Board OKs 2013-14 Budget, Elects Sen. Yaw as Chair

Published 06.21.2013


The Pennsylvania College of Technology Board of Directors on Thursday approved a $102.7 million operating budget for 2013-14 – which includes a tuition increase of 4 percent for Pennsylvania residents – and elected state Sen. Gene Yaw as chairman.

The $102,684,600 operating budget represents a $4.8 million (4.9-percent) increase from the current budget. The total budget for 2013-14 is $144,501,400 and represents a $3.45 million (2.5-percent) increase over the current college budget.

The 2013-14 budget includes no increase in the college’s original 2012-13 state appropriation of $13,584,000; state appropriations represent 13.2 percent of the college’s 2013-14 operating budget and 9.4 percent of the total budget. Fall 2013 enrollment is budgeted to increase by 1 percent.

President Davie Jane Gilmour told the board she is “cautiously optimistic” about fall enrollment and expects 400 to 500 more applications to be processed.

Keeping on-campus housing and meal-plan increases to only 2 percent across the board will help Penn College compete favorably with similar institutions, Gilmour added.

“That was significant for us,” she said.

Board summaryThe budget also includes gifts of $100,000 to the City of Williamsport and $35,000 to the Williamsport Area School District. The board approved both gifts, which are re-examined on a yearly basis.

In its election of officers, the board chose Yaw, R-Loyalsock Township, as chairman; John Cahir as vice chairman, Joseph J. Doncsecz as treasurer; and Gilmour, as secretary.

Appointed to the board in 2009 by the President pro tempore of the Senate, Yaw previously served as general counsel for the college for more than 20 years. Yaw also served as Lycoming County solicitor for 17 years. He was elected to the Senate in 2008.

Afterward, outgoing Chairman Robert A. Secor said his admiration for Penn College, already high, has grown during his tenure as chair. He noted how the college’s presence has been extended statewide.

“It’s been a delight to witness, and be a part of, the wonderful success story that is Penn College,” he said.

Yaw predicted the future for the college “will be an exciting time,” and he thanked the board for its confidence in him. Reflecting on his 30-year association with the institution, he offered, “This place has been part of my life for a long, long time now.”

The board approved “emeritus” status for Donald O. Praster, who retired last year as dean of industrial and engineering technologies. Praster began his employment with the college 36 years earlier as a welding faculty member. He served as welding department head for many years before becoming assistant dean of the School of Industrial and Engineering Technologies in 1997. He was named interim dean in 2007 and dean in 2008.

A plan to implement a conditional acceptance program that addresses issues in placement testing and remediation was approved by the board. Before coming to the board, the plan had been reviewed and approved by Deans Council, the Enrollment Management Group, President’s Council, the Academic Standards & Issues Committee and College Council.

The board approved members of the Community Arts Center Board of Directors. The members are Gilmour, William J. Martin, Suzanne T. Stopper, Veronica M. Muzic and Barry R. Stiger. Alternates are Robert G. Bowers, Paul L. Starkey and Ann Marie Phillips.

The next meeting of the board is scheduled for Aug. 1.