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July 31, 2013

Blinn board rewards faculty, staff in wake of accolades

Trustees approve 3 percent cost of living adjustment

The Blinn College Board of Trustees rewarded the faculty and staff who are preparing more students for top four-year institutions than any other community college in the state Wednesday during a special workshop.

The board approved a three percent cost of living increase for faculty and staff, totaling $925,000, which will offset the increase in health insurance premiums paid by employees. Faculty will also receive a $400 longevity payment. According to an informal poll among Texas community colleges, at least 18 other community college districts will raise salaries by at least 3 percent.

Blinn’s board also approved a staff salary adjustment in response to a compensation study conducted by Fox Lawson & Associates. The company was contracted to evaluate the College’s job evaluation ratings, compensation and benefits and market competitiveness. The study found that while Blinn’s faculty salaries were in line with the market, non-faculty salaries averaged 15.7 percent below the median. In response to the study’s findings, Blinn designated $756,000 to bring selected staff salaries in line with other state community colleges and competing employers.

The salary adjustments come on the heels of a year in which Blinn was listed among the most affordable large community colleges in the nation by AffordableCollegesOnline.org and one of the top community colleges in the state by Schools.com. Blinn’s 49.4 percent transfer rate to four-year institutions was tops in the state and more than 20 percent higher than the statewide average.

The board also continued its review of the proposed 2013-14 budget, which allocates $89.10 million in revenue, an increase of $3.08 million (3.6 percent) over the previous fiscal year. The College anticipates an almost $1 million increase in state appropriations due to a new formula that considers student success milestones such as completing a course, earning a degree or certificate or transferring to a university. State funding is especially important to Blinn’s budget because property tax revenue accounts for just 1.7 percent of the College’s total revenue.

Blinn enrolled 17,989 students last Fall and has experienced 28.3 percent growth since 2006. Founded in 1883, the College’s tuition and fees average about one-third the cost of the same classes at most four-year public universities in the state. In addition to its four campuses in Brenham, Bryan, Schulenburg and Sealy, the College teaches online courses, dual credit for high school and prepares students for quick employment through its workforce education, technical training and vocational education programs. For enrollment information and to learn about financial aid opportunities, visit: www.blinn.edu.