College Board Approves Budget for 2007-08, Bids Farewell to Member
The Pennsylvania College of Technology Board of Directors on Thursday approved an operating budget of $87.4 million and a tuition increase of 5.98 percent for in-state students for 2007-08.
The governor's proposed budget includes no increase in Penn College's state appropriation, which remains at $12,659,000 (less than 15 percent of the college's operating costs). The state Legislature has not yet passed a budget for 2007-08, but Board Chairman Robert E. Dunham said approving the Penn College budget now makes better sense than waiting for the state to act, particularly since no appropriation increase is expected.
The college's operating budget represents a 6.68-percent increase from 2006-07. Penn College President Davie Jane Gilmour said rising costs, including fuel, utilities and health care, make it impossible to operate without increased revenue in the coming year. Without any additional dollars from the state, tuition and fees must be raised to meet operating needs.
A full-time, in-state student taking an average of 15 credits per semester will pay approximately $11,250 in tuition and fees in 2007-08 − an increase of $630 over the previous year's costs. Tuition and fees for a nonresident carrying a typical 15-credit load over two semesters will be $14,130.
The 2007-08 budget projects a 1.63-percent increase in enrollment. It also includes 6½ new faculty positions, five new professional positions and one new service position.
In other business, the board approved continuing the $100,000 voluntary annual contribution to the city of Williamsport for the 2007-08 fiscal year, along with $15,000 in tuition credit for city employees.
Gilmour said the administration had to consider whether the college could afford making the contribution this year, given the lack of a state-appropriation increase.
"We believe we can, and it's another goodwill gesture from us to the city," she said.
The board re-elected its officers for 2007-08. They are: Dunham, chairman; Ronna M. Cassotis, vice chair; Kenneth S. Babe, treasurer; Gilmour, secretary; Robert M. Fisher, assistant treasurer; and Valerie A. Baier, assistant secretary.
Babe, who retired as corporate controller at Penn State in March, will serve on the board only until the end of June. He will then be succeeded on the board (and as board treasurer) by Joseph J. Doncsecz, who became corporate controller at Penn State on April 1. His appointment to the Penn College board is effective July 1.
Babe was given a parting gift by Gilmour and praised by Dunham for his service. "He's been very helpful, and Ken, we're going to miss you on this board," Dunham said. "Thank you very much for a job well-done."
"I do have a very warm spot in my heart for Penn College," Babe said.
The board approved an engagement letter for Larson, Kellett & Associates, P.C. to perform the college's audit for the fiscal year ending June 30. This is the third year of the board's appointment of the firm to perform the college audit.
Members and alternates for the Community Arts Center Board of Directors were also approved. The appointments will be effective for the June meeting of the Arts Center board. The appointed members are Gilmour, William J. Martin, Barry R. Stiger, Veronica M. Muzic and Fisher. The alternates are Robert G. Bowers, Suzanne T. Stopper and Ann Marie Phillips.
Board meeting dates have been established for the coming year. They are: Aug. 9, Oct. 11, Dec. 13, Feb. 7, April 24, June 26 and Aug. 7. The Aug. 9 meeting will be held at the new Center for Business and Workforce Development on West Fourth Street.
During the information portion of the meeting, Lizabeth S. Mullens, vice president for academic affairs/provost, made a presentation on curriculum changes.
Five-year financial projections were presented to the board by Fisher, who said annual operating-cost increases of approximately 5 percent are forecast.
Gilmour told the board that applications have been received for the vice president for student affairs position, and the position may be re-advertised this fall. She said Ward W. Caldwell, director of residence life; and Carolyn Strickland, director of student life, will be providing assistance to her while the position is vacant.