There have been some changes to SC4 since last semester.
Among these changes: the campus library now will be closed on Sundays, the Bad Axe campus closing, and there will be no more campus mail delivery.
These changes were necessary due to budget issues for the college.
According to Dr. Kevin Pollock, President of St. Clair County Community College, the college has three revenue sources: tuition, state funding, and local taxes. All of these are decreasing, but expenses such as health insurance and retirement costs are still increasing.
These expenses are going up into the thirtieth percentile mark. This means that for every dollar spent on an employee, 30 cents of that has to go toward the state.
According to Pollock, even if basic costs stay level, the school could still be looking at a $1-3 million deficit.
“We don’t want to balance anything on the student’s backs, but the only revenue source we actually are in control of is our tuition,” said Pollock.
The decision to close the Bad Axe campus was largely based on it being out of district. There were less than 30 graduates from the campus this year. These graduates were able to finish their degree, but starting this semester no new students were added.
Those that worked in Bad Axe were offered positions on the Port Huron campus, but many decided it was time to retire.
“Closing the Bad Axe facility; it was a very difficult decision. But it is part of many decisions that we’re using to help make sure that we have the budget in place, and we’re also utilizing our resources in the most efficient way,” said Pollock.
Upon closing the satellite campus, SC4 was able to pull resources from the Bad Axe campus to introduce here. SC4 is able to introduce two new programs this semester: Health and Information Technology and Radiologic Technology.
Also among these changes to cut costs is the campus library will not be open on Sundays.
According to Pollock, research was conducted that found that less than ¼ of 1% of our students utilize the library on Sundays.
To have the library open on Sundays means having the building staffed with library workers, maintenance, and also security.
“It doesn’t mean it’s always going to remain that way, but until we can really get a handle on our budgets and make sure everything’s there, it’s just another thing that will help us save some money,” said Pollock.
What’s more to the changes is that there will no longer be mail delivery on campus.
According to Pollock, previously one worker would deliver the mail to the entire campus. Now it is the responsibility of each department to send one person to pick up their mail.
“Of course I like when the mail was delivered here because it saved me from having to remember. I miss it, but I understand the reason why,” said Kim Kelley, Secretary of the Communications Department.
“We’re way ahead of a lot of other institutions and we’ve been very good about maintaining our resources,” said Pollock. “This next year coming up and the year after that are going to be the most difficult. And once we go through those, I think we’ll be able to really see where we are.”