Trustees approve second savings plan for Rockland Community College

This savings plan would cut $7.5 million from next year's budget. It included $4.3 million saved by cutting 35 positions in academic affairs, workforce development, administrative services and student services. It cuts an additional $3 million through non-personnel moves.

Jonathan Gordon

Mar 25, 2024, 11:08 PM

Updated 20 days ago

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The Rockland Community College Board of Trustees unanimously approved a second round of cuts at its meeting Monday night as it continues to dig out of a multimillion-dollar budget deficit.
This savings plan would cut $7.5 million from next year's budget. It included $4.3 million saved by cutting 35 positions in academic affairs, workforce development, administrative services and student services. It cuts an additional $3 million through non-personnel moves. The college also plans to raise new revenue by increasing student tuition by $15 per credit and booking its theater to outside guests for a fee.
The board said the tuition rate has not increased since 2021-22 and currently ranks seventh among all SUNY schools for tuition costs.
Trustee Elana Yeger noted the state obligates the college to present a cost-savings plan after receiving an advance to cover its bills this year.
"We have to present a plan to the state and the county or else we have no safety net. We have nothing to save us if those collectibles do not come in. We have nothing to save us and we won't be able to make the payroll," Yeger said.
But union leaders, faculty, staff and even students weren't buying it. They backed a no-confidence vote against the college's president and other top administrative officials during public comment.
"When you don't value the people who put the actual work in to keep this institution going, it affects not just us, but everyone around us both on and off campus," Rockland Community College faculty member Meghan Nolan said.
School employees and students called on the president and administration to step down. Going as far as to call on the State University of New York to bring in an independent monitor to guide the college through its current financial situation.
A spokesperson for SUNY did not immediately have a response to this.
The Board of Trustees unanimously approved Phase One of the savings plan last November, which included nine furlough days spread over six months for all administrators and seven staff cuts. That initially saved the college $2 million when it was facing a nearly $4 million budget deficit.
Last month, the board was prepared to approve an additional savings plan but faced pressure from faculty and staff that ultimately delayed it. According to the resolution that was tabled, that plan would have saved the school $8 million, including $3 million in spending cuts and $5 million through layoffs.
Trustees tried to paint a more optimistic look at the college's future saying the cuts would only be necessary if the school's finances didn't turn around by next year's budget.


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