Pennsylvania's largest community college has scaled back its budget to $180.2 million for the upcoming year, which is nearly $6.2 million less than the current year.
The loss of revenue includes Gov. Tom Corbett's proposed reduction of 3.8 percent in funding in 2012-13 to the operating budgets of community colleges, said HACC President John "Ski" Sygielski.
"After more than a decade of double-digit growth, enrollment of 22,595 credit students in fall 2011 was 2.6 percent lower than enrollment of 23,210 in fall 2010," he said, citing a further decrease in revenue.
To curb operating costs, HACC has opted to do the following:
• Freeze salary increases until Jan. 1.
• Offer early retirements to qualified employees.
• Grant reduced work and pay schedules to qualified employees.
• Eliminate vacant positions.
• Streamline operations, create efficiencies and eliminate redundancies.
• Increase student tuition.
The board voted to increase tuition by $3 per credit for sponsored school district students, $6 per credit for all other in-state students and $9 per credit for out-of-state and international students.
Current tuition rates are $165, $222.50 and $322 per credit.
Sygielski said he will not name the positions nor give the number of positions that will be eliminated by June 30. Affected employees and their departments will be notified by May 24, the college said.
When the college began the budget process in January, it was facing an $11.4 million deficit for the 2012-13 school year, Sygielski said.