Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

January 18, 2013

Rising costs to impact students

Navarro raises room and board rates for fall term

By Bob Belcher
Corsicana Daily Sun

Corsicana — Citing increased costs from the district’s new Internet service provider, Navarro College trustees approved an increase in room and board rates for the fall semester.

The increase will impact students about $135 for housing for the fall semester and the accompanying meal plan.

Gettie Moreno, vice-president of finance and administration, told trustees that the increases were necessary because of an increase in rates for the campus Internet service provider. The district is moving into the second year of a three-year agreement with Apogee Advanced Resnet Services for Internet service and is seeing its costs rise to just over $100 per student to service the 27 residence halls on the Corsicana campus.

Moreno said the district covered the costs of the first year of the agreement.

Trustees also approved a 3 percent increase in the cost of meal plans, which will cost students about $35 more per semester. Moreno said the college usually seeks a 5 percent increase in meal plan costs, but due to the increase for Internet service, the hike on meal plans was capped at 3 percent.

Moreno told trustees that Navarro’s costs for room and board will still lower than many similar community colleges, citing figures from Paris Junior College, Blinn College and Trinity Valley Community College.

The college is expecting total enrollment for the current Spring semester to reach 10,300 students across the four-campus college district, said Dewayne Gragg, vice-president of enrollment management, student success and institutional studies. Gragg said that number will represent about a 1 percent decline in “head count” but will provide for a 2 percent increase in contact hours – the unit that determines in part the amount of state funding the college receives - over year-ago figures.

Both increases will go into effect with the Fall 2013 semester.

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Bob Belcher may be reached by email at bbelcher@corsicanadailysun.com. Want to “Soundoff” on this story? Email: soundoff@corsicanadailysun.com

NAVARRO COLLEGE MEETING BRIEFS

By Bob Belcher/Daily Sun Staff Writer



Consent Calendar approved

Faculty and employees who take advantage of Navarro’s educational fringe benefit will now have to commit to stay with the college for one, two or three years after receiving their degree, depending on the degree earned using the fringe benefit. Those earning a bachelor’s degree will have to agree to stay with the college at least one year; a master’s degree will require a two year commitment; and a doctorate requires a three year commitment to remain at Navarro College.



Financial update presented

Gettie Moreno, vice-president of finance and administration, presented trustees with the December 2012 financial update, as well as an annual review of the college’s investment policy and strategy. The college remains in strong financial condition, Moreno said.



Presidential search update given

Dr. James Price reported the college had received 37 applications, and have selected 10 applicants for interviews. Dr. Richard Sanchez will retire in August of this year.



Election agreement approved

Navarro College will contract with the Navarro County Elections Office to conduct board elections in May 2013. Three positions – those of Faith Holt, Dr. James Price, and Todd McGraw – are up for election in 2013. Filing for the election will begin on January 30 and conclude on March 1.



Student athlete changes discussed

Athletic Director Roark Montgomery and Athletic Advisor Debbie Bonner outlined several changes made by the NCAA that impact community college student-athletes. Among the changes is a requirement that student-athletes maintain a full-time status and earn a minimum GPA of 2.5 in order to move to a four-year school and compete. Previously, the GPA requirement was 2.0. Other new rules impact student-athletes who begin at a four-year school, then transfer to a community college and wish to transfer back. Sanchez praised Bonner’s efforts on behalf of student-athletes.



Sanchez concerned over proposed legislation

Dr. Sanchez expressed his concern over a bill introduced by State Sen. Brian Birdwell (R-Granbury) that would allow holders of Concealed Handgun Licenses to carry weapons on a college campus.

"I made every attempt to convince (Birdwell) how tragic it could be," Sanchez told trustees. "It's just not a good idea." Sanchez said Birdwell is “very strong” on the issue. A similar bill introduced in the 2011 legislature never made it to a vote.



New mascot being trained

A new “Beauregard” – this one Beauregard VI – has been received by the college. Sanchez reported the 6-month-old dog is currently being “schooled” and will make a debut soon.