Bay College Board Approves Budget

The Bay College Board of Trustees approved the 2017-18 operating budget for Bay de Noc Community College at their monthly meeting June 21, 2017.   The goal was to minimize increases in tuition while offering expanded services to meet student and community needs.  “The Board of Trustees, working with Administration, teamed effectively to find solutions to keep the cost of higher education very affordable for our students” explained Dr Laura Coleman, Bay College President. 

“Balancing the budget totaling just over $20 million remains challenging with the economic pressures of increasing retirement and health insurance costs, dark store property tax implications, and smaller area high school graduating classes.”

This year’s operating budget is based on the following criteria:
  • Funding from the state will increase by 1.5%
  • Delta County assessed values will increase 1.5%
  • Dickinson County assessed values remain flat
The Board approved tuition increases for Delta County residents of $3 per contact hour to $119; Dickinson County $5 to $176 per contact hour.  In-state rates will also increase while out of state rates will be reduced to $250 per contact hour as an attempt to be more competitive in the online education market.  Student fees will remain flat and capped at 16 contact hours to help control the costs of high contact hour programs such as nursing and welding.

The Board of Trustees also adopted new health insurance options for employees effective in January.  Health premiums will include a hard cap, transferring more of the increasing healthcare premiums to each employee.  Administration, staff and adjunct instructors will be receiving a 2% wage increase.  Currently, the College is in negotiations with full time faculty.  There will be a limited number of employees refocused for the upcoming academic year.  West Campus in Iron Mountain will experience a reorganization effective July 10th to more efficiently manage West and deliver synergistic services across all campuses to the students, businesses and local communities.  Administration will consistently cover both campuses. 

A major initiative on campus has been the creation of Open Educational Resources (OERs).  Free online textbooks or OERs have been developed by Bay employees for 28 courses, including being able to obtain an Associate in Arts degree without the need to purchase a textbook!  1358 students have benefitted this past academic year, saving students $135,800 in textbook costs.  Bay College is a leader in OER, a grant-funded program by the Lumen Organization.  Bay has been named a Top 10 Digital Small College again this year, and awarded as a Silver Level Military-Friendly School.

Norse Athletics are in the line-up for fall semester.  Bay College has signed 30 student athletes with another 20 athletes actively recruited.  The cross-country team will be running in the fall, with the initial home basketball tip-off November 1 at 6pm for women and 8pm for men.  The College is planning a “Meet the Norse Force” event prior.  The YMCA on Bay’s campus will be the home of Norse basketball.  Renovations to the gym are progressing on schedule with a resurfaced gym floor, new bleachers, scoreboard, mats and more.  The coaches are looking forward to a great first Norse season and thank the community for their commitment and financial support of Bay College Athletics. 

Let’s Talk:  Bay College Town Hall Sessions with President Dr Laura Coleman will be scheduled for community members to discuss concerns and desires in an open forum on both campuses mid-July.  President Coleman invites all interested community members for conversation.  “The community voice is very important to me and Bay College as a whole.  We are your community college and want to hear your voice,” explained Coleman. 
Bay College provides higher educational opportunities to over 1,800 students annually across two campuses, online and at multiple clinical sites.  Associate degrees, career certificates, and numerous transfer opportunities are available, as well as lifelong learning and workforce development training to another 2000+ attendees annually.  Bay is committed to the future of affordable and accessible higher education, our communities and innovative programs to advance lives.   For more information about Bay College, please visit
Bay College Main,
2001 N Lincoln Road, Escanaba, MI 49829
906.786.5802 Main Campus Directions