ACCC skips tuition hike

By RICHARD LUKEN
Register Reporter

Despite an ongoing budget crunch that has sliced into state aid, Allen County Community College trustees are resisting tuition hikes.
Trustees approved Thursday at their monthly meeting, tuition, fees and housing charges for the 2010-11 academic year.
Tuition for both in-state and out-of-state students will remain at $47 per credit hour, while international students will pay $134 per credit hour, the same as this year.
Student fees will increase by $2 to $18 per credit hour, while tuition and book rental will remain unchanged. Trustees approved a $50 annual increase in rent for residents at Horton and Winter halls, to $4,300.
Rent at the Red Devil Duplexes and at ACCC Farm will increase $400 annually to $3,600. The price hike is necessary because the college has decided to furnish those facilities, explained Steve Troxel, vice president for finance and operations.
Rent for Masterson Hall will remain at $3,600.
Because such a large proportion of students receive scholarships, raising the tuition would not generate the needed revenue without adding pressure to the ACCC Endowment Association, President John Masterson said. The same is true for out-of-state tuition, where nearly half of the students are on scholarship.
For example, raising tuition $1 to $48, would theoretically bring in about $60,000; but those numbers are skewed because much of the income would come instead from the Endowment fund.
And while, the college could lose as much as $147,000 in state aid this year, Troxel said, those losses will be mitigated if enrollment increases as much as anticipated.
“But that’s something we can’t always count on,” warned Trustee Jim Talkington. “I don’t want to lock us into anything we’re going to lose money on.”
“With the constituents we all service, we should make a conscious effort to keep our tuition as low as possible,” Masterson said. “Adding a buck won’t cost much, but it won’t do much, either.”
The rate schedule passed unanimously.

TRUSTEES discussed the framework of an agreement with four property owners dealing with cleanup around the pond on the northest corner of the Iola campus.
The college agreed last year to pay $8,000 to help dredge the pond, although the cost of removing the sludge from the pond and subsequent cleanup skyrocketed past the anticipated $16,000.
Rainy weather throughout the summer exacerbated the mess.
Trustees in November declined to pay any more — the work was proposed by the neighboring property owners — but instead said the residents could take over the large piles of dirt and sludge to be sold.
Trustees discussed a possible deadline — summer or fall of 2011 were suggested — for the dirt to be removed.
No action was taken.

TRUSTEES renewed a three-year agreement with Pepsi for the soft drink company to provide vending machines throughout the college. The college will receive $2,500 a year, plus commission, which is expected to bring ACCC’s total income at $15,300. Proceeds go into the scholarship fund.
The college also approved a three-year deal with Cox Communication to provide cable television services throughout the college and dormitories for $1,069.20 a month.
Specialist Melissa Chandler was on hand to provide a review of the college’s developmental, or remedial, services. Chandler said the numbers have skyrocketed, from 325 students enrolled in developmental classes in 2008-09 to 521 this year.
Terri Piazza provided a review of the college’s fine arts program for art, music and theater students. Faculty members are looking at ways to better align ACCC’s curriculum with four-year universities, and if possible, with schools specializing in theater. The largest growth in enrollment continues to be in music, Piazza said.
Terry Powelson was on hand to discuss the ACCC agriculture program, and in particular, ways to drum up enrollment. Powelson said the college is working with Kansas State University to develop such courses as a veterinarian assistant program, wildlife management or biofuels. The college also is investigating programs that would result in two-year ag degrees.
“The key is to develop courses that help our students find jobs,” Powelson said. “That’s the primary focus of many of these discussions.”

CHRISTA BAIRD was hired as an assistant cross country and track and field coach for both men’s and women’s teams at the college. Baird also will work in student support services.
Trustees accepted the retirement announcement of Ivan Trester, effective in February.
The next trustees meeting is at 6 p.m. Jan. 14.