Monthly Archives: June 2020

Emergency Operations Pay no longer available after July 1

Following the suspension of face-to-face college operations in mid-March, the college implemented a series of Statements of Practice that allowed employees to use Emergency Operations Pay (EOP) to continue receiving pay if unable to work remotely. EOP was an emergency, temporary measure available to all employees, including student employees, who could not work remotely. It was designed to supplement paid time-off provisions, like vacation leave, personal leave and PTO.

Due to the ongoing economic uncertainties, as reflected in the FY2021 budget passed by the Board of Trustees on June 22, this temporary measure is no longer sustainable. Effective July 1, employees unable to work remotely will no longer be able to receive EOP.

Accordingly, under applicable college collective bargaining agreement provisions and college policies, eligible employees may use their time provided by Families First Coronavirus Response Act or their accrued leave banks (vacation leave, personal leave, PTO, etc.) to maintain pay while on unpaid active status. Once those leave banks are exhausted, no pay can be provided.

Please direct questions regarding the end of EOP pay to employee.concerns@star.lcc.edu.

Board of Trustees approves FY 2021 budget and a resolution naming Dr. Knight President Emeritus

The Board of Trustees approved an $118.6 million budget for the Fiscal Year 2021 during its June 22 special meeting.
 
The budget is based on estimated revenues of:

  • $30.2 million from state appropriations, an 11.6% decrease from FY2020
  • $45.1 million from property taxes, a 2.7% increase from FY2020
  • $40.1 million from tuition and fees, a 14.3% decrease from FY2020
  • $3.1 million from other sources, a 13% decrease from FY2020

In total, revenue in the FY2021 budget is expected to be about $10 million less than the FY2020 budget. These numbers are the college’s best estimates at this time, but the ongoing pandemic makes forecasting unusually difficult. The college intends to bring the Board an updated budget in the fall, after state appropriations and fall enrollment are known.
 
For details of how the college will make up that $10 million shortfall, please see President Brent Knight’s message or the Board of Trustees’ meeting packet. In the meeting, Dr. Knight added that, despite the financial cut to its operations, LCC’s radio station would “not go dark under any circumstances.”
 
In total, salaries and benefits make up 72.2% of General Fund expenses and transfers. Other expenses are services and supplies, student financial support, and transfer budgets like grant matches and debt service. The college has a long-standing practice of including a 1% contingency in the budget to cover unexpected costs, but eliminated that amount this year in order to limit cuts elsewhere in the budget.
 
Beyond the budget, trustees also approved:

  • $159,500 of the institutional portion of the college’s CARES Act grant to purchase 220 HP ProBook laptops and associated hardware support. These laptops will be distributed to students to help them continue their education remotely.
  • $119,272 of the institutional portion of the college’s CARES Act grant to purchase lecture capture hardware and software. This equipment will allow the college to create appropriate physical distancing as face-to-face classes resume by splitting students into two or more classrooms while still maintaining interaction with faculty.

Additionally, trustees offered a resolution recognizing President Brent Knight’s years of service to LCC and granting him the title President Emeritus. Several commenters and trustees also offered their thanks and best wishes to Dr. Knight.

Message from President Brent Knight

Dear Colleagues,
 
This month, LCC made the difficult decision to temporarily furlough about 120 of our valued employees. Furloughs are focused on those whose job descriptions are most difficult to perform remotely, and we hope to bring employees back as we gradually return to face-to-face work and school.
 
We had hoped to avoid furloughs, and we are saddened by the absence of our colleagues and the knowledge that they are now suffering personal hardship. We delayed this decision by continuing all employees’ pay through June 30, including those whose job duties did not allow them to work remotely, but that is not sustainable long-term. During furlough, all employees will continue to receive any health benefits they had, and LCC will pay the employee portion of the premium to help reduce financial strain.
 
I also acknowledge that many employees at this college also made a sacrifice by forgoing their scheduled, bargained pay raises for the 2020-2021 fiscal year. Many non-bargaining employees in college leadership positions have likewise accepted a pay freeze. I appreciate all of you and the work you are doing during this stressful time for our college and our world. I wish things were different.
 
To give you some sense of the college’s financial situation, we anticipate needing to fill a $10 million deficit in our budget. This is caused by a combination of a projected 13% decrease in state appropriations and anticipated enrollment decline. Summer enrollment has been slightly better than flat, which is encouraging, but we continue to project a 20% decline in enrollment during the fall 2020 semester and a 15% drop in enrollment during the spring 2021 semester. We sincerely hope to be proven overly cautious in these estimates, but prudence requires that we operate with the best information available.
 
In addition to the sacrifices employees are making, we have made several other cuts to our planned 2020-2021 budget.

  • Reduce the services and supplies budget by $2.4 million
  • Delay planned information technology replacement purchases, saving $2 million
  • Propose a budget without LCC’s usual 1% contingency, saving $1.2 million
  • Cut training, conferences and travel budget by $1.2 million
  • Delay maintenance and renovations, saving $725,000
  • Reduce student employment by $671,000
  • Reduce capital equipment purchases by $450,000
  • Eliminate fall athletics, saving $286,000
  • Eliminate financial support for the LCC radio and TV stations, saving $259,000
  • Eliminate the collegewide professional development budget, saving $180,000
  • Pause Performing Arts productions until January 2021, saving $176,000
  • Pause the Foundations for Success instruction, saving $163,000
  • Eliminate support to the Early Learning Children’s Community, saving $150,000
  • Suspend sabbaticals for FY2021, saving $110,000
  • Eliminate non-credit English as a Second Language courses, saving $80,000 

The salary freeze also saves $1.6 million. Further, LCC has instituted a “soft” hiring freeze, which means only key positions required to maintain college operations will be filled.
 
