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NMC Board of Regents Passes Appropriations Budget Request (March 1, 2011)

The Northern Marianas College Board of Regents recently passed the NMC 2012 Appropriations Budget Request during a special meeting held on February 28, 2011.

The nearly $7.6 million request will be used primarily to fund personnel salaries for 150 full time employees, benefits, and utility costs. The 2012 budget request presents a nearly 10% increase from last year’s appropriations request.

The budget was itemized as follows:

  • Wages / Salaries ”“ $5,447,984
  • Personnel Insurance ”“ $108,140
  • Retirement Contributions ”“ $815,117
  • Land Grant Retirement Contribution ”“ $157,789
  • Health Insurance Premium ”“ $216,415
  • Medicare Contribution ”“ $78,740
  • OPA Fee (1%) ”“ $72,074
  • Utilities (Power, Water, Sewer) ”“ $700,000

The subtotal of $7,596,259 does not include funds for the Apprenticeship Program, whose funding earmark has been suspended for the past several years. The amount sought for the Apprenticeship Program (as mandated by Public Law 15-5) is approximately $3 million, which has been included in NMC’s budget request.

"For thirty years, the Northern Marianas College has played a central, critical role in the CNMI by helping residents advance academically and professionally,” said Juan T. Lizama, Chairperson of the Board of Regents.

"The budget request that we are transmitting to the Governor’s Office and the Legislature ensures that the College continues to serve in this very important capacity,” added Lizama.

“The amount requested also helps to ensure that NMC maintains the high quality of instruction and student services it provides to its students,” said Lizama. “Equally important, it will allow the College to meet accreditation standards and requirements.”

The increase in the amount being requested can be attributed to the following: the increase in NMC's retirement contribution from 11% to 30%, the addition of critical positions identified through NMC's program review process, and the merger of funding streams.

Also noted is that some positions at the College are being funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and in the past NMC had been receiving separately-appropriated funds under Public Law 10-66 to pay for salaries of those under NMC’s nursing, business, and education programs. The 2012 budget aims to consolidate these salaries under one account.

“The 2012 Appropriations Budget reflects the College’s critical financial needs,” said Interim President Lorraine T. Cabrera. “However, we do realize that the College is likely to receive only a fraction of the total budget request, and we are proactively working to anticipate those cuts now.”

“We are already implementing cost cutting measures and other steps to reduce expenses,” Interim President Cabrera added. “We are using results from our program review process and other key information to guide the College’s priorities.”

The budget was also created following institutional priorities written in NMC's Strategic Plan, which is the College's five-year strategic plan that identified NMC's main goals that include promoting student learning, and success and responding to the professional development, continuing education, and personal enrichment needs of the community. The strategic plan also focuses on accelerating the upgrade of physical and technology infrastructure at the College, and optimizing NMC's human and financial resources.

The Northern Marianas College has been conferring degrees in education, business, business administration, liberal arts, nursing, natural resources management, criminal justice, and hospitality management for nearly 30 years. The CNMI's only institution for post secondary education also offers several certificate programs and shorter-term programs.

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