NORMAL — No layoffs or employee dismissals are anticipated under the $64.9 million budget the Heartland Community College Board approved Tuesday night.

The overall budget is 3.9 percent less than the fiscal year 2012 budget.

President Allen Goben told the board that natural attrition, from people retiring or leaving the college for other reasons should be sufficient to handle any need for reduction in personnel expenses.

“We’re hopeful we won’t have to do any targeted personnel reduction,” Goben said.

Rob Widmer, Heartland’s vice president of business services, echoed Goben’s remarks, telling the board, “We’ll continue to look at our personnel as we got through the fiscal year, but we feel fairly confident we can manage that.”

Fall enrollment decreased less than anticipated when the tentative budget was set — 6.2 percent in full-time equivalent as opposed to the 8 percent figure used in drafting the budget.

However, the revenue from the higher-than-expected enrollment was offset by a reduction in the amount of corporate personal property replacement tax revenue the state is directing to community colleges, Widmer said.

College officials are hoping enrollment will bounce back in the spring, but, deciding to “err on the side of caution,” Goben said the budget approved last night is based on a overall enrollment drop of 7 percent for the year.

Strategic plan

In other business, the board heard an update on a strategic plan looking forward five years.

As the college has grown explosively in its first two decades, many of its initiatives have grown out of individual departments, which were then applied to the college as a whole, Goben said.

The idea with the plan being developed is to have a campuswide approach to setting goals, then look at how proposed department projects would further those goals, explained David Cook, executive director of institutional effectiveness.

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