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PRCC board adopts $38.7 million budget; includes 4% raise for employees

POPLARVILLE - The Pearl River Community College Board of Trustees approved a budget of $38.7 million for the 2018-19 academic year during the regular June meeting on the Poplarville campus Tuesday.

The budget includes a 4 percent salary increase for PRCC employees, the first increase since 2015.

Said PRCC President Adam Breerwood, “Our College is blessed to have an outstanding faculty and staff that remain dedicated to serving our students. This increase is well deserved and essential in attracting and retaining premier educators and staff members who are dedicated to changing the lives of those we serve.

“Our recruitment and retention efforts across the entire College have made this increase possible. We can never lose focus that we are an institution of higher education. Student learning and career opportunities remain our top priority. We need the best possible faculty and staff to accomplish our mission. They deserve it.”

This increase comes on the heels of raising minimum wage to $10 per hour for all employees in December.

Revenue projections for fiscal year 2019 reflect an increase in state funding of $503,000 due to an increase in enrollment. The enrollment increases also led to an additional $830,000 in student fees. The board voted last month to freeze student tuition and fees at last year’s level.

Tuition for a full-time student (15 hours or more) is $1,625. The hourly rate for in-state students (less than 15 hours) remains the same at $140.

“We've been very fortunate that our strong enrollment growth this year has allowed us to be able to maintain our tuition for the coming year," said Dr. Breerwood. “We recognize that student debt around the country has continued to rise. Financial challenges have served as an obstacle in achieving a college degree. We will continue to work diligently to offer a high-quality, low-cost education at Pearl River Community College.”

PRCC enrolled 4,824 students last fall semester, a 6.3 percent increase over fall 2016. Spring enrollment reached 4,300 students, a 3 percent increase.

In other news, the board recently welcomed its newest member, Teenia Perry of Henleyfield in Pearl River County. A PRCC alumnus, she succeeds the late P.W. Polk, who recently passed away.

In other business, the board:

> Approved the hiring of Zachary Howell and Caithlin Warner as recruiters for the Poplarville campus and Matt Miller as a recruiter for the Forrest County Center.

> Approved the hiring of Dr. Jessica Lindsay Miller as a speech instructor, Patrick Ochs as Director of Communications for Athletics, Rebecca Brown as Community and Economic Development Coordinator, and Lisa Cauthern in the mathematics lab.

> During the May board meeting, approved the retirement of Chuck Abadie from the position of director of public relations, and Janet Braswell, from the position of public relations assistant, both effective June 30.


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