A clean audit report for Paris Junior College and the PJC Memorial Foundation was presented to the College Board of Regents by Teffany Kavanaugh, audit manager for McClanahan and Holmes, at their monthly meeting held Monday, Jan. 25. Regents also approved changes to the College’s nursing program.
“The audit report states that we’ve audited the companies’ financial statements at PJC and the Memorial Foundation,” said Kavanaugh. “The financial statements… present fairly in all material respects the respective financial position of the business activities of Paris Junior College and Paris Junior College Memorial Foundation, as of August, 31, 2020 and 2019. So that’s a clean opinion on the front end.”
Modifications to the Vocational Nursing Program and LVN to RN Program were presented by Vice President of Workforce Development John Spradling. Regents approved the changes in standards from the National League of Nursing and suggestions from the Texas Board of Nursing to shift to concept-based education.
“The subjects would still be covered,” Spradling said, “but the student has the ability to apply that across a variety of circumstances.”
Changes to both programs include a shift from two shorter terms in the summer to a longer term of 13 to 14 weeks, allowing students to better cycle through clinical rotations.
In other business, the Regents:
• Received a financial report showing revenue has declined compared to one year ago. This is due largely to the pandemic-caused decrease in enrollment.
• Approved the Investment Policy – CAK (Local), as required annually by the Public Funds Investment Act. There were no changes.
• Also gave required annual approval to the list of Authorized Brokers / Dealers for Investments, again with no changes.
• Accepted the Local Policy Update prepared by the Texas Association of School Boards Policy Service. Updates were made as required by legal changes, and to BBE (Local) Board Members Authority, BE (Local) Policy and Development, and DHC (Local).
• Heard a preliminary spring enrollment report showing PJC is down 10.47 percent in contact hours and headcount is down a little over 500 students from one year ago.
“In Greenville, face-to-face enrollment is down 60 percent,” said Dr. Pam Anglin, PJC President, “and in Sulphur Springs it’s down 40 percent from a year ago. That gives you an idea of how students don’t want to come in person during the pandemic; they’re scared.”
All online classes are counted as part of Paris campus numbers, Dr. Anglin explained. A national trend shows that many students who graduated from high school last May have chosen to sit out a year from pursuing higher education.
“That can have long-term effects on the country because they don’t start,” said Dr. Anglin, “and they may never start. That will affect our workforce for years to come.”
• Received the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) report that compares PJC to 22 other medium size colleges in Texas in a number of categories. PJC’s graduation rate is 34 percent compared to an average 25 percent and 80 percent of PJC students receive financial aid, compared to 68 percent average of peer colleges.
“We have lower staffing and spend less in all but one category,” Dr. Anglin said, “so we’re pretty lean and don’t spend a lot of money, yet we still have a graduation rate that’s nine percentage points higher than our peers.”
• Heard an update on CARES Act and CARESSA Act funding, as well as on COVID-19 and the students on campus. PJC has been giving rapid tests to athletes and students living on campus. The Texas Department of Emergency Management will continue to conduct free COVID-19 tests on campus through February. PJC has also joined with the Paris-Lamar County Health Department, Lamar County Emergency Management, and the City of Paris fire department and EMS. PJC associate degree nursing students, who are already licensed vocational nurses, have been doing the vaccinations. A COVID-19 vaccination call center at the Paris Police Department was staffed by members of the PJC cheer squad and Retired and Senior Volunteer Program, which is supported by PJC.
• Accepted the re-assignments of Matthew Cross as Women’s Basketball Coach, Kimberly Herron as Financial Aid Director, and Dwana Hollidai as Associate Degree Nursing Instructor; the employment of SBDC Business Recovery Advisors Tiffany Franzoni and Ronica Ingram, and PJC-Sulphur Springs Center Educational Opportunity Center Advisor Maria Zuniga; and the retirements of PJC-Greenville Center Director John Shasteen and Financial Aid Director Linda Slawson.