Harrisburg Area Community College's board of trustees has adopted a 2013-14 budget of approximately $180 million, down $1.9 million from last year, and cut or modified 19 positions as part of its three-year reorganization plan.
“Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett’s proposed 2013-14 budget includes no increase for community colleges’ operating budgets or capital projects. Community colleges have not seen an additional increase in their operating appropriations in the last five fiscal years. In fact, in 2011-12, there was a 10-percent cut,” HACC president John J. “Ski” Sygielski said in a news release. “Though there is no proposed cut in funding this fiscal year, on a per-student basis, the proposed funding is less than 1995-96 levels.”
Other factors Sygielski cited in the need to make changes is a new agreement with HACC’s 22 sponsoring school districts, which will reduce their contributions to the college’s operating expenses from $8 million in 2013-14 to $4 million in 2016-17, and enrollment that began a slight decline in fall 2011 after 10 years of double-digit growth.
The reorganization included elimination of three Lebanon campus leadership positions: dean of student affairs and enrollment management, director of technology support, and vice president -- the latter position held by Kathleen Kramer, who has been with HACC since 2007.
“During her tenure, Kathy fostered and promoted HACC’s mission within the Lebanon community and played a key role in efforts to increase enrollment at the Campus,” Sygielski said. “Since February, she has assisted the college with coordinating legislative affairs and planning the 50th anniversary celebration for 2014. Kathy has been active in the community, including serving on the 2013 board of directors of the Lebanon Valley Chamber of Commerce.
“This was a difficult decision for me to make. Ultimately, however, it was the right decision for the future of the campus and the college. We are grateful for Kathy’s service and dedicated leadership, and wish her well in her future endeavors.”
The release said a search for a campus executive director will begin within the next few weeks, with the job specifications to be posted on HACC’s job site. An interim leadership team to serve the Lebanon campus over the summer term consists of Jackie Bareuther,dean of student affairs and enrollment management at the Lancaster Campus; Cheryl Batdorf, dean of academic affairs at the Lebanon Campus; Eleanor Bosserman, executive business director at the Lancaster and Lebanon campuses; and Lois Schaffer, interim vice president of the Lancaster Campus.
Other actions planned for the Lebanon campus include evaluating class offerings to ensure the right mix of classes; adding a full-time faculty member to teach English; adding an integrated marketing communications coordinator to focus on advertising, branding, marketing and public relations; exploring a partnership and grant to establish a pilot virtual learning and assessment center; expanding the relationship with the Lebanon VA Medical Center; and expanding the nurse aide training program.
Other HACC departments that are being refined or restructured are the offices of academic affairs, college advancement, finance and student affairs and enrollment management. HACC did not provide specifics on those actions.
Across HACC, the release said, all employees will receive a 2-percent wage increase, effective July 1, and faculty whose salaries have not yet reached a predetermined target dollar amount in comparison to similar institutions will receive an additional 0.5-percent increase.
The college is also pursuing revenue-generation initiatives through its virtual learning unit; implementing cost-saving initiatives; instituting a tuition increase of $3 per credit for sponsored school district students, $6 per credit for all other in-state students and $9 per credit for out-of-state and international students; and increasing the technology fee by $5, to $20 per credit hour – the first increase in two years.