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2014 March 17 - 12:00 am

NEWS BRIEFS:

  • Maricopa Colleges Propose Tuition Hike

PHOENIX (AP) — The Maricopa County Community College District is proposing hikes in both tuition and property taxes.

The Arizona Republic reports (http://bit.ly/1mHHElg) that the district is seeking the increases next year to offset deep declines in state funding.

The 10 community colleges are proposing a $5-per-credit increase in tuition that would increase the cost to $86 per credit.

The tax levy increase would mean an increase of $2.58 per year for every $100,000 in assessed property.

State aid to the community college district dropped from about $45 million in 2010-11 to about $8 million expected for 2014-15.

Money from the Arizona Legislature now makes up about 1 percent of the community college district’s revenue.

The Republic says the tax and tuition increases would generate an additional $25.5 million for the district.

  • NY College Professor Dies from Drug Overdose

APALACHIN, N.Y. (AP) — The State University of New York’s Broome Community College is planning drug awareness programs in the wake of a professor’s death from a heroin overdose.

The Binghamton Press-Republican reports (http://press.sn/MdiaLF ) that 49-year-old professor Wesley Warren died around 2 a.m. Feb. 9 after snorting heroin with a friend at his house in Apalachin. The newspaper obtained records on the incident from the Tioga County Sheriff’s Department through a Freedom of Information Law request.

Warren had served as chairman of the community college’s Criminal Justice and Homeland Security program. He also was a former police officer and New York state-certified criminal investigator.

SUNY Broome President Kevin Drumm said the college will put more focus on the problem exposed by the tragedy.

  • Williston State Wins Second Hockey Title

WILLISTON, N.D. (AP) — The Williston State College hockey team has won a second straight National Junior College Athletic Association championship.

The Tetons skated to a 2-0 win over Monroe Community College of New York to take the crown.

Williston State also beat Monroe in last year’s title game.

The Tetons outscored both of their opponents at the NJCAA Frozen Four in Troy, N.Y. They won their first game 7-0 over Erie in Saturday’s semifinals. Sophomore goalie Tyler Ampe got both shutouts and was named tournament MVP.

  • Drone Testing Pursued by Sinclair CC

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — The state may have been passed over as a drone testing site last year, but a western Ohio community college is moving full speed ahead on the development, teaching and application of drone technology.

Sinclair Community College announced that its workforce development office has applied for two new certificates of authorization from the Federal Aviation Administration to fly a new unmanned aerial system.

The Dayton Daily News (http://bit.ly/1hOp8FG ) reports that one of the certificates is for a Lockheed Martin “vertical take-off and landing” vehicle.

Development officials in Ohio and Indiana have said they plan to operate their own test ranges for unmanned aircraft and seek ways to attract drone-related businesses after losing in their joint bid to be one of six FAA test sites.

  • Board Members Accused of Breaking Law

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Two current and former members of the Santa Fe Community College board contend that three other board members violated the state’s open meetings law.

The Santa Fe New Mexican (http://bit.ly/1foITBU ) reports that the allegations are contained in a Dec. 27 letter in which the two members asked the state attorney general’s office to investigate. One of those members has resigned in protest.

Their letter contends there wasn’t a public vote to put Ana “Cha” Guzman on leave and that the other board members apparently consulted privately on a temporary replacement.

Guzman was fired Dec. 2 on a 3-2 vote.

A spokesman for the attorney general’s office declined to say whether it is conducting an investigation.

  • Board Chooses Alexandria for New La. Campus

ALEXANDRIA, La. (AP) — Downtown Alexandria has been chosen as the home of Central Louisiana Technical Community College’s new main campus.

The $21 million-plus campus will replace the college’s current Alexandria campus.

The Town Talk reports (http://townta.lk/MXLAhK ) the Louisiana Community and Technical College System Facilities Corporation chose downtown over a proposal by Louisiana State University of Alexandria. A specific site has not been designated.

The city already has $2.3 million earmarked in its capital budget for the required local match.

  • Mich. Colleges Collaborate on Transfer Plan

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Five Michigan community colleges are partnering on a pilot program to let students in automotive technology programs transfer among the schools without losing credits or having to repeat course work.

Delta College, Grand Rapids Community College, Lansing Community College, Montcalm Community and Mott Community Colleges have signed the agreement. It was announced by Nigel Francis, the state’s senior automotive adviser.

He says the deal is a “stellar example” of collaborations needed to ensure Michigan has a talented and well-trained auto industry workforce.

State officials say their goal is for the program to be a model for other fields of study. They say community college students face barriers to finishing their education due to employment and life changes forcing them to move to other parts of Michigan.

  • Delta Regional Authority Gives Workforce Grant

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — The Delta Regional Authority says it will spend $109,000 to develop workforce leaders at four colleges in eastern and southern Arkansas.

The STAND Foundation is to work with the colleges on leadership training, skill development and community service.

Up to 30 participants will be selected from a 60-mile radius around Arkansas Northeastern College in Mississippi County, Southeast Arkansas Community College in Union County, Southern Arkansas University Tech in Ouachita County and Mid-South Community College in Crittenden County.

The federal chairman of the Delta Regional Authority, Chris Masingill, says having a strong network of local leaders can help develop the region. The Delta Regional Authority was set up to aid 252 counties and parishes in the Mississippi River valley.

  • La. Delta CC To Lay Off 28 in Budget Move

MONROE, La. (AP) — Louisiana Delta Community College plans to lay off 28 employees, both faculty and staff, as part of a reduction in force plan to cut costs.

Delta officials said they will submit its plan to the board of supervisors for the Louisiana Community and Technical College System for final approval.

Chancellor Barbara M. Hanson told The News-Star (http://tnsne.
ws/1e4v4SV ) the plan was developed to address a constraint of $3.3 million for the 2013 operating budget and anticipated shortfall of $2.3 million for 2014 operating budget.

The savings from the cuts are expected to total $1.6 million.

Hanson said budget constraints are due, in large part, to the reductions in state appropriations that began in 2010 and will continue to 2014 for a total reduction of 47.5 percent over the four-year period.

  • Coconino CC Approves Belt-Tightening Plan

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — Coconino Community College is tightening its belt, and Page and other locations served by the college will feel the pinch.

The college’s governing board approved an austerity plan to close a projected $1.3 million budget gap.

According to the Arizona Daily Sun (http://bit.ly/1ekvMQG ), the plan includes scaling back the campus in Page to an instructional site with fewer classes and elimination of all full-time staff positions at the location.

Other elements include a tuition hike, enrolling fewer students in the nursing program and eliminating programs in dance and early childhood education.

The board previously cut $2 million in expenses and raised $1 million in addition tuition revenues to offset a loss of $3 million in annual state aid.

Voters rejected a proposed property tax increase last year.

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