Additionally, the college is using $1 million out of our “rainy day fund” to help cover our expected shortfalls. The college is maintaining a fund balance in that rainy day fund in order to preserve responsible fiscal flexibility to ensure the long-term viability of the college. We expect we will need to use more of our fund balance throughout this year to cover yet-unknown shortfalls.
 
I have enjoyed working with all of you, and I appreciate your continued dedication to our students during this crisis. You are the people who make LCC a great place to learn and work.
 
Sincerely,
Brent Knight
President

Early timesheet alert – Independence Day 2020

The Independence Day federal holiday will be observed Friday, July 3. LCC will be processing all wage payments on Thursday, July 2, as a result of financial institutions closing for the holiday observation on July 3.
 
Due to the shortened timeframe for processing the July 2 pay, Payroll has had to make the following changes to the normal processing schedule.
 
Hours submitted for the Pay Period of June 14-27, for the pay date of July 2, 2020 (BW14):

  • Timesheets are due 10 a.m. Thursday, June 25, with PROJECTED HOURS for June 26-27.
  • Please note timesheet entry capability will not be available after 10 a.m. It is important that all employees and timekeepers have time entered.
  • Timesheet approvals need to be completed by 9 a.m. Friday, June 26.
  • Timesheet adjustments are due no later than 10 a.m. Monday, June 29.

Questions can be directed to our Payroll Department at FS-Payroll@lcc.edu or 517-483-1799.

What about benefits? Stretch at your desk

One of the challenges of working from home is remembering to step away from your desk and stretch. Stretching has been shown to improve flexibility and increase blood flow throughout the body.
 
Try one of the following three links to start incorporating some simple stretching into your home office routine.

  1. Read through these instructions with helpful GIFs for seven stretches.
  2. Follow along with this 6-minute instructional yoga stretch video.
  3. Follow along with this 14-minute office break yoga stretch video.

Also check out this article from the Mayo Clinic on the benefits of stretching and ways to stay safe while stretching.

Please contact Mara Fisher at perrym16@lcc.edu with any questions.

Unsolved mysteries of the LCC Archives

No matter how short or long your time at LCC has been, we’re hoping you’ll reach into your memory banks and share with us what you know about the image below. Any bit of information about the image is helpful, including the location, the event, a person or a random story related to it.

Send information, including the image number, to Linnea Knapp, Records Information Specialist, LCC-RIM@lcc.edu, and perhaps you can help solve a mystery.

IMG #006 – Interior Design students in AOF classroom

Interior Design students in AOF classroom

Learn more about the LCC Archives.

A round of Applause! for Chris Richards and Penny Tucker

This week, we’re applauding eLearning’s Chris Richards.

“Chris has been there throughout the transition to fully online,” Mary Stucko wrote in the award. “He is a huge asset to faculty so we can best serve our students. Last week, he even made time at 10 p.m. to talk me through an issue. He’s the best!”

Applause also goes to Academic Affairs’ Penny Tucker.

“Penny Tucker supports the Academic Affairs office team, demonstrating exceptional customer service and work efficiency,” Ed Suniga wrote in the award. “Working from home these last few months via WebEx with her sidekick pooch Tilly, she handled vital communication, data organization, communication and WebEx meetings for many administrators, faculty, subgroups and divisions at the college to meet LCC, Perkins and HLC requirements. She works tirelessly, pulling together content, data and people to meet stringent timelines. Penny’s strong work standards, team mindedness and passion for helping others succeed have contributed to successful project and process outcomes. Thank you, Penny, for supporting the many departments and people that you do!”

This regular “Applause!” column features the good work you and your colleagues do around the college. It’s powered by Applause! Awards, an LCC-wide program designed to recognize you for providing excellent customer service. Know someone who deserves to be featured here? All awards are given by employees, to employees, and everyone is eligible.

A quick primer on LCC’s revenue sources

As part of the strategic plan’s Resource Management and Fiscal Responsibility focus area, the college has launched the Increased Financial Awareness Team. This group’s goal is to increase the college community’s understanding of LCC budgeting and accounting.

In this article, we cover the concept of Revenue, which is the amount of income received by the college. The plural, Revenues, is the amount of income from all sources.

Revenue is the income received from normal business operations (operating income) and other business activities. You can think of the main sources of college revenue as a three-legged stool. The first leg is state appropriations, the second leg is property taxes, and the third leg is tuition and fees.

In addition, there are other, smaller sources of revenue. Non-operating income comes from infrequent or nonrecurring sources, such as COVID-19-related funding.

Gross income is listed as Total Revenues in the college’s financial report named “Statement of Revenues, Expenses and Changes in Net Position.” Net income is gross income (total revenues) less expenses and transfers that are subtracted.

For more information regarding Revenue, please visit the 5Star Knowledge Base article.

The Increased Financial Awareness Team wants to hear from you and what you need in order to better understand the college’s finances. Please reach out to Kevin Bubb at bubbk@lcc.edu if you have questions or ideas for items you’d like the team to address, or if you’d like to join the team.