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Board Approves Parameters for 2015-16 State Budget Request

The Pennsylvania College of Technology Board of Directors on Thursday authorized the parameters for the college’s 2015-16 state budget request and approved a Strategic Plan that will guide the college through 2016-17.

The approved budget parameters for 2015-16 are:

  • Operating appropriation – $18,463,000 (a 5-percent increase over 2014-15)
  • Continue the special appropriations (distributed through Penn State’s Education and General appropriation) – $396,000 for Operating
  • Tuition and fees – 2.5-percent increase
  • Salary increments – 2.5-percent increase

The Strategic Plan approved by the board covers the 2014-15, 2015-16 and 2016-17 academic years. The number of goals has been reduced to four. They are:

  • Provide a distinctive educational experience that engages students
  • Invest in the development of all college employees to engage them in the advancement of the college’s mission and vision
  • Assure the long-term financial strength of the college through sound stewardship of all college resources
  • Promote the college’s mission and vision to a national audience

In other business, the board approved changes to a Protections and Protocol for Reporting Wrongful Conduct policy. The policy, instituted in 2009, was revised in June.

Mark Stevenson, vice president and senior portfolio manager for Wilmington Trust Investment Advisors, updated the board on the college’s investment performance and market allocations.

Thursday's Board of Directors meeting highlighted for Penn College community
Thursday’s Board of Directors meeting highlighted for Penn College community

A summary of faculty members hired for 2014 was presented by Paul L. Starkey, vice president for academic affairs/provost.

Also presenting to the board were Behavioral Intervention Team members Jennifer McLean, director of counseling, college health and disability services; and Bradley M. Webb, director of student affairs administration.

The Behavioral Intervention Team offers early intervention and support services for students at risk. The team reviews, assesses and monitors a variety of cases. Mirroring national trends, the three most significant referral categories are mental health, substance abuse and combative behavior, Webb noted. BIT will undergo formal assessment in 2015.

The board heard an update on the college’s NCAA Division III provisional status from Elliott Strickland, chief student affairs officer. He also introduced three full-time coaches hired in conjunction with the college’s Division III provisional status: Chris Howard, baseball; John McNichol, women’s soccer; and Rafael Morais, men’s soccer.

The NCAA made its first site visit to Penn College on Oct. 1. Strickland said the athletics program is “well on track” and “in a great position” with regard to Division III requirements.

Jan Jost, chair of College Council, briefed the board on the activities of Governance. Jost said myVOICE submissions to Governance on the portal are up substantially this year. She said a self-assessment of Governance is on the agenda for next year.

Penn College President Davie Jane Gilmour showed a photo lapse video to the board covering most of the Centennial-related events and activities offered to date. She also showed a trailer for the Centennial documentary video, which will debut for the college community in December and on WVIA-TV in January.

Gilmour said she is pleased with fall enrollment and the increase seen in student-retention rates. She informed the board about the wide variety of Homecoming activities planned for the weekend.

Board Chairman Sen. Gene Yaw, recounting the visit here this week by Penn State President Eric J. Barron, said, “I think he was very, very impressed by Penn College and the quality of the staff here.”

The next regularly scheduled Board of Directors meeting will be held on Dec. 4.

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