AACC trustees approve cutbacks $38.6 million budget reduces subsidies for student group, sports

'Very, very reluctantly'

Measures necessary to avoid increases in tuition, board says

February 21, 1996|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,SUN STAFF

The Anne Arundel Community College board of trustees unanimously approved last night a $38.6 million operating budget for the 1997 fiscal year.

In approving the budget, the board accepted an administration plan to cut about $100,000 from the Student Association and intercollegiate athletics budgets to help cover a $2.1 million deficit.

"Very, very reluctantly, the administration has recommended that we make these cutbacks," said Edgar E. Mallick Jr., vice president for administration, planning and college relations.

Dr. Mallick told the board that school officials had projected $38.6 million in expenditures, but only $36.4 million in revenue.

Part of the deficit could be attributed to the rising costs of utilities and health benefits for the school's faculty and staff, he said. Because of that, Dr. Mallick said, administrators considered transferring about $50,000 each from the Student Association and the athletic department to help close the gap.

Dr. Mallick said administrators recommended reducing funding for the school's technology program. He also said officials suggested delaying the hirings of a $60,000 director of development and of $420,000 worth of full-time professors.

All of these cost-cutting measures, Dr. Mallick said, were to prevent an increase in the school's tuition. The college's tuition of $58 a credit hour is one of the lowest among the state's 18 community colleges.

But the school still could not balance the budget without slashing the money from subsidies of $293,800 for the Student Association and $147,940 for the athletic department, Dr. Mallick said.

About 15 students and athletes showed up at the board meeting in the Florestano Building on West Campus Drive. Afterward, some students said they were angered by what they perceived as a lack of commitment to the school motto, "Students First."

"If these budget cuts are made, I feel there will eventually be no student activities," said Peggy Clark, 26, a general studies student. "If it had not been for the activities at Anne Arundel Community College, I would have left school a long time ago."

But others said the student body had to make some sacrifices as well.

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