$45.8 million budget OK'd by college Technology studies, public safety, raises for teachers in plan

No tuition increase sought

Request goes to Gary, then County Council for approval

February 26, 1997|By Elaine Tassy | Elaine Tassy,Sun Staff

The Anne Arundel Community College Board of Trustees approved yesterday a $45.8 million budget proposal that seeks to develop more technology programs, improve public safety and give faculty members a raise -- all without raising tuition.

The college's budget request was divided into two main parts: $41.6 million for day-to-day operations, including salaries, and $4.2 million for construction. The operating budget is a 6.8 percent increase from the 1996-1997 budget of $38.9 million.

The budget request now goes to County Executive John G. Gary and then to the County Council.

A budget must be adopted by the end of May for the 1997-1998 academic year.

There is no guarantee that the budget request will be approved as submitted. The county school board approved $454.8 million this month for public schools, but some observers have said that an increase of $15 million from its current budget will be resisted.

Nonetheless, officials at the community college have identified several key areas to which they want money applied.

"One of the real important issues is technology," said Edgar Mallick, vice president of administration. He said the college is interested in developing a telecommunications curriculum, making sure students have a level of computer proficiency that will make them employable and competitive with students graduating from other colleges, and completing the installation HTC of a "fiber optic backbone," a campuswide system that will link all the school's computer systems.

Another priority is to make faculty pay compatible with that of other community colleges around the state. "We're trying to make sure our faculty, which is our No. 1 resource, are compensated adequately," said Frances M. Turcott, a college spokeswoman.

Mallick said the college will use money requested in its capital budget to fund several construction projects: making road modifications as the campus grows, erecting "You are here" maps around campus, renovating some older buildings, continuing to make the campus more accessible to people with disabilities and repairing sidewalks.

He said that making the campus safer is another priority. The budget seeks money to create a central fire alarm system that would operate 24 hours a day.

The plan also seeks to set aside more money for student work-study programs, he said.

The budget would be the fourth consecutive one with no increase in tuition, which pleased Terri M. Mohr, the student representative on the board.

"To see that the tuition is the same is wonderful," she said. "It makes the educational experience much more accessible."

Pub Date: 2/26/97

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