Alumni Plaza the center of the Dowagiac campus


SMC Board of Trustees Adopts Budgets

Published on June 13, 2023 - 4 p.m.

Following a public hearing, the Southwestern Michigan College Board of Trustees June 13 adopted balanced 2023-24 fiscal-year budgets.

The $25,290,000 general fund for July 1, 2023-June 30, 2024, anticipates $9.6 million from tuition and fees, $7.26 million from property taxes on 2.3936 mills, $7.8 million in state appropriation and $630,000 from other revenue.

"This is SMC's 59th balanced budget in a row. The college has never had anything less,” Chairman Thomas F. Jerdon said. “The administration and trustees take great care to manage SMC's budget and to maintain two beautiful campuses while offering a wide array of high-quality programs.”

In his report, President Dr. Joe Odenwald shared data from the national community college benchmarking report and discussed strong numbers posted for summer.

“Students place us in the 98th percentile for safety and security,” Odenwald said, “and in the 87th percentile for satisfaction with support services.”

“I am also delighted to share that we wound up +4.8 percent in head count from where we were last year and, out of the last eight years, second only to Summer 2017. In contact hours, our gain of +16.4 percent is the most for summer since 2015. We have nearly 100 living in the residence halls this summer.

“Trends for Fall 2023 are also good,” Odenwald said. “We’re at +55 for freshmen and +67 for dual enrollment. We’re having well-attended orientations, last Friday being a great example. We have another orientation session this week and one next week.

“More urban and even suburban schools aren’t doing as well as we are. We have a good story to tell and serve students well, as this benchmarking indicates. Orientation at SMC are committed, all-hands on deck type of efforts. We conduct them in a way most of our peers aren’t, and it’s paying dividends.”

Last fall, of all Michigan community colleges, only SMC and Jackson College were up in both enrollment measures. Last spring, only SMC and North Central Michigan College in Petoskey were up in both.

Chairman Jerdon and new Trustee Skip Dyes, attending his first meeting, will be SMC’s representatives on the 2023-24 Michigan Community College Association Board of Directors.

Trustees accepted two gifts to the college totaling $7,292.10 and acknowledged five gifts to the SMC Foundation for $15,375.

Trustees reconvened later in the day in the Foundation Room for their annual long-range planning session. Since the board does not meet in July, the next regular meeting is scheduled Aug. 9.