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Mick Valeris, Trustee Todd Obren

Mick Valeris, Trustee Todd Obren

SMC Board of Trustees Adopts Budgets

Published on June 13, 2024 - 4 p.m.

Following a public hearing, the Southwestern Michigan College Board of Trustees June 12 adopted balanced 2024-25 fiscal-year budgets.

The $27,384,000 general fund budget for July 1, 2024-June 30, 2025, anticipates $10.976 million from tuition and fees, $7.782 million from property taxes on 2.3864 mills, $8.167 million in state appropriation and $459,000 from other revenue.

"This is SMC’s 60th consecutive balanced budget. While we say this every year, it should not be taken for granted that SMC always has a balanced budget and strong financials while providing increases to hard-working employees,” Chairman Tom Jerdon said.

“SMC taxpayers need to understand that many campuses are either in financial exigency or will be in the coming years — but not here,” Jerdon said. “Bravo to Dr. Joe and the leadership team for another year of budget success! The budget will continue to grow the college, reward employees and maintain our facilities as well." 

In his report, President Dr. Joe Odenwald said, “We met our summer enrollment goal of 575 and 3,400 contact hours. Sixty-two percent of the contact hours are online, and 70-percent of the students this summer are taking online courses compared to about 50-50 last year.”

Trustee Todd Obren awarded Chief Information Officer Mckechney “Mick” Valeris of Niles his five-year service pin.

Valeris joined SMC on May 13, 2019, after 16 years with Ivy Tech Community College, where he had been executive director of computer and technology services for northwestern Indiana campuses. He also taught information technology.

He and Carla have been married for 23 years.

Valeris, originally from Brooklyn, N.Y., earned his bachelor’s degree in computer engineering technology from Andrews University in Berrien Springs. He was Bridgman High School’s IT director and also holds a master’s degree in computer information systems.

Retro video gaming is a passion away from work. Valeris built his own tabletop arcade system which he has shared with some local schools.

Valeris briefed the board on steps the college has taken to respond to cybersecurity threats, noting increasingly sophisticated phishing schemes disguised to appear to be from actual SMC faculty and deans.

Chairman Tom Jerdon and Trustee Skip Dyes will continue as SMC’s representatives on the 2024-25 Michigan Community College Association Board of Directors.

Trustees accepted three gifts to the college totaling $2,900 and acknowledged nine gifts to the SMC Foundation for $4,000.

Since the board does not meet in July, the next regular meeting is scheduled Aug. 14.