Auditors give NMJC good financial review
Auditors give NMJC good financial review
By Dorothy Fowler
The New Mexico Junior College board of directors heard good news from auditors during
their regularly scheduled meeting.
“Overall, the economic outlook for the college for the coming year appears to be positive. ...The college does not have any debt to service, placing the college in a better position to weather most financial issues,” auditors from Carr, Riggs and Ingram told the board.
Auditors told the board NMJC’s total assets are approximately $185.5 million and its liabilities are approximately $90.5 million.
“Fourteen years ago, the financial support from the State of New Mexico represented 45percent of the NMJC operating budget. Today the level of state funding has declined to less than 20 percent of the NMJC operating budget. Funding expectations from the state Legislative Finance Committee for fiscal year 2023 were projected to be slightly higher,” a report from the accounting firm stated.
The firm also noted the importance of oil and gas in the Lea County area provides a stable platform for funding for the junior college.
“The oil and gas production have remained strong with production levels steadily increasing. The price for oil and gas has increased from the $40 a barrel range to above the$65 a barrel range,” the report stated. “New technology in the industry has led to a revitalization and extension of the projected life of some oil fields in Lea County. Currently, the price of oil remains in the $65-$75 a barrel range. Production in the county remains very strong. It appears the economy in Lea County for the remainder of 2021 and through 2022 will remain steady with the view that the current price of oil will increase some and the current level of production will continue through 2022.”
The unemployment rate of the county also plays a large part in enrollment, the firm said. “At the end of June 2021, the unemployment rate in Lea County was 11 percent while the state unemployment level was 8.4 percent. Historically, the unemployment rate in Lea County drives the student enrollment at the College,” the report stated. The accounting firm gave NMJC the highest score possible for its financial records.
At the meeting, the board also changed the job title of a long-time college employee,authorized issuing discount cards to retired employees, approved hiring a general maintenance foreman, accepted an agreement transferring the lease for the school’s radio tower from the NMJC Foundation to the college, hired head coaches for women’s volleyball and men’s golf, and reappointed Pat Chappelle as chairperson and Travis Glenn as secretary. Members of the board unanimously approved changing Charley Carrol’s title from Director of Physical Plan to Vice President for Operations and Special Projects.
“As the need arose and over the course of the past 20 plus years, Charley has accepted the responsibility of seeking and maintaining 10-12 institutional licenses. In most case, the licenses require an immense amount of time for filing paperwork, study, test prep and testing,” interim NMJC president Steve McCleery said in a prepared written statement. “For the past 20 plus years, Dr. Carroll has been, and is, on 24-hour call 7 days per week. Based
on bringing the appropriate compensation market analysis back to the Board, I recommend that we add value to Charley’s current contract dollar amount via a special compensation agreement. I also recommend that we utilize appropriate compensation market analysis and offer Dr. Carroll a 3-year contract that will be negotiated prior to the 2022 NMJC contract deadline.”
Board member Travis Glenn commented that although he expects Carroll to remain on the job for many years, it would be difficult to find someone who could do the job he does if “something happened to him. You aren’t going to find a Charley Carroll around every corner.” The board also approved McCleery’s solution for addressing what he called “a critical area of vulnerability.” His memo said, “I think we need to ‘over hire’ immediately for Dr. Carroll’s potential
replacement position. I recommend we put a salary range and title in place as if we are trying to hire another Charley Carroll. I am recommending the General Maintenance Foreman be changed to Associate Vice-President for Operations and Special Projects. As we look at the
compensation analysis for Dr. Carroll’s position, I recommend we… adjust the salary range for this position.”
Salary for the position will be announced at a later date.
Board members also:
• Approved McCleery’s recommendation that retiring faculty and staff be presented with Faculty Emeritus or Staff Emeritus cards at the annual retirement ceremony. The card, whose name, will allow retirees “to attend NMJC Home Athletic Events (No Charge Entry) NMJC Home Band Concerts (No Charge Entry) NMJC Home Chorale Concert (No Charge Entry) NMJC Performing Arts Productions (No Charge Entry) WHM and LCCHOF Events (Free Regular Admission) 10 percent discount at the WHM Store 10 percent discount on NMJC Bookstore purchases, nine credit hours per semester (tuition free - fees paid by retiree), one Community Education class per semester (tuition free), Utilization of Pannell Library, NMJC Email Account Access to an NMJC Retiree Email Account.
Six months of non use will result in cancellation.
• Took action so NMJC radio station now holds the lease on the radio tower used to transmit its broadcasts. Cost of the lease is $1,500 a month.
• Hired two new head coaches: Holly Reyna, who has served as assistant volleyball coach at NMJC since Feb. 2009, will take the top coaching spot at a salary of $47,502 per year. She has Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees at Notre Dame College in Euclid, Ohio. Her coaching experience includes coaching at a junior high school in Odessa and at Midland College, Clarendon College and Vernon College, all in Texas as well as her NMJC experience. Jay Rees will be head coach for the men’s golf team at a salary of $62,500 a year. He earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees at Emporia State University in Emporia, Kansas, and has coached at Arizona State University, Louisiana State University and Emporia State University.
• The board entered a closed session to discuss personnel matters and a lawsuit to which the college is a party, but did not make any comments about the business of the closed session when it re-convened to formally adjourn.
Dorothy N. Fowler can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org