SHELDON—The coronavirus pandemic continues to affect Northwest Iowa Community College.
The Sheldon-based college’s board of trustees on Monday, June 15, unanimously approved salary adjustments for employees for the 2020-21 academic year.
“It’s important to recognize the valuable work of our employees, especially during this pandemic,” said NCC president Alethea Stubbe. “The global pandemic hit all of us hard, especially education.
“All of our employees had to adjust quickly to uncertainty while designing their remote classes and providing service from a distance through new and innovative avenues,” she said.
Stubbe referred to the college’s mission statement: “Northwest Iowa Community College is a progressive learning college rapidly responding to the global needs of our changing community.”
“As our mission states, they needed to rapidly respond to the global needs of our changing community,” she said. “I don’t think it’s ever been more true than in this pandemic and hereafter as we strive to reach that new normal.”
The three groups of NCC workers who received salary adjustments were faculty, support staff and non-bargaining employees.
“This is year two of a three-year contract for our faculty and support staff,” Stubbe said. “We don’t have a new contract to be approved, but all the employees are receiving similar packages.”
The board approved the following salary adjustments:
- Faculty members: A 2.8 percent total package increase, including a 1.2 percent salary increase. The total salary increase for faculty members for fiscal year 2020-21 will not exceed $81,004.76.
- Support staff members: A 3.9 percent total package increase, including a 1.3 percent salary increase. The total salary increase for support staff for fiscal year 2020-21 will not exceed $21,101.65.
- Non-bargaining employees: A 2.6 percent total package increase, including a 1 percent salary increase. The total salary increase for all non-bargaining employees for fiscal year 2020-21 will not exceed $134,730.86.
“Total wages institutionwide are expected to approximate $7 million in the year ahead,” said Mark Brown, the college’s vice president of operations and finance in a follow-up interview. “Total compensation, including wages and all benefits, will approximate $10 million in the year ahead.”
Stubbe told board members the dramatic rise in NCC’s health insurance costs factored into the recommended salary adjustments for the college’s employees.
“One of the larger factors, of course, that we have is our increase in health insurance costs this year, which increased 8.25 percent for next year compared to 1.93 percent last year,” she said. “It’s a huge increase.
“This is an unusual year for us,” she said. “We have that health premium increase and then we have uncertainty about the fall enrollments, the pandemic. Now we know we have no increase in state general aid. We wish that we could do more.”
Stubbe noted the importance of the college’s employees.
“At NCC, we train essential workers and we also have essential workers, without whom this training and retraining would not continue for those on the front lines and in the trenches,” she said. “It’s important to recognize that valuable work.
“We all have a shared interest in establishing compensation that recognizes expertise, dedication and contribution to the overall success of the college and to attract and retain quality employees while exercising sound fiscal stewardship,” she said.
ONLINE TUITION-AND-FEES RATE:
Northwest Iowa Community College has raised its online tuition-and-fees rate for the 2020-21 academic year.
The Sheldon-based college’s board of trustees on Monday, June 15, unanimously approved increasing the rate by $6 to $195 per semester credit.
“This is a 3.17 percent increase, which still makes our online courses less expensive than most as a couple of the other Iowa community colleges and many public universities add fees on top of this tuition rate,” said NCC president Alethea Stubbe.
“If you remember, this for us is a tuition-and-fees rate,” she said. “The fees are included. It’s $195 total, making our online courses an affordable and convenient option for students.”
The rate will go into effect at the start of the fall semester of the 2020-21 academic year.
NCC is one of the Iowa Community College Online Consortium partner colleges.
The mission of the ICCOC is to offer quality educational opportunities to online students supported by a comprehensive set of student support services.
The cooperative partnership was formed in 1999. Its members are NCC, Eastern Iowa Community College, Iowa Lakes Community College, Southeastern Community College, Southwestern Community College and Western Iowa Tech Community College.
The online tuition-and-fees rate is determined by first reviewing in-state tuition and fees of all partner community colleges.
Tuition and fees for each fiscal year are approved by the ICCOC’s Oversight Committee — made up of one representative from each partner college — and forwarded to each partner college’s board of trustees for final approval.
The tuition and fees are distributed to four areas: eCollege Technology, ICCOC operational, instructor and student fees.
“Access to quality training and retraining is critical for Iowans to help our economy rebound as we deal with the effects of the pandemic,” Stubbe said. “We think this is one way we can provide those accessible, affordable classes.”