College instructors lose online stipend
by Bill Clough
Mar 06, 2013 | 2030 views | 1 1 comments | 1112 1112 recommendations | email to a friend | print
BEEVILLE – In the same week of the regular meeting of the Coastal Bend College board of trustees, a sinkhole began undercutting the walking trail at the Beeville campus.

CBC trustees grappling with the loss of enrollment and revenue may consider that a metaphor.

At its regular meeting Feb. 21, trustees voted to save $200,000 a year by cutting incentive pay for instructors who teach online courses.

For the last 11 years, they received an extra stipend.

“Back then,” remarked Trustee Emilia Dominguez, “instructors were not comfortable teaching online.”

“But today,” CBC President Dr. Beatriz Espinoza told the board, “all our instructors but three have been trained to do it. Now, teaching online will be part of their regular workload.”

Teachers still will receive extra payment for developing a course, but not for delivering it.

Ironically, the cut in incentive pay is concurrent with CBC Internet enrollment at an all-time high — up 29 percent from two years ago.

The action occurred on the same evening that Espinoza told the board that the spring semester’s enrollment was down 16 students from 2012 and lower than 2011 by 573 students — a 13 percent reduction.

Espinoza said that community colleges statewide are reporting enrollments lower by 3 to 10 percent.

Alamo Community College in San Antonio was trying to cope with an $8 million loss this semester, CBC Board President Paul Jaure said.

Trustee Laura Fischer praised the college’s team efforts in combating the enrollment drain by holding this year’s loss at only 16 students from 2012.

Late last year, Espinoza asked Marketing Director Susan Smedley to form a Strategic Enrollment Management Team — a college-wide group tasked with formulating a two-year comprehensive plan to heighten and retain enrollment.

After voting to drop the online incentive pay, Jaure told those attending the board meeting, “We are trying to keep people employed. Without cuts such as this, we’re looking at layoffs. Part of our job is being a steward of the college’s money.”

The cut in online incentive pay goes into effect this summer.

To offset the gloom, CBC Institutional Research Director Randy Linderman told the board that the number of CBC graduates had climbed 23 percent in the last three years; the number of students receiving certificates had increased an equal amount. He predicted a 10 percent increase by 2015.

The board also voted to switch liability and property insurance providers for a savings of more than $150,000 next year.

Bill Clough is a reporter at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 122, or at
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March 06, 2013
I have actually registered for college but now I am having cold feet. I work and have small children and I'm worried about the finaicial cost of going to college bc I would have to cut back on working. :/