Board Approves Parameters for 2008-09 State Budget Request
The Pennsylvania College of Technology Board of Directors on Thursday approved parameters for the college's state budget request for 2008-09.
The approved parameters request a 6.94-percent increase ($896,000) in the state appropriation for the college's operating budget, a 6.91-percent increase ($96,000) in the appropriation for debt service, and a continuation of the current levels of the special appropriation ($365,000 for the operating budget and $31,000 for the debt service budget). The parameters also call for a 4.8-percent increase in tuition and fees.
In other business, the board approved a gift of $35,000 to the Williamsport Area School District. The gift will be reconsidered annually by the board. Penn College President Davie Jane Gilmour said the gift will supersede any previous written agreements with the school district. She said the preference is for no written agreement in the future; the board will re-evaluate the action each year and do what is appropriate and affordable.
The board approved revisions to the college's budget adjustment policy that will improve operational efficiency by allowing the president to authorize routine budget adjustments. While such adjustments will no longer require board approval, financial statements will be provided to the board during each meeting.
The board approved the selection of Ward W. Caldwell, director of residence life, as special assistant to the president for student affairs. Caldwell was recommended unanimously by a college search committee. He will function as the college's chief student affairs officer and become vice president for student affairs upon completion of his doctorate in higher education at The Pennsylvania State University. The college's previous vice president for student affairs, Jill S. Landesberg-Boyle, left earlier this year to become president of Florida Keys Community College.
The board approved a title change for Chief Technology Officer Jim E. Cunningham, who becomes vice president for information technology and business process improvement. Gilmour said the new title is commensurate with Cunningham's role and experience, as well as his contributions as a full-time member of President's Council. Authorization was given by the board to negotiate a sales agreement for a 5-acre property on Route 15 across the road from the Schneebeli Earth Science Center. In 2005, the college purchased 20 acres adjacent to the 5-acre parcel. Gilmour said this additional property would provide the college with prime Route 15 frontage. The college will explore a range of uses for the property.
"It is ideal space for a variety of things," she said.
In her report to the board, Gilmour said the Connections program was a resounding success again this summer, with 1,404 incoming students and 1,229 parents attending the sessions.
Gilmour thanked Caldwell and Carolyn Strickland, director of student life, for the additional work they performed this year during the vacancy of the vice president for student affairs position.
She thanked William J. Martin, senior vice president; Chris E. Miller, chief of police; and Elaine J. Lambert, director of college information and community relations, for their work this summer in updating the college's emergency response manual. Gilmour said the new manual, coupled with an impending text-messaging system, have helped the college "be as prepared as we can be for an emergency."
Thursday's board meeting was held in the new Center for Business & Workforce Development on West Fourth Street, which was formally dedicated in a ceremony afterward.