Already smarting from nearly $2 million in budget cuts, the New Community College of Baltimore is bracing for the next round of state cuts -- and vowing to put up a good fight.
James D. Tschechtelin, interim president, called on faculty and students yesterday to "make your voice known" by writing to state legislators and asking them to spare NCCB by spreading the next round of cuts among other state agencies.
Tschechtelin, who spoke to about 200 faculty, staff and students at the college's Liberty Campus, said he personally favors tax reform to help solve the state's fiscal problems.
He pointed to the irony in last year's state takeover. After the city relinquished control to the state, NCCB was to have received an additional $2 million. Instead, it was hit with $1.7 million in budget cuts.
Over the last several months, the college axed its mass communications program, abolished five jobs, reduced courses offered to the elderly, and reduced travel, supplies, fuel and faculty release time.
But, for "philosophical and ethical reasons," said Tschechtelin, NCCB did not raise tuition, which is the lowest of any community college in Maryland. Tuition is $35 a credit hour, compared with $48 a credit hour at community colleges in Baltimore County.
He reminded students and faculty that the school's mission "is to reach out to folks who would not be able to afford college except this one."
The college is the financially poorest in the state and provides remedial courses in reading, writing and math to 90 percent of its incoming students, most of whom are graduates of city high schools.
Meanwhile, faculty salaries are lower at NCCB that at other community colleges in the state. For example, a full professor at NCCB makes $45,532 annually while the same job pays $52,447 at other community colleges in the state, Tschechtelin said.