President Tracy D. Hall
Investing in the College’s future
When assessing a College’s assets and resources—from paperclips to facilities and everything in between—by far its most valuable asset is its people—its faculty, staff and students. This is not just a fact; it is a value at Southwest.
With this value in mind, the College has made significant investments in employees and students over the past three years and more are to come. For example, we are steadily and prudently investing in employee compensation with the goal of achieving compensation that is not only equitable, but also competitive. For example, in Fiscal Year (FY) 2017, we awarded a $1,000 bonus to eligible employees and again in FY 2019. We implemented a three percent salary increase across the board for eligible employees in FY18 and added 17 new, unrestricted positions to expand our complement of employees to enhance our service delivery to students. We implemented another 2.5 percent salary increase in FY19 and increased adjunct pay by $100 per credit hour—the first increase in decades. We also increased overload pay $100 per hour.
We invested more than a quarter of a million dollars in professional development for faculty and staff in FY18 and are doing so again this year. We also are devoting resources to enhancing teaching and learning to ensure we provide students the best experience possible. We have completed $1.1 million in projects that include the purchase of nearly $300,000 in new vehicles for the automotive program and hundreds of thousands in software purchases to streamline our enrollment processes. The Southwest admissions process has never been easier to navigate than it is today.
On the facilities front, we have ongoing capital maintenance projects in excess of $6 million to ensure our facilities are inviting, highly functional and safe. And, we are committed to providing the programs students want and employers demand. The Funeral Service Education program that launched this January is one shining example with its inaugural cohort of 32 students—nearly a third larger than our initial goal of 25. The response was so amazing that we had to expand to offer evening classes. This truly illustrates our agility and responsiveness to students’ and the community’s needs.
And we have more we want to do. Interim Vice President for Finance and Administration Michael Neal and I will be meeting with various governing bodies at Southwest to discuss new compensation proposals aimed at making Southwest even more attractive to current employees and new recruits. Please keep an eye out for announcements regarding these meetings. I hope to see you there.
As always, keep up the magnificent work and thank you for all that you do!