Sullivan County Democrat
Callicoon, New York
August 16, 2013 Issue
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College Budget
2013 -14: To do more with less

Story by Dan Hust
LOCH SHELDRAKE — July 19, 2013 — SUNY Sullivan’s proposed $16.8 million budget for 2013-2014 is around half a million dollars less than 2012-2013 but includes no tuition hike and a new position.
New President Karin Hilgersom credited the restrained budgeting to a variety of factors, including seven “retrenchments” (eliminated positions) and a potential state aid increase.
“In essence,” she told legislators last Thursday, “the college has just been through what I’d call ‘budget right-sizing.’”
In fact, the new budget – if enacted with the county’s typical $4 million contribution – includes a reserve fund and starts setting aside monies for increasing salaries.
“We have a contract that we’re still negotiating,” Hilgersom said, explaining that the current salary ranges are not attracting employees.
With enrollment flat and expected to decline in the near future, the college is also embarking on program and scholarship expansions, plus it’s strategically adding a new position: international student program coordinator.
The proposed budget additionally makes room for roof repairs, computer upgrades, carbon-neutral energy usage and the elimination of the parking fee.
Legislators this week also agreed to request matching funds from the state to establish a respiratory care lab and renovate the cafeteria. The work would require no extra monies from the county.

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