The Crowder College Board of Trustees received a positive initial report from auditor Chris Churchwell, CPA, at a special meeting Friday morning.


The Crowder College Board of Trustees received a positive initial report from auditor Chris Churchwell, CPA, at a special meeting Friday morning.

Churchwell could not give a final report to the board as of yet, because the measurement, discussion and analysis portions of the audit have not yet been completed.

He did, however, discuss some of the more encouraging figures from the draft of the auditor’s report.

The annual audit, which was for the fiscal year that ended June 30, found no significant deficiencies relating to financial statements or major federal award programs, and no instances of noncompliance for the financial statements.

Churchwell reported that the college’s total net assets have risen 11.7 percent, up to $41,730,673 from $37,359,628 last year, a more than $4 million jump.

“Obviously the college is still experiencing tremendous growth,” Churchwell said.

The auditor’s report identified the college as a low-risk auditee.

Churchwell singled out the student financial aid portion of the audit as one of the best.

“What’s commendable, with the growth we’ve had in the institution, is when we go through and do the financial aid audit, that’s one of the cleanest that we’ve experienced,” Churchwell said. “Those have a lot of problems throughout the nation.”

One aspect of the report that the auditors did find a slight problem with was The Crowder Foundation.

The foundation, which is responsible for all of the gifts the college receives, is considered a separate corporation and is not reflected in the financial statements of the college.

Churchwell said the auditors found a few issues with the foundation. However, those specific issues were not identified in his meeting with trustees. He said the auditors would issue advice as to how the Crowder Foundation can improve, once the official audit report is complete.

“In terms of the Crowder Foundation, I think it probably has, accounting wise, some things that we’ll want to address,” Churchwell said.

Also included in the initial audit was an economic outlook report created by Crowder College president, Dr. Alan Marble and Crowder’s vice president of finance, Ron Granger.

They reported significant growth for the college, and attributed that primarily to the economic problems of the last few years.

“Historically, we have witnessed enrollment increases in periods of recession or slow economic growth (due to rising unemployment),” states Marble and Granger’s report. “Over the past six years the College has experienced a period of rapid and unprecedented enrollment growth and we expect this growth to continue.”

Their economic outlook report cites the need for additional facilities to house the growing number of students.

Enrollment at the Webb City location is beginning to outgrow that campus, and the report calls for either a new facility or a remodel of the current one to accommodate the growing number of students. Granger said that has not been decided yet.

Both the Nevada and Cassville campuses are also seeing an increasing number of students, however, there is not yet need for additional space. They reported that the college would keep an eye on those campuses as the enrollment continues to grow.

The college plans to open a new satellite campus in Mt. Vernon in January and are hoping to break ground on the new McDonald County campus by Spring 2012.