By Jane Dail
The Daily Reflector
Wednesday, October 29, 2014
While the board of trustees approved a budget for the 2014-15 school year, Pitt Community College officials are planning for budget cuts in the near future.
PCC President Dennis Massey said the college already plans to talk to the legislature about the two-year budget, which would start in July.
“We are already developing our agenda for the long session, which begins in January,” he said.
Massey said the college already has been asked by the N.C. Community College System to set aside a 2 percent reversion, about $895,000, for this fiscal year in case there are revenue problems at the state level. He said Gov. Pat McCrory also has asked for another 2 percent cut next year.
“We would prefer not to put that completely on the students in terms of tuition increase,” he said. “We’ve made it a blend, a proposal if taken. It’s a blend of tuition increases and cuts to programs. The reality is that across the state there is an effort to slim down, and we’re doing everything we can to minimize the cuts here.”
Massey said he believes PCC is in a better position than many other community colleges because of enrollment but also because of the faculty and staff.
“They’ve really gone the extra mile, and I think we are doing a good job in serving the area and following through with the (strategic goals) of the college,” he said.
The board also accepted a budget for this fiscal year of $120,085,754, which is $1.5 million higher than previous year. Board member Tyree Walker said one of the main reasons for the increase was due to a $1,000 salary increase and additional funding from McCrory’s Closing the Skills Gap initiative.
The board of trustees also discussed an audit conducted for the 2012-13 year, which had two findings related to continuing education.
One finding was that the college was granting inappropriate fee waivers to members of the U.S. Air Force and Marine Corps. Military personnel are not listed in the state general statutes as able to have fees and tuition waived in community colleges.
The other finding was that in the spring of 2012, hours were miscalculated and over-reported for the budget for full-time students for non-regularly scheduled classes.
Walker said those items have since been corrected.
Rick Owens, vice president of administrative services, also reported that PCC started its process of reviewing criminal background checks for all employees last year and will continue to do it this year.
He said since the checks started, PCC officials have found eight “adverse actions,” where people were not hired due to past convictions.
Meeting documents stated potential employees and federal work-study students were not hired for reasons including number of convictions, nature of convictions relative to position, time elapsed since conviction, evidence of successful employment in a similar position since conviction and whether the applicant would pose an unreasonable risk.
Owens said the personnel committee has been discussing ways to ensure consistency.
“(We need to ensure) if we have two individuals with the same backgrounds are treated the exact same,” he said.
Other items discussed at the meeting include:
- PCC is still in talks to purchase a Bank of America building in Farmville for a possible location there, although board Chairman Charles Long said this has not been finalized yet.
PCC officials discussed participating in a regional Workforce Summit on Oct. 2, which helped businesses and industries communicate with community colleges.
- The college hired an assistant vice president of information technology, the last senior management position that was empty.
Contact Jane Dail at jdail@reflector or 252-329-9585.