Board Approves Budget, Bids Farewell to Chairman

Published 06.22.2012


Pennsylvania College of Technology’s Board of Directors on Thursday approved the college’s 2012-13 budget and tuition rates, authorized the administration to sell the North Campus property and said goodbye to retiring Chairman Robert E. Dunham.

After the board elected officers for 2012-13, including a new chairman, Robert A. Secor, it bid farewell to Dunham, who has served since 1997, presiding over a period of significant campus expansion and the college’s rise as a leader in public education.

Board summary“I want to thank you publicly for everything you’ve done for the college, for Davie (President Davie Jane Gilmour) and for me,” Secor said, adding it would be difficult for anyone to match Dunham’s contributions over the past 15 years.

Secor retired from Penn State in 2004 after 35 years of service to the university in a variety of positions, including his final post: vice provost for academic affairs.

Other board officers for 2012-13 are John M. Young, vice chairman; Joseph J. Doncsecz, treasurer, and Gilmour, secretary.

The board signed off on a $100.15 million operating budget for 2012-13, a $139.79 million total budget and a 5.54-percent increase in tuition for Pennsylvania residents.

The operating budget includes no increase in the college’s $13.58 million state appropriation and 59 fewer full-time employee positions than the original 2011-12 budget.

In 2012-13, a full-time in-state resident enrolled for two 15-credit semesters, will pay $14,370 in tuition and fees, an increase of $780 from 2011-12.

Out-of-state residents, who pay tuition at a rate indexed at 1.3 times the in-state rate, will pay $18,000 in tuition and fees for two 15-credit semesters, an increase of $990 from 2011-12.

In the budget, the 10-meal board plan will increase $163 to $1,633 per semester. The most common type of Residence Life offering (a two-bedroom, four-person apartment) will increase $164 to $2,997 per semester in 2012-13.

Suzanne T. Stopper, vice president for finance/CFO, told the board, “I think you’re all aware it was a difficult (budget) process this year. … It took us quite a while to get here where we are today.”

Gilmour said the staffing cuts involved difficult choices, but noted, “We have to streamline our organization. …These are long-term staffing changes.”

In other business, the board authorized the administration to execute a sales agreement for the North Campus property.

Gilmour said the facility is larger than needed for the college’s purposes, but the college will maintain its presence in the Northern Tier by continuing to offer noncredit programming and training, though in a location with a smaller physical footprint.

The college has received multiple offers for the North Campus property and is negotiating with a potential buyer.

The board also authorized the administration to execute a sales agreement for a property at 1330 Dix St. in Williamsport. The college is currently renting the property.

The board approved gifts of $100,000 and $35,000 respectively to the City of Williamsport and the Williamsport Area School District. The voluntary gifts are re-examined annually.

The board also approved the roster of board members for the Community Arts Center (a wholly owned subsidiary of the college) and the Corporate Advisory Board.

Named as members to the Arts Center Board were Gilmour, William J. Martin, Stopper, Veronica M. Muzic and Barry R. Stiger. Named as alternates were Robert G. Bowers, Paul L. Starkey and Ann Marie Phillips.

Named to the Corporate Advisory Board were John Blaschak, Jeff Wheeland, Andree Phillips, Birch Phillips, Peter Schultz, Alan Gehringer, Vincent Matteo, David Livingston and Scott Welch.

Young was appointed to serve on the Penn College Foundation Board.

Stopper also provided an update on the five-year financial plan. She told the board it will serve as a tool for the budgeting process and will supplement the college’s Strategic Plan.

The board was updated on policy/procedure changes related to attendance, admission of international students and the Student Code of Conduct.

Gilmour told the board that active applications for Fall 2012 are up by 344.

“We feel very good about the fall right now,” she said.

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the board will be Aug. 2.