The $178 million 2014-15 budget the Harrisburg Area Community College board just adopted marks the third and final year of a reorganization plan aiming for "growth and stability," and this time around the announcement did not include job reductions.
“Despite less revenue from enrollment and local sponsoring school districts, HACC has approved a balanced budget,” HACC President John J. “Ski” Sygielski said.
The new budget is down $2 million from last year's, and the college said it incorporates some significant cost savings:
- Terminated leases: On Jan. 1, 2014, HACC’s collegewide administration relocated from leased spaces in Penn Center at 349 Wiconisco St. and Campus Square at 1426 N. Third St. to a permanent location at the Ted Lick Administration Building on the Harrisburg Campus of HACC. Cancelling the lease contracts will save more than $930,000 for fiscal year 2014-15, the college said.
- Energy savings: HACC signed new contracts with Constellation New Energy and PPL Energy Plus, with an expected savings of approximately $375,000 over three years. In addition, the college will be able to implement energy-efficiency strategies and monitor its energy usage.
- Information technology: HACC recently changed Internet service providers, saving an estimated $72,000 annually and increasing network storage expansion from 250 megabytes to 400.
On the revenue side, HACC increased tuition by $10 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. The technology fee also increased, by $2 per credit hour.
Wage increases were the same as last year: 2 percent for eligible employees, effective July 1, with faculty whose salaries have not yet reached a predetermined target dollar amount in comparison to similar institutions receiving an additional 0.5 percent increase.
HACC also announced it has established a partnership between the Lebanon Campus and Virtual Learning, which is HACC’s online courses.
"While students are getting started at the Lebanon Campus, many are not completing their degrees," HACC said. "To address this issue, HACC is pursuing innovative course scheduling and delivery based on students’ needs to encourage degree completion at the Lebanon Campus."
HACC also noted some marketing, recruitment and retention initiatives, including hiring Interact Communications in July 2013 "with the goal to retain students and increase enrollment by a minimum of 2 percent in the next fiscal year."