ECC penalizing students for the trustees’ mistakes
As an Erie Community College alumni, I read with interest the May 6 article reporting that the college trustees unanimously approved a tuition increase, plus additional student fees, for students in the 2016-17 budget. I find it interesting that, to close the gap in the college budget, the trustees and our County Legislature decided to take the easy way out and penalize students for their ineptitude in balancing the budget.
Student enrollment has dropped 21 percent, from 11,115 to 8,788. Have the number of class sessions offered decreased at all?
Departments expanded during periods of growth at the college, but has the administration scaled back as the student body decreased?
Are there numerous classes in session with eight or fewer students? If there are, is this cost-efficient?
How many executive and administrative positions were added at the same time enrollment was decreasing?
Are there faculty members padding their salaries with overload classes when the total number of students they teach could fit into one or two sessions?
The article cited salary increases for employees and fringe benefits as one of the main reasons for the tuition increase. Who is responsible for negotiating and approving the contracts for these increases? It surely was not the students!
ECC already has the third-highest tuition among community colleges in the state, and penalizing students for the errors of others is only going to adversely affect future enrollment.
If a private industry was operating under these same criteria, a specialist would certainly be brought in to determine how to make the bottom line more feasible.
Allen R. Miller