Texarkana College board votes on program cuts - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

Texarkana College board votes on program cuts

Posted: Updated: Feb 20, 2012 03:24 PM CST
TEXARKANA, TX (KSLA) -

The Texarkana College Board of Directors voted unanimously to cut portions of the college's athletics program and counseling department on Monday.

Texarkana College President James Henry Russell met with the Texarkana College Board of Trustees to determine a financial exigency or program change for various activities and programs at the college. Russell says cuts will be made to the athletics department, the counseling department and the programs Texarkana College provides to inmates at the Federal Correctional Institution. Cuts to the athletics department include at least the girls softball team. It's a move Russell says is needed for the college to survive. 

"Exigency is a term that is referenced in Texarkana College board policy that means an urgent situation that requires extreme effort or attention," says Russell. "It does not, and I emphasize not, mean we are shutting down. It is the exact opposite. This designation enables us to take action to ensure that we continue to operate and be able to make our financial obligations as an institution.  Texarkana College is making tough decisions right now to ensure that we have a strong future."

Russell says all athletic programs will be cut at the end of the spring 2012 season and all contracts of personnel employed by the baseball, golf and softball programs will be terminated effective June 30, 2012.  The savings for the college with the elimination of these programs will be almost $500,000 per year. "We must look at every option we have until the college budget is sustainable. We will continue to evaluate every program and area of the college to ensure that we are operating very efficiently without extra spending and excess personnel," says Russell.

Texarkana College Chief Instructional Officer Dr. Mannie Hall says the counseling department in the Enrollment Management Division will also be eliminated. "This decision will result in the termination of two contracted employees in the Counseling Department with a fiscal impact of $178,536 on an annualized basis," says Hall. "The majority of the community colleges in Texas and throughout the United States are transitioning to a hybrid model of student academic advisement."

Hall said the hybrid model will give students access to designated program coordinators within their major fields of study and allow more opportunities for faculty to serve as mentors.

The school will also offer incentives for early retirement.

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