We’ve had some changes in some of our dual credit offerings.”
Spring enrollment shows signs of improvement. As of Nov. 15 the Hopkinsville campus enrollment has increased .4% from 2019 and the Fort Campbell campus enrollment has increased 11.1%.
“We are focusing on enrollment,” Young said. “We’re trying to recruit as much as we possibly can and of course retain students that we already have.”
In other board business:
• HCC will begin phase two of its Emerging Technologies Building construction in January. A kitchen will be installed for food-service training.
Reach Jon Russelburg at 270-887-3241 or firstname.lastname@example.org