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College Must Forgo More of 2008-09 State Appropriation

Pennsylvania College of Technology, along with other state-related colleges and universities, has seen a second reduction in its 2008-09 state appropriation.

This time, the college will lose $253,610 in appropriated funds ($229,303 from operating and $24,307 from debt-service funds). In October, the appropriation was reduced by $615,910 ($556,878 in operating funds and $59,032 in debt-service funds). Over the course of the year, the state appropriation approved for 2008-09 has been reduced by 6 percent.

Penn College President Davie Jane Gilmour said the administration was anticipating another reduction and is preparing to make the necessary cuts required to balance the operating budget.

“We understand that the economy is suffering and that no one is going to be spared a certain level of pain as a result,” Gilmour said. “We strongly believe that Penn College represents an important asset to the commonwealth especially as we try to rebuild our economy and we will do everything in our power to maintain our quality of education and service.”

The president said “consolidation and conservation” are the touchstones the administration will use to reduce the current operating budget.

Personnel expenses will be reduced by not filling currently vacant positions and by requiring the president’s approval to fill future new or replacement positions.

Conference and travel expenses will be reduced; requests for these expenditures will require approval of a vice president.

Community sponsorships and contributions may be curtailed; all projects will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

Renovation plans will be reviewed and some projects will be postponed.

All cost-center administrators have been directed to carefully review all expenditures to ensure cost efficiency and effectiveness.

In addition, the president said the college continues to use technology to reduce expenses wherever possible. She cited a plan to eliminate the printing of payroll stubs for employees as of January 2009; payroll and other information for employees is communicated through a computer-based information system. Student information also is communicated electronically; for example, the Student Government Association announced recently that it would become “paperless” in January.

Robert E. Dunham, chairman of the Penn College Board of Directors, said he feels confident the administration and staff are taking all the right steps to fulfill the state’s request. He fully appreciates the difficult financial problem the commonwealth has, but he cautioned that state lawmakers must consider the future implications for these budget cuts.

“Among all state-owned and state-related colleges and universities, Pennsylvania College of Technology receives the least amount of funding from the commonwealth,” he said. “It seems to me that a stronger investment in Penn College would help to encourage workforce development and stimulate economic growth across the state.”

For more information about Penn College, visit online , e-mail or call toll-free (800) 367-9222.

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