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Trustees Approve $41.7 Million Budget, Tuition Increase

March 29, 2012

 Atlantic Cape Community College’s Board of Trustees adopted a $41,706,000 FY’13 revenue budget and voted to increase tuition and some fees to support the fiscal plan when it met March 27 at the Worthington Atlantic City Campus.

The FY’13 budget is contingent on $8,556,807 in county appropriations that will be voted on at an upcoming meeting of the Board of School Estimate, a group composed of college and Atlantic and Cape May County officials. The state will contribute a projected $5.6 million.

 Tuition will rise to $102 a credit from $97.20, a 4.94 percent increase. Increases averaging 5 percent were also put in place for culinary arts and online tuition. The new tuition and fee schedule begins with the 2012 summer session.

Mandatory fees (general, technology, facilities and activities) will increase an average of 5.1 percent, bringing the total per credit cost to $124.50. A student taking 24 credits a year—Atlantic Cape’s typical student—will see a $141.60 a year increase for a total of $2,988, up from $2,846.40 in FY’12. For a student taking 30 credits a year, the cost will rise $177, to a total of $3,735, up from $3,558 in FY’12.

“Over the past few years we have purposely kept increases low and our new tuition rate maintains Atlantic Cape as among the most affordable community colleges in the state,” said Dr. Peter L. Mora, president. “Our tuition remains in the lower third of New Jersey community colleges and ensures vital access for our students. For students on financial aid, our tuition and fees will not exceed the maximum Pell Grant award.” Atlantic Cape’s previous tuition increases were 2.5 percent in FY’12 and 2 percent in FY’11, for a three-year average of 3.16 percent.

The budget approved is down about 1.6 percent from last year’s $42,364,418 fiscal plan and includes a $1 million fund balance transfer.

County and state funding remains stable compared to FY’12, with tuition and fee revenue projected lower due to declining enrollments, expected to drop by 3 percent based on student demographics. The budget reflects inflationary and incremental increases in expenses including salary and benefits costs, as well as a commitment to improving student success rates, one of the three major goals in the college’s five-year strategic plan.

Dr. Mora said, “Despite a lean budget, we will make an investment in improving graduation rates, something we’ve identified as of critical importance to the college for at least the next five years.”

In Personnel Activity, the Board:

--Appointed Robert Kusmiesz of Egg Harbor City, program coordinator, Gear Up! Program, effective March 28.

--Promoted Ed Perkins of Mays Landing from maintenance foreman to supervisor, facilities management, effective March 28.

--Reclassified Robert Townsend of Manahawkin from assistant director, to supervisor, facilities management, effective March 28.

--Reclassified four employees, retroactive to Jan. 1: Kristin Fletcher of Cape May from senior manager to assistant director, admissions; Sandra Greco of Erial from senior manager to assistant director, PC services; Terri-Lynn Hamby of Villas from manager, to assistant director, science labs; and Michael Rennick of Ocean City from senior manager to assistant director, athletics.

In Other Business, the Board:

--Approved the Feb. 29, 2012, financial statement.

--Approved the submission of Renewal and Replacement Projects for FY’13 Chapter 12 funding at a sum not to exceed $1.5 million.

--Authorized application to the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority, Atlantic City Community Development Program, for an anticipated grant totaling $50,000 that would run from July 1 to June 30, 2013. The grant would support the college’s English as a Second Language program through purchase of updated computer equipment for Worthington Atlantic City Campus classrooms.

--Okayed the naming of designated portions of the college’s forthcoming Science, Technology, Engineering and Math building after donors who have made contributions to the college’s Capital & Scholarship Campaign.

--Approved a contract for the college’s publication of Career Focus Magazine, Academic Marketing, Belleville, Mich., not to exceed $35,000.

--Heard from Sandi Greco, Atlantic Cape Education Association umbrella president, who introduced members of the association leadership and told the board they were interested in student success and providing ideas to improve the college’s fiscal health. She said the education association leadership felt it was important to make themselves better known to the board, and David Evans, vice chairperson, thanked them for attending.

Members introduced included: Michelle Perkins, director, instructional technology, and ACCCOSAP president; Marcia Kleinz, assistant professor, mathematics, and Teachers Librarians Counselors president; Caesar Niglio, master technician, dean of students, and SSAACCC vice president; Heather Peterson, registrar, and ACCCOSAP vice president; Cheryl Garwood, specialist, business office, and SSAACCC president; and Rhonda Petruzzi, senior clerk, administrative services, and SSAACCC secretary.

In the President’s Report:

--Sean Fischer, executive assistant to the president/director, board services, reviewed the new format and schedule for the President’s Report which will include area and cross-functional committee reports on designated months.

--Dr. Richard Perniciaro, dean, facilities, planning and research who is currently overseeing the Worthington Atlantic City Campus, gave a report on activities there. He spoke about a lecture given that day by a Tuskegee Airman through the Community Affairs office and the timeline for the WACC campus expansion, which should allow the college to bring forth a recommendation for a general contractor in June. He also outlined new plans for the Harold R. Brown Memorial Park that is opposite the campus. Atlantic City plans to develop a handicapped-accessible playground at the site and a local charter school hopes to build a facility there. The city is working with various agencies and organizations to address problems of those who use the park as a site for drinking and drug use.


The next meeting of the Board of Trustees will be held at 7 p.m., Tuesday, April 24, at the Cape May County Campus. All are welcome to attend.