The Del Mar College Board of Regents welcomed its newest member, Libby Averyt, during its March meeting and discussed the potential impacts of two new state bills.
Averyt was selected to fill the at-large seat previously held by Trey McCampbell after he resigned in December following his 14-year run.
Averyt served as the chief development officer of the United Way of the Coastal Bend since April 2017 and was named the group’s new president and CEO in late March of this year. Before that she worked at the Corpus Christi Caller-Times for 30 years as a reporter, president and publisher for the newspaper.
“I am incredibly honored to have been selected as Del Mar’s newest at-large regent and believe the pool of well-qualified applicants is a testament to the college’s superb reputation,” Averyt said. “I look forward to using my business skills and area knowledge to help Del Mar in any way that I can.”
While working for local nonprofit organizations, Averyt has received numerous awards. She serves as the chair-elect of the United Corpus Christi Chamber of Commerce and sits on a variety of boards including Charlie’s Place Recovery Center and Texas Public Broadcasting.
“I am very pleased to welcome Mrs. Averyt to the board,” Board Chairwoman Carol Scott said. “Del Mar College and its students will be well represented by her and will benefit from her extensive community and business involvement.”
After being interviewed for the position, Averyt was chosen out of an original field of nine candidates. She is expected to serve through 2022.
Also on the regents’ agenda were two bills recently proposed to the state Legislature, House Bill 2 and Senate Bill 2, and the potential financial ramifications for the college if they are passed.
The bills include provisions that would limit the capacity of property tax increases Del Mar College and other taxing entities could adopt without voter approval.
Del Mar, which receives 54 percent of it total funds from local taxes, would be forced to look for new ways to make up the losses of the lower tax cap. According to the college, a shift like this would more than likely result in higher tuition rates.
“We are well known here in Corpus for Del Mar being not too expensive. And so I think that if we can do anything to keep it down more…that would be better,” at-large Regent Hector Salinas said. “If it wasn’t for the students, we wouldn’t be here. So we need to do anything we can to keep the costs as low as we can.”
The bills are still within their early stages. However, Del Mar has been actively communicating with state legislators and will continue to watch the bills closely.