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Board Considers Oil/Gas Lease for North Campus

The Pennsylvania College of Technology Board of Directors will consider approving an oil-and-gas lease with East Resources Inc., of Allegany, N.Y.

Without a quorum of directors present at Thursday’s meeting, the action must be approved in writing, by unanimous consent, by the full board before taking effect, said E. Eugene Yaw, the college’s general counsel.

East Resources has offered the college $100 per acre (for a total of $3,539) for the natural-gas rights at the North Campus property. Yaw said the North Campus acreage would likely be “pooled” with other properties in the area not owned by the college. The college may be entitled to a share of royalties that result from successful natural-gas exploration within the pool.

The full board will also be asked in writing to consider, by unanimous consent, approving some routine midyear budget adjustments. The adjustments reflect expenditures for Spring 2007 enrollment activity and a budget transfer associated with funds that were not needed for completion of the Madigan Library project.

Penn College President Davie Jane Gilmour informed the board about changes that will separate the Presidential Student Ambassador program from the Presidential Scholarship program, which will now be known as the Board of Directors Scholarship program.

“I think it will allow us to tap more students (for the Student Ambassador program),” she said.

Chief Technology Officer Jim E. Cunningham made a presentation to the board regarding the work performed by Information Technology Services. He noted that, from 1994-95 to 2005-06, the number of academic computers increased from 400 to 1,800 (350 percent), the number of technology classrooms increased from 24 to 176 (633 percent), and the student-to-computer ratio improved from 9.1-to-1 to 3.4-to-1.

With the addition of computers in the Madigan Library, the student-to-computer ratio has since improved further, he said. That ratio is now 3-to-1.

Cunningham said 250 refurbished college computers have been donated to nonprofits in the community in the past three years. He said “Wildcat Wireless” technology on campus will be expanded to include all of the residence halls by Fall 2007.

Board of Directors Chairman Robert E. Dunham said there has been no replacement named yet for state Rep. Brett O. Feese, who retired from the Legislature after his term expired last year. He said the board will operate with 10 members until a replacement is named.

Dunham said Kenneth S. Babe will retire from The Pennsylvania State University as corporate controller at the end of March, but will remain on the Penn College Board until at least June, when a replacement will be sought. Dunham said Penn State President Graham B. Spanier consented to Babe remaining on the board until then.

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