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2010 June 14 - 12:00 am

NEWS BRIEFS:

  • Nebraska College Faculty Agree To Forgo Salary Increase

SCOTTSBLUFF, Neb. (AP) — Western Nebraska Community College faculty have agreed to seek no pay increase for next year.

The school’s board of governors recently approved the change to collective bargaining agreements.

The college, which has campuses in Scottsbluff, Alliance and Sidney, faces a budget deficit.

The college had negotiated a 4 percent pay increase for staff for the upcoming fiscal year, but negotiations were reopened and it was agreed that staff would receive no salary increase.

The college will pick up any increase in health insurance.

Richard Douglas, the school’s attorney, said faculty understood the financial situation and that their agreement to no pay increase was appreciated.

  • Va. Students To Pay More for Tuition in 2010-11 Academic Year

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Students at Virginia’s community colleges will see tuition and fees rise by at least $7.50 per credit hour for the 2010-11 school year.

In-state students at almost all state community colleges will pay $107.50 per credit hour, up 7.5 percent from $100. An in-state student taking 30 credit hours over two semesters at typical two-year schools would pay about $225 more for the academic year, or $3,225.

The State Board of Community Colleges set the rate. Tuition would have been an additional $2 more per credit hour had the board not voted to use federal stimulus funds to mitigate the increase.

The board also increased tuition differentials for Northern Virginia Community College and J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College to $14.35 per credit hour and $2.10 per credit hour, respectively.

  • Ivy Tech CC Breaks Ground On New Building

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Ivy Tech Community College has started construction at a former hospital site next to its Indianapolis campus.

Ivy Tech officials and Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard attended a ground breaking ceremony. Ivy Tech is tearing down parts of the former St. Vincent Hospital and is building a new $40 million classroom building.

The community college says it needs more classroom and lab space to handle its fast growth. More than 110,000 students are enrolled in Ivy Tech programs.

The former St. Vincent Hospital building dates to 1913. It was a hospital until 1974, and Ivy Tech has owned it since 2006.

  • Wyo. College Getting New Auto Repair Tool

ROCK SPRINGS, Wyo. (AP) —Western Wyoming Community College is getting a new tool that will allow students to test their auto repair work.

The college Board of Trustees has approved spending $50,000 to purchase a chassis dynamometer for the college’s automotive technology class.

The tool is like a car treadmill. Ken Fitschen, vice president for student learning, said mechanics can strap vehicles onto the dynamometer and drive them to simulate real-world driving.

He says students are not allowed to drive shop vehicles on public roads for safety reasons, and because some students are not licensed to drive.

  • Most Mass. Colleges Seek Fee Increases

BOSTON (AP) — Students at most of Massachusetts’ state and community colleges are facing fee increases for the next academic year as the schools deal with budget cuts and a reduction in federal stimulus aid.

A spokeswoman for the state Board of Higher Education tells The Republican of Springfield that 17 of 24 state and community colleges have instituted or are seeking fee increases.

Springfield Technical Community College trustees approved a fee hike for about 7,000 students. College president Ira Rubenzahl says the proposed increase is in response to state budget cuts of up to 13 percent for the next fiscal year and would raise an additional $2 million.

  • Office Building To Serve as New Home for College

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (AP) — A building in Huntington that once served as Arch Coal’s headquarters will be the new home of Mountwest Community & Technical College.

The Herald-Dispatch reported that Mountwest plans to convert the seven-story building to include more than 30 classroom and lab spaces, common areas, a learning resource center, a one-stop student service center and a cafeteria.

Mountwest President Keith Cotroneo says the college’s acquisition of the property has been completed.

Mountwest formerly was connected to Marshall University. A 2008 law required the state’s community colleges to become freestanding institutions.

  • Ill. Colleges Join Forces To Offer Nursing Degree

DEKALB, Ill. (AP) — Northern Illinois University has partnered with a local community college to offer degrees for registered nurses.

The DeKalb school announced that it will begin the partnership with Illinois Valley Community College in the fall of 2011. NIU officials say faculty from the university will go to the community college to teach courses. The rest of the bachelor’s degree coursework will occur online.

Students who participate in the program will have nine courses through NIU and the other courses can be done at any community college. Brigid Lusk is with NIU’s College of Health and Human Sciences. She said, “nurses will find this highly convenient because it’s mainly online.”

  • Cost of Miss. College Going Up By 28 Percent

GULFPORT, Miss. (AP) — Students at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College will see an increase in tuition and other fees beginning this fall.

The Sun Herald reports the college’s Board of Trustees voted this week to approve a 28 percent tuition hike for full-time students, which is $250 per semester.

Students who take between 12 and 16 hours will pay $1,150 per semester, up from $900, in addition to course and program fees. Students who take more than 16 hours will pay $115 per credit hour in addition to their tuition.

This is the fourth time in 10 years MGCCC has raised rates. Officials said state funding has gone from 48 percent in 2001 to 34 percent this year.

  • Judge Declines To Censor Offensive E-Mails

PHOENIX (AP) — A court ruling in a case involving a college professor’s racially charged e-mails says First Amendment rights mean people offended should delete the e-mails or engage the sender in debate, not “invoke the power of government to shut them up.”

A 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling doesn’t end a lawsuit filed by Maricopa County Community College District employees.

But it provides guidance to the trial judge.

The suit against the Phoenix-based district contends it created a hostile work environment by permitting the e-mails.

The district in 2007 began proceedings that could have led to Professor Walter Kehowski being fired, but a subsequent agreement restricted his e-mail privileges and allowed him to return to the classroom.

  • Ala. 2-Year College Going to 4-Day Work Week

MOBILE, Ala. (AP) — Officials at Bishop State Community College say they’ll operate on a four-day work week at the school’s four campuses to cut costs during the summer.

College President James Lowe says employees will work 40 hours, with extended schedules Monday through Thursday. He says pay rates won’t change.

Lowe says the school hopes to see significant savings in utilities costs. He says other two-year colleges that cut back hours last year saved as much as $20,000.

The state school board last year gave presidents of schools in the Alabama Community College System the authority to set summer hours.

  • Ariz. College Renews Contract Of President

PAGE, Ariz. (AP) — The governing board of Coconino Community College has voted to renew the contract of the school’s president.

The board voted to have Leah Bornstein serve another three years in the position.

Board members cited Bornstein’s work in enhancing student financial aid options, creating a marketing plan and making the school financially stable as reasons to renew her contract.

But despite those accomplishments, the board says it could not justify an increase in her salary during tough economic times.

The college enrolls nearly 10,000 students and has four campuses.

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