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ACCC Trustees Pass $33.3 Million FY’06 Budget; Hold Line on Tuition - March 2005

March 23, 2005

March 23, 2005

MAYS LANDING—Atlantic Cape Community College’s Board of Trustees adopted a $33.3 million FY’06 budget that holds the line on general education and culinary arts tuition rates for the coming academic year. The action came at the board’s March 22 meeting.

The FY’06 budget includes a 9.2 percent increase over the prior year’s fiscal plan and a fund balance transfer of $1,232,475.

In a message accompanying the budget, Dr. John May, president, said the FY’06 budget would keep general education tuition levels at $73.15 a credit hour. Culinary arts tuition will remain at $219.45 a credit, with the program fee rising to $137 a credit from $133.50 to reflect inflationary increases. Online courses, now at $90 a credit hour, will go to $93 as part of a statewide agreement.

May said the budget meets the college’s contractual obligations to its 75 full-time faculty and 253 staff, as well as anticipated increases in health benefits and utilities. It also includes incremental increases in current expenditures, four new faculty positions to support growing enrollments, and establishment of the Cape May County campus.

The budget reflects $1.3 million in operating costs for that new campus, slated to open in the fall. Approximately $321,000 of the $1.3 million is earmarked for one-time start-up costs. The nearly 68,000-square-foot three-story building in Middle Township will offer eight full degrees as well as certificate programs and continuing education offerings.

College officials expect that increasing enrollments, as they have in past years, will support increases in tuition and fee revenues. The budget forecasts an increase of about 4 percent in student credit hour enrollment for 2005-2006, with tuition and fees providing 49 percent of the college’s FY’06 revenue. County and state allocations provide 23 percent and 20 percent, respectively, of college revenues.

Since the joint college was formed in 1999, credit hour enrollments have grown 39.7 percent, May said, with a 6 percent increase in enrollments during the current academic year. Online enrollments, which comprise 16 percent of total credits this year, are expected to continue to rise.

Board Chairperson Brian Lefke thanked the board’s Budget and Finance Committee and college staff for their efforts in completing the FY’06 budget. He said a series of meetings and conference calls were held “to foster dialog and cooperation. We will use this strategy as a model going forward.”

Treasurer Nick Talvacchia, on behalf of the Budget and Finance Committee, said he was pleased “that the board has adopted a spending plan that allows the college to maintain academic excellence, funds new initiatives and, significantly, provides the resources necessary to support the opening of the new Cape May County campus, all while maintaining general education and culinary arts tuition at the same level as the current year.

“The board, through the Budget and Finance Committee, worked together and closely with the college administration to finalize a budget I consider balanced and forward-looking while undertaking all reasonable steps to find cost savings where available.”

In Personnel Action:
The board accepted the retirement of Judy Allen of Linwood, senior manager for continuing education, a college employee since 1986. She will retire effective July 8. In approving her retirement, the board extended its “deep appreciation for her outstanding job performance” and cited Ms. Allen’s “courteous service to students, staff and customers of ACCC.”

In Grants Activity, the Board:
--Authorized the college to apply to the Atlantic Cape May Career Centers Inc. for an Out-Of-School Youth Services Grant to provide allied health occupational skills training. Funds would be used to train up to 70 out-of-school youths in Atlantic and Cape May counties who have a low income and barriers to employment. The grant would run from July 1, 2005-Aug. 31, 2006, for a maximum of $600,000.

--Approved submission of an application to the U.S. Dept. of Education for the Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Program Grant. The grant would run Oct. 1, 2005-Sept. 30, 2011 for up to $1.5 million.

--Agreed to apply for an Advanced Technological Education Grant from the National Science Foundation. The grant would provide funds for curriculum development and enhancement and would run July 1, 2006-June 30, 2008, for a maximum of $500,000.

--Reimbursement to Atlantic County Institute of Technology under the Tech Prep Grant collaborative agreement, $56,757.

--Payment to New Jersey City University, Jersey City, under the New Pathways to Teaching collaborative agreement, $32,700.

--Emergency cleaning of heating, ventilation and air conditioning system in “H” building, Mays Landing main campus, National Property Damage Experts, West Berlin, $55,143.

In the President’s Report:
Dr. May said the local Workforce Investment Board (WIB) won a major national award for its partnerships in retail, casino and health care training and that ACCC played a key role in each of those areas, helping lead to the award.

Dr. Peter Mora, vice president, Cape May and continuing education, spoke about the economic impact that ACCC has on the region, drawing on the results of a CCbenefits (cq), Inc. survey.

Mora also provided background on the recent $1.2 million grant the college received from the U.S. Department of Commerce, noting it was the result of the college’s relationship with the WIB. Dr. Liz Dworsky, trustee, praised Dr. May and the staff for the grants obtained, saying “they are a tremendous source of funding.”

The president said the college’s enrollment gains this year were the second highest of any New Jersey community college and that ACCC was rated one of the top 50 fastest growing public two-year colleges in the nation. He also handed out an AP article about Vegas-style gaming in Macao and noted that most of the dealers at the casino mentioned had been trained with ACCC’s curriculum.

In Other Business:
Before the board voted on the budget, Effie Russell, professor of English, urged the trustees to hire more full-time faculty and add classroom space in light of growing enrollments and transfers of faculty to the new Cape May County campus. She also objected that the budget was not available for review before the meeting.

Talvacchia introduced the monthly financial report, which was approved.

Kathy Corbalis, college relations, gave the ACCC Foundation report, noting the group’s end-of-year appeal campaign brought in $3,600 and the funds would be used for books at the Mays Landing and Cape May County campus libraries. The Leaves for Learning campaign has achieved $34,000 of its $50,000 goal and Restaurant Gala invitations are out, she said.

Eric Reynolds, chairperson, long-range planning and academic affairs committee, said the group had reviewed $12 million in unfunded facilities projects and heard an update on the college’s Middle States reaccreditation process. He urged the board to consider holding a retreat.

Lynn Baumgardner, chairperson, minority affairs committee, said the group was planning its summer Kids College in Atlantic City and would be seeking sponsorships for student scholarships.

The next meeting of the board of trustees will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 26, at the Cape May County Technical High School, Cape May Court House. All are welcome to attend.