Sullivan County Democrat
Callicoon, New York
April 10, 2012 Issue
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College adopts budget with tuition hikes and layoffs

By Dan Hust
LOCH SHELDRAKE — Sullivan County Community College’s board approved a near-$16 million operating budget (not counting $450,000 in restricted-use grants) on Monday.
In the public portion of a meeting that was mostly private to deal with controversial personnel issues, the board voted 9-1 – with member Josephine Finn dissenting – to adopt the $15.8 million budget for 2011-2012.
It comes with a 7.5 percent tuition hike and seven layoffs, but thanks to a deal college officials worked out with Sullivan County, the county’s $4 million contribution to the college’s budget remained intact.
Still, the state’s refusal to fund SCCC (like all community colleges) at the legally-required 33 percent of its operating budget means the college faces ongoing hurdles.
Some of that may be mitigated by SUNY’s plan to send down a consulting team, at SCCC’s request, to research and suggest “best practices” the college leadership can apply.
SCCC Board Chair Phyllis Coombe said the team is not remedial in nature but is there to aid SCCC in maximizing its efficiencies.
“They expect to be on campus next week,” she confirmed, “... looking at our various fiscal processes.”
This year’s budget is about $300,000 less than last year’s and includes seven layoffs, plus the elimination of one health insurance plan (affecting about eight employees, said Coombe).
Six vacant positions will not be filled, while four employees will go from full-time to part-time hours.
Coombe said the college is anticipating 30 more full-time-equivalent students this coming semester than last, though they’ll be paying 7.5 percent more in tuition. That translates to $163 per credit for county residents, instead of $152 (higher for out-of-county and out-of-state residents).

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