Anne Arundel Community College officials approved their latest budget for 2014, which includes $2 million in raises for employees—the first raises the college has doled out in more than four years.
The college's Board of Trustees unanimously approved the 2014 budget at $113,485,000, an increase of $3.6 million over the 2013 budget. The increase is due in large part to $2 million in salary increases for faculty and staff, which trustees argued was vital to maintaining competitive pay in the regional college market.
"It's been four years with no raises, and we feel that really is having a tremendous impact on our workforce," said AACC President Dawn Lindsay.
During a presentation on the budget, officials outlined where AACC stood in relation to similar colleges, showing that it ranked third in in average compensation, and last in maximum salary compensation.
The budget also includes a $3 tuition and fees hike, effectively a one percent increase, but a far cry from the $16 increase in the 2013 budget. Board Chairwoman Victoria Fretwell thanked faculty and staff for coming up with creative solutions to keep expenses down this year.
Trustee Jerry Klasmeier underscored the importance of retaining the tuition stabilization fund—a financial buffer that allows the college to navigate the peaks and valleys of budget challenges. He said college officials should keep that priority in mind when pitching the proposed budget to county government later this year.
Under an agreement forged with the county in 2001, Klasmeier said board policy is to keep the stabilization fund between 5 and 10 percent of the college's total budget. However, under the new budget, that fund sits at $2.9 million, which is just 2.5 percent of the total budget.
Revenue for the 2013 budget:
- $28,308,500—state (increase of $1,459,600)
- $35,552,300—county (increase of $3,504,600)
- $45,710,000—tuition (decrease of $150,000)
The budget was approved unanimously by the board, and now moves to the desk of the county executive before it will be presented to the Anne Arundel County Council for review and approval by June 15.