The Austin Community College District (ACC) Board of Trustees held its April regular meeting on Monday, April 4, 2022. Trustees recognized Harvest Endowed Scholarship recipient Ebonie Trice, heard a presentation from ACC community partner Project MALES, approved updates to Texas Association of School Boards (TASB) policies that were driven by changes to state law, and continued AY23 budget discussions.

Below are highlights from the meeting.

Trustees Keep Tuition & Fees Unchanged for 9th Year in a Row
Trustees unanimously approved keeping tuition and fees unchanged for the ninth consecutive year to help keep college affordable and encourage everyone to attend college and get the skills they need to succeed. Read more here.

Chancellor’s Report
ACC Chancellor Dr. Richard Rhodes informed trustees that the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board has approved staffing for the college’s third bachelor’s degree, a Bachelor of Applied Technology (BAT) in Manufacturing Engineering Technology. The final step is approval from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) to launch this fall. 

Dr. Rhodes recapped the special guests that have visited the college in the past month — U.S. Secretary of Education Dr. Miguel Cardona, U.S. Secretary of Labor Marty Wallace, and SXSW attendees

In other college news, Dr. Rhodes congratulated college staff, including Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation Campus Center Director Dr. Khayree Williams, for his inclusion in the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators African American Knowledge Community, the Student Affairs employees who attended the Alliance of HSI Educators Best Practices Summit, and Student Life staff for collecting more than 1,000 pounds of food during the Spring 2022 Food Drive. 

He also congratulated the two ACC Phi Theta Kappa students selected as Coca-Cola STEAM scholars and the GIS students who presented at the Texas National Resources Information System GIS Forum

Finally, Dr. Rhodes invited everyone to participate in the Open Golf Tournament on April 11 to help raise funds for the ACC Foundation and encouraged the community to attend the ACC Highland Community Open House on Saturday, April 23.  

Budget Talks Continue
The Board heard more details from Neil Vickers, Finance & Administration executive vice chancellor, about the AY23 budget. With tuition down about 11 percent and fees down about 12 percent, the college is seeing a $6 million net reduction in tuition and fee revenue. However, ACC will see about a 10 percent increase in property tax revenue due to accelerating property tax values. Trustees also heard from Dr. Rhodes, who says the college will recommend an increase in compensation for this budget. Watch the full discussion here.

Reports from Associations
Representatives from the college’s employee associations shared some concerns from their constituents with trustees. Full-Time Faculty Senate President Dr. Samantha Croft says that while they appreciate the long-term decisions being made by administrators, many employees need short-term relief to help with burnout due to staffing shortages, COVID fatigue, and financial hardships due to increased rents and inflation. Dr. Samantha Ackers, Association of Professional-Technical Employees president, shared that Student Affairs is moving forward with Hybrid Work and Virtual Student Task Forces.

ACC’s Student Government Association (SGA) President Isaiah Smith informed trustees that they are starting a housing affordability assessment to help address housing affordability. He also announced that they will have a hybrid SGA meeting on Friday, April 29 in an effort to serve more of the student body.

View recordings from the meeting here.