$75 Per Semester Tuition Increase Planned for GCC

Genesee Community College will raise tuition by $75 per semester with the 2012-2013 academic year under the College's budget plan approved Monday evening by the Board of Trustees.

Batavia, New York —Genesee Community College will raise tuition by $75 per semester with the 2012-2013 academic year under the College’s budget plan approved Monday evening by the Board of Trustees. Current tuition for New York State residents is $1,700 per semester, and it will rise to $1,775 per semester. Tuition for students pursuing study on a part-time basis will rise $5 per credit hour, from $140 to $145.

The Board’s $37.065 million budget is a maintenance-of-effort budget, President James M. Sunser told trustees. The budget holds staffing at current levels and minimizes purchases of all but essential equipment. It is the tightest GCC budget in recent memory, Dr. Sunser noted. The Board of Trustees is requesting that Genesee County, sponsor of the College increase its support of the College by $50,000 annually, from the current $1.936 million to $1.986 million. Sponsor support represents 5% of the College’s budget. Over each of the last 30 years, Genesee has operated with the lowest or second-lowest level of sponsor support among all SUNY community colleges.

In recent years, New York State has cut aid to community colleges to pre-2000 levels, putting increased fiscal pressure on SUNY’s 30 community colleges. Earlier this year, the State Legislature restored some funding, but aid levels stand where they were ten years ago.

Genesee’s low tuition and fees continue to make Genesee Community College one of the most affordable colleges within the SUNY system, Dr. Sunser noted.

In other business Monday evening, the Board of Trustees:

•Named retiring Genesee Community College Professor Carl M. Wahlstrom to the rank of Professor Emeritus. The rank of Professor Emeritus is honorary, and signifies long and distinguished teaching service. Professor Wahlstrom began teaching at Genesee in 1975 and has become of one of the nation’s leading authorities on First Year Experience programs and student success. He is a popular speaker at academic conferences and the author of numerous books and papers. He is the recipient of two SUNY Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence, and is one of only a handful of community college professors to hold the rank of SUNY Distinguished Professor.

•Approved a one-year renewal of the College’s contract with the Genesee Community College Educational Support Personnel Association, which represents secretaries, clerks, buildings and grounds personnel, safety officers, and other staff. The renewal calls for wage increases of 2.75%.

•Approved the granting of 633 degrees and certificates to students, subject to their satisfactory completion of spring semester studies. This spring, Genesee expects to award eight Associate in Arts (A.A.) degrees; 307 Associate in Science (A.S.) degrees; 281 Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) degrees; and 37 certificates. Students who completed their studies during the 2011-2012 year will be honored at commencement ceremonies Sunday, May 20, at 1:00 p.m. at the Batavia Campus.

•Nominated Board Chair Charles R. Ruffino for the New York Community College Trustees Marvin A. Rapp Award for Distinguished Service. The Marvin A. Rapp Award recognizes New York community college trustees who have demonstrated extraordinary service and commitment. Mr. Ruffino’s colleagues on the Board cited his strong leadership, participation in college events, and heavy involvement in campus center development, the Med Tech Centre, construction of the Humphrey Student Union and the GCC Foundation as examples of his commitment and contributions to the College. Trustee Maureen T. Marshall said that Mr. Ruffino has exhibited “extraordinary leadership in so many ways.”

•Named 395 area residents to 28 program and campus center advisory committees for the 2012-2013 academic year. Most career-oriented programs at the College, as well as the College’s campus centers, have community advisory committees that provide guidance to faculty and staff on curriculum issues, internship and job opportunities for students, and overall program direction. The Board named advisory committees for the Arcade Campus Center; Rosalie (Roz) Steiner Art Gallery; The BEST Center; Business Administration and Accounting programs; Communication and Media Arts; Computer Technology; Criminal Justice; Dansville Campus Center; Digital Art; Computerized Drafting and Design; Fine and Performing Arts; Advanced Studies and College Tech Prep; Health and Physical Education; Human Services; LIFE (Life Increases Future Experiences/Liberty Partnership) program; Lima Campus Center; Nursing; Office Technology; Albion and Medina Campus Centers; Paralegal Studies; Perkins Grant program; Polysomnographic Technology; Physical Therapist Assistant; Respiratory Care; Fashion Business; Hospitality and Tourism; Veterinary Technology; and Warsaw Campus Center.

•Honored Student Trustee Phyllis A. Washburn with a Resolution of Appreciation for her service during the 2011-2012 academic year. Mrs. Washburn’s colleagues thanked her for her active participation in board activities and her constant presence at a variety of college events.

•Heard Board Chair Charles R. Ruffino appoint a three-member Nominating Committee, which will recommend a slate of board officers for the 2012-2013 year. Named to the Committee were Laurie J. Miller, Chair; Benjamin J. Bonarigo; and Donna M. Ferry.

•Heard Board Chair Ruffino thank and compliment individuals involved with Inauguration Week for their efforts. Mr. Ruffino called the week, April 29 to May 5, “impressive,” and said he was especially pleased with the number of community residents who participated in Inauguration Week events. President James M. Sunser thanked the Board of Trustees and Inauguration Committee for the work they did on Inauguration Day. “I will never forget this,” he said. “My whole family was overwhelmed by what you did.”

•Heard Joan Nobile, Treasurer of the Student Government Association, report that Genesee’s student clubs and organizations had a highly successful year. Ms. Nobile said that Genesee now sponsors 50 different student clubs. Highlights of the year include the Business Forum’s sponsorship of the Ducky Derby, which raised $2,500 for Genesee Country United Way; accomplishments of the Genesee Cougarettes; the Earth Club’s Eco-Fest; the Global Education Club’s sponsorship of the sand mandala project and other activities focused on Tibet, the Respect Campaign, the Student Health Awareness Group’s Relay for Life, student radio WGCC’s mobile DJ service, and Phi Theta Kappa’s sponsorship of a presentation by a Fordham University speaker on the subject of emotional intelligence. Ms. Nobile said that many club leaders were recognized for their efforts and accomplishments at the May 4 Student Awards Banquet.

•Heard Dean of Learning Technologies Robert G. Knipe report that representatives of Genesee and five other Western New York community colleges officially launched the Online Western New York Learning Alliance two weeks ago. The Alliance (known as “OWL”) pools all online degree and course information, promotes all online courses offered by the participating colleges, and makes registration easier for students. So, for example, a Genesee student who wishes to participate in an online course offered by one of the other participating colleges can easily do so, Dean Knipe explained. Each college has a “concierge,” or advisor, who answers questions about the OWL courses and helps students register.

“This consortium lets us pool our resources, promote all of our offerings across the region, and helps us serve students much better,” Dean Knipe told trustees. Participating colleges include Genesee Community College, Corning Community College, Erie Community College, Finger Lakes Community College, Jamestown Community College, and Monroe Community College.

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