Hcc Proposes 12% Rise For Next Year's Budget

Pappas Hopes To Spend More Money On Salaries

December 29, 1991|By Samuel Goldreich | Samuel Goldreich,SUN STAFF

Harford Community College has proposed increasing its budget by 12 percent to raise salaries and other spending next year, despite the threat of further cuts in state support.

The HCC board of trustees will consider the proposed $16.4 million operating budget when it meets Jan. 23.

The budget presented Dec. 20 by HCC President Richard Pappas includes a 5 percent raise for full-time employees in fiscal year 1993, which begins July 1. Eligible employees would also receive merit raises.

Like other county workers, HCC employees were subject to a salary freeze imposed this year to help offset a drop in county revenue and state aid.

The HCC budget includes no tuition increase. However, board chairman Nicholas L. Gounaris said Friday, the college may consider boosting student fees if it feels the need.

The budget proposal reflects the college's goals and priorities, Gounaris said.

"What we're doing is trying to present what is a realistic budget. Andif we have to make adjustments we will do that," he said.

The college must cut its fiscal 1992 budget to adjust for the sixth round ofstate cuts ordered two weeks ago by Gov. William Donald Schaefer.

Like other agencies, HCC is under orders from County Executive Eileen Rehrmann to trim 2 percent of Harford's contribution to its budget.

That's about $100,000 in additional cuts, on top of $1.46 millionthe state took back in October, when it reduced its contribution to community colleges by 31 percent.

The budget revisions, which weresupported by raising tuition to $56 per credit from $43, amounted to10 percent of the original $14.6 million budget.

The loss of state aid forced the college to cut $697,705 from an instructional priority fund that included a transitional math teacher, staff for financial aid, and equipment for technical programs, such as computers and vocational training.

The cuts also prompted the college to eliminatea program of free courses offered through the county's five senior centers.

Other cuts forced the closing of HCC's bowling alley, eliminating out-of-state travel for staff and cutting from 20 to 15 the number of vacation days employees may carry into a new year.

The current budget relies on a $390,000 increase in tuition revenues and about $1.28 million in cuts. The plan for the current budget created a $210,450 financial cushion to protect against a drop in enrollment among the college's 5,400 credit students and 12,000 non-credit students.

When the board adjusted the 1992 budget last month, Pappas warned that the college cannot count on the state restoring aid next yearto the $4.6 million it originally appropriated.

Further cuts nextyear could force layoffs and smaller athletic programs.

But Gounaris said it was not unrealistic for Pappas to propose a 12.4 percent increase for next year.

"I think it's more of a starting point," he said. "I think what they've done is try to put our priorities in order."

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