Two Butler employees spoke during the Butler Community College Board of Trustees meeting about the Trustees’ consideration of a resolution to non-renew contracts.
The item came about because the college is looking to cut $725,500 from the budget due to declining state funding and declining enrollment with the improvement in the economy.
The first to speak was Cindy Miles, director of community and campus relations.
She was concerned because part of the cuts involved disinvesting the marketing department at Butler.
“As an alum who loves Butler and an employee who has been passionate and committed to marketing the college and building relationships and partnerships for the purpose of advancing the college, I am deeply concerned about the direction in which the college is moving,” she said.
She said for the past year and a half, there have been random changes in departments without first developing a strategy for rebuilding the wreckage.
“I am also deeply concerned about the direction that is being taken in regards to marketing,” Miles said.
She also said they will become the only community college she knows of not to have a marketing department.
“We are making this decision in the face of increasing competition from other colleges and declining enrollment and I am truly concerned,” she continued. “Butler has made the decision to step backwards by making the decision to disinvest in its marketing department and develop a MarComm Council, a group of individuals that aren’t experienced marketing professionals abut administrators and faculty.”
She said this was despite hiring a consultant last year in the field of marketing who made recommendations for reorganization.
She said the marketing department is responsible for increasing and maintaining strong enrollment, producing all of the annual publications such as applications, student handbooks and brochures, as well as developing marketing plans and more.
“We have continually heard that there is a need to expand marketing to program marketing but with the resources we have, we simply haven’t found a way to accomplish this task,” Miles said.
She said the marketing templates being proposed are not an answer to a broad range of marketing needs across the college.
“The lack of a copy writer will be devastating,” she said. “It is time that Butler really begins to take a hard look at where we really disinvest. It is time to begin looking at the programs that don’t necessarily contribute to the vitality of the communities we serve.”
She said despite underfunding, the department presented disinvestments totalling $350,000.
“I fail to understand why this department must foot almost a third of the million dollar budget cuts,” Miles said.
Page 2 of 2 - She questioned if it was the interim president’s role to take on marketing of the college and if an interim president should make such drastic changes to marketing.
“I have to ask if this is an additional risk the board is willing to take,” she said.
Jami Calvert, academic advisory and faculty coordinator for the internship in Workbased Learning, also addressed the board about the non-renewal of the cooperate education team.
“I don’t know if you understand the role we play in the community with employers and what we do with the public,” she said. “I work full time at the college and am tenured in two departments. I serve two roles in advising and a coop faculty member. I don’t think everything was brought to light as to what we do and what we serve. We are tenured faculty and it needs to be looked at closer.”
Because some of the positions being eliminated were tenured adjunct faculty, meaning they had been there three years or more, the Trustees had to pass a resolution to non-renew their contracts.
Dr. Jay Moorman, interim vice president of academics, had reviewed the budgets including job position costs in various academic areas. He concluded, due to the need to reduce costs the positions of Workbased Learning coordinators, in addition to their other positions, need to be discontinued.
Instead of that position, the college will look to the teaching functions to be performed as an online course through adjunct faculty. Anyone currently in that position may apply for an online adjunct faculty position. The non-teaching responsibilities of the Workbased Learning coordinators will be assigned to the director.
Trustee Ron Englebrecht moved those holding the position of Workbased Learning coordinator be given notice of intent to non-renew their contracts on or before May 17. It was approved 6-0. Trustee Ted Albright was absent.