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College Assembly hears reports on referendum, innovation funds

The College Assembly met on Wednesday, Aug. 8.

Student Senate update

The Student Senate reported they are training new officers for the 2018-19 academic year. The Senate is working on WolfPack Connect, a new student life app that would replace The Link.

Senate officers met with representatives from A Greater Madison Vision to discuss survey results regarding a “big picture” look at how to foster a stronger presence in the community to meet anticipated needs far into the future.

The Senate’s drive to educate the campus community about student hunger and homelessness continues. They will have input on a November stage production that will depict students who struggle with these issues.

Textbook Referendum

Student Tina Marshalek shared an educational spotlight on the upcoming Textbook Referendum campaign. The goal is to replace the existing textbook adoption policy with a full textbook rental program.

Students will vote “yes” or “no” via email Nov. 1-6 on a supplemental fee, based on credit load that would support a textbook rental program. This move follows years of work by the Student Senate and Student Affairs Council on textbook cost reduction.

The Student Affairs Council plans to conduct extensive outreach across student groups to address questions about the referendum and intended textbook rental program.

The projected cost for textbooks (does not include other material fees) per student each semester ranges from $42 (six credits) to $126 (18 credits). Students exempt from paying support fees would be required to buy their books as they will not pay the fee.

Innovation funding

Center for Entrepreneurship Director Bryan Woodhouse and Budget Manager Sylvia Ramirez presented an educational spotlight on innovation funding at Madison College.

They reported that of the $500,000 allotted for the fund’s inaugural year, 2017-18, the Innovation Team awarded $492,000 to faculty, staff and student service related projects. Most of the projects receiving funds were academic-focused.

Woodhouse and Ramirez reminded the Assembly that all employees are eligible to apply for innovation funding. President Daniels has approved another $500,000 in funds for the 2018-19 academic year.

Innovation funding comes out of the college’s operational budget.

The Innovation Team wants the individuals who would be operationalizing the projects to submit proposals.

Budget Update

Members of the budget team, Sylvia Ramirez, Ben Monty and Cody White, shared an update on the Madison College budget.

Revenue for the 2017-18 fiscal year was higher than expected. The estimated revenue was projected as $150,810,000 and actual revenue (as of Aug. 8, 2018) was $152,407,207.

Projected expenditures were lower for 2017-18. Originally estimated at $152,810,000, final expenditures (as of Aug. 8) totaled $149,518,075.

The approved 2018-19 budget totals $156,434,000, which incorporates savings in health insurance and priorities including student service upgrades and campus construction.

Next meeting date

The College Assembly will meet on Wednesday, Sept. 12, from 2-4 p.m. in room A2021 at Truax Campus.

Published September 10, 2018. Updated September 12, 2018.