Although the college hasn't completely recovered from its recent financial problems, Redlands Community College hasn't lost the support of its students, acting college President Jack Bryant said Wednesday.
Bryant told the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education on Wednesday the college didn't lose any students due to Redlands' $1.1 million financial hole. The El Reno college's full-time equivalent enrollment stood at 1,398 last week, outpacing the college's projected full-time equivalent enrollment by 98, Bryant said.
Full-time equivalent is a figure designed to factor a college's part-time students as a part of its overall enrollment.
The college has paid off about 70 percent of what it owed and had negotiated structured payment plans with its largest vendors, Bryant told the board. College officials plan to have the remaining unstructured debt paid off by December, he said.
Regents are scheduled to vote on the college's roughly $11.5 million budget at a meeting Thursday. The budget contains about $10.6 million in spending and $856,000 in scholarships and fellowships, where no money changes hands.
Redlands came under fire last May when a financial analysis showed the college owed more than $1.1 million in unpaid bills, including some that dated back more than six months. State regents requested the audit after the college fell several months behind on payments to the regents office.
Although the report didn't point to any single cause for the problem, it cited bad billing practices and years of uncollected tuition and fees as a contributing factor.
During the audit, staff members in the college's business office showed auditors a stack of checks the office had printed but couldn't mail because of a lack of money, according to the report.
Longtime college President Larry Devane resigned less than a month later.
As a part of the college's cost-cutting measures, officials cut a number of auxiliary programs and positions, Bryant said. Among the programs the college cut was the college's goat dairy, which allowed officials to sell off the college's goat herd and cut one full-time position and five part-time positions.
During the meeting, Oklahoma higher education Chancellor Glen Johnson said he was pleased with how Bryant had handled the issues. Less than two days after being appointed acting president, Bryant called Johnson to make sure he understood the requirements he was facing, Johnson said.
The regents will meet at 9 a.m. Thursday at their office, 655 Research Parkway, Suite 200.