Genesee Community College Board of Trustees OK's $25.6 Million Budget, Set $1550 / Semester for 2005-2006 Tuition

Genesee Community College's Board of Trustees adopted a $25,680,000 budget for the 2005-2006 fiscal year beginning September 1. Included in the budget is a tuition rate of $1,550 per semester, up $100 from the current rate. The action came during the Board's regular monthly meeting at the Batavia Campus.

The 2005-2006 budget counts on $1,736,374 from Genesee County, local sponsor of the College - an amount unchanged for the third consecutive year. Genesee County would contribute only 6.8 cents of each dollar spent next year - the lowest level in the history of the College. This past year, Genesee had the second lowest sponsor support paid by any community college sponsor in New York State.

The budget must now be reviewed and approved by Genesee County Legislature's Ways and Means Committee, and then approved by the full Legislature.

The Board took student financial needs into account in setting tuition for 2005-2006. Students with the highest financial needs will continue to receive financial aid that will cover tuition. "We believe that every one of our students whose tuition is 100% covered by Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) funding this year will have the entire tuition increase absorbed by TAP next year," said Joseph Bailey, Director of Financial Assistance.

Last year, Genesee was one of only six SUNY community colleges that did not raise tuition. "In many respects, we are playing 'catch up' with the planned increase," President Stuart Steiner said. Unlike many other community colleges, Genesee has not initiated fees for parking, laboratory use, or registration - fees frequently not covered by financial aid programs.

Dr. Steiner called the budget "an economical and cost-effective approach to growth." Historically, Genesee's costs have been far less than those of other colleges and universities. Genesee has the lowest net operating cost per student of any SUNY college, and the average cost per student is 24% below the average for the entire SUNY community college system. This trend will continue next year.

The budget does not call for any brand-new programs or initiatives but, according to Dr. Steiner, it maintains Genesee's existing strengths - a highly personal approach to education and the creative use of technology.

Under the budget, four new faculty members will join the College this fall to serve Genesee's fast-growing student population. Last fall the College enrolled 6,062 students, an all-time record. Several months ago, Community College Week named Genesee Community College as the 8th fastest-growing mid-sized community college in the United States. To help offset the cost of new faculty members, the College eliminated one administrative position and distributed duties among other staff members.

The budget helps the College keep costs down and maintain the reputation for excellence that Genesee has earned over the years. "This is very much a hold-the-line budget," Dr. Steiner told the Board. "But it covers the increasing cost of utilities and maintenance, helps us protect the high standard of care we show for our buildings and grounds, and enables us to make the most of technology. Even more important, the 2005-2006 budget maintains the highly personal approach to learning and student service that is our hallmark."

In other business this evening, the Board of Trustees:•Promoted Marirose T. Ethington from associate professor of Biology to professor.•Promoted Rebecca Dziekan from assistant professor/athletic trainer to associate professor and Margaret A. Sisson from assistant professor of health and physical education to associate professor.•Promoted four members of the faculty from instructor to assistant professor: Jeannie Burdick from counselor/instructor; Timothy F. Hinz from instructor of information technology; Julie Jackson-Coe, from instructor of reading; and Shawn M. Krest, from instructor of mathematics and computer information systems.•Approved two technical revisions to the College's tuition refund and Title IV financial aid repayment policies. The policies, affecting students who drop classes, reflect practices that went into effect at Genesee and all SUNY colleges in 1998.•Approved the granting of 564 degrees and certificates to Genesee students, subject to the satisfactory completion of their studies this month. Seven students will receive the Associate in Arts (A.A.) degree; 284 students will receive the Associate in Science (A.S.) degree; 235 students will receive the Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree; and 38 students will receive certificates. Commencement is scheduled for May 22 at 1:00 p.m. in the Batavia Campus Gymnasium.•Approved a revision of the capital project cost estimate for the new student union. Originally, the cost of the building was estimated at $1.6 million. Rising concrete and construction costs pushed the estimated cost to $1.812 million. The SUNY Construction Fund is covering half of the additional $212,000 cost, and the Genesee Community College Foundation is covering the remaining half.•Reviewed a series of sketches that might become the basis for a new Genesee Community College logo. Director of Development and External Affairs Richard Ensman showed trustees three possible approaches to a new logo: one based on a stylized "G," one incorporating the Batavia Campus clock tower; and one modeled around an abstract image of the surrounding countryside. Mr. Ensman will solicit reaction from the college community, and provide trustees with additional sketches in the months ahead.•Heard Vice President for Student Services George W. Walker report that 606 individuals had applied for admission as full-time students for the Fall 2005 semester as of April 27, up 12.8% from the 537 individuals who had applied exactly one year earlier. President Stuart Steiner said that summer courses have attracted about 1,100 registrations, up 15% from registrations last year at this time.•Heard Board Chair Anne M. Garlock appoint trustees Kenneth A. Dodd, Melvin J. Wentland, and Glenn R. Morton as members of the 2005 Board Nominating Committee. The Committee will nominate prospective Board officers for the 2005-2006 year at the July Board of Trustees meeting.