Aacc Raises Tuition, Furloughs Staff, Freezes Hiring

November 14, 1991|By Dianne Williams Hayes | Dianne Williams Hayes,Staff writer

Everyone must pay under a cost-containment plan adopted by the Anne Arundel Community College Board of Trustees that includes tuition increases, two-day furloughs for college employees, charges to senior citizens taking courses and a hiring freeze.

Students from the county will see a $10 increase in the fee of $44 a credit hour, in addition to a one-time $15 surcharge for registration for the spring semester.

Increasing tuition by $1 a credit hour raises about $90,000 a semester. The tuition increase is expected to generate $936,000, the surcharge $232,500.

Senior citizens will no longer be able to take courses free. Instead, they will pay a $40 fee per course, in addition to a $10 registration fee each term.

Those fees, expected to generate $280,000, should offset cuts in state money that now pays for 262courses AACC offers free to seniors. This semester, 5,626 seniors take free AACC courses at 40 sites throughout the county.

To cut costs, all faculty and staff will be furloughed for two days, Jan. 6 and7. Furloughing the 600 college employees will generate $65,000 per day.

The college's two-week January term has been canceled as a result of the furlough days.

The 20 administrators earning $60,000 ormore also were asked to donate an additional furlough day.

More than 200 students, faculty and staff members attended Tuesday night's board meeting in the college cafeteria to hear the board's final decision.

Lucie Mrlikova, a member of the International Student Association, is attending the college as a visiting student from Czechoslovakia. She asked board members to avoid raising out-of-state tuition.

"I am already paying 100 percent of the cost of education," Mrlikova said. "We ask that you not raise our tuition any higher than it isnow."

Her plea was to no avail. The $10 tuition increase brought the rate to $54 per credit hour for county students, $98 for Marylandresidents living in other counties and $186 for out-of-state and international students.

Vice President for Administration Edgar E. Mallick Jr. presented the board with a two-page list of cost-saving measures prompted by a $3.1 million state cut in the college's $30 million operating budget. That included an $800,000 reduction in contributions to employee pensions.

College officials said $1.2 million hadbeen held in reserve, in anticipation of state cuts, leaving $1.9 million to be trimmed.

The following cuts will save the college $825,000:

* Freezing hiring on four vacant positions.

* Deferring purchases of non-instructional equipment and supplies, instructional films and other non-print media, as well as the purchases of some instructional and replacement equipment.

* Reducing advertising and recruitment budgets.

* Deferring equipment-rental agreements.

* Reducing funds for service agreements and equipment repair.

* Freezing travel budgets.

* Reducing all professional-development budgets except tuition reimbursement.

* Eliminating money for cultural events and consultants.

* Continuing energy-conservation measures.

* Paying full-time professors at a lower rate during summer session.

College officials also are considering other increases, including student user fees and laboratory fees, which would take effect by July 1.

Students were prepared for the increases during a special meeting of the Student Government Association two weeks ago.

"(We)think the decision was as fair as possible," SGA President Jennifer Wittman said yesterday. "Under the circumstances, the school really had no other choice.

"I don't think anybody is ever going to be happy about a tuition increase, but it had to be done. We have been trying to educate students as much as possible on why it was inevitable."

Faculty members seemed to share that view; several said they supported cuts that directly affected them.

Vice President of AcademicAffairs Jim Atwell is among the administrators who must donate an additional furlough day.

Atwell is taking it in stride, while acknowledging that the budget crunch is not over. Already, officials have been warned of another possible budget cut in January.

"All in all," Atwell said, "the meeting was productive and suggests that the whole institution has come to terms with a very serious problem."

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