Board Approves 2011-12 Operating Budget

At its regularly scheduled board meeting today, the Onondaga Community College Board of Trustees passed the College’s 2011-12 operating budget. Driven by student enrollment demand and program costs, the $72.7 million budget represents a 3.8 percent increase over last year’s operating budget. Enrollment has grown by 65 percent over the past decade. In 2011-12 the College will serve more than 12,000 students, including more than 300 returning veterans and a number of students who already hold baccalaureate and, in some cases, graduate degrees.

The proposed operating budget, which will be presented next to the Onondaga County Legislature in July, includes a local sponsor contribution increase of $443,000. If passed, this would bring Onondaga County’s contribution to the Onondaga Community College budget to 12.8 percent, or $9.307 million. In addition, both the County and State contribute to debt service for capital improvements currently underway on campus.

By increasing its funding support to the College’s operating budget, the County will minimize tuition costs for local families. The 2011-12 operating budget includes a $146 annual tuition increase for full-time students and a $7 per credit hour increase to part-time students. With the proposed tuition increase, Onondaga Community College’s full-time annual student tuition rate for 2011-12 is $3,930 and part-time tuition is $158 per credit hour.

“As more and more jobs require college credentials, increasing numbers of local students and families are turning to Onondaga Community College. Onondaga has established a reputation for delivering accredited programs, marketable credentials, and degrees that readily transfer to four-year colleges and universities at an affordable price. With employment opportunities for non-college graduates rapidly disappearing and individuals demanding more value for their higher education dollars, the mission of Onondaga Community College is more relevant than ever before,” said President Debbie L. Sydow, Ph.D.

“With strong fiscal management and oversight by the Board and the administration, Onondaga Community College continues to maintain a solid record of efficiency. In spite of several years of continued declines in public funding from the state and level funding by the local sponsor, the College continues to out-perform the competition in terms of keeping pace with demand, while at the same time managing to meet the needs of dozens of local companies and organizations for customized training and workforce development. This College directly contributes to the local economic vitality and growth of our state and region,” said Board Chair Meg O’Connell.

Onondaga Community College’s portfolio of nearly 50 degree and certificate programs includes Associate of Arts (A.A.) and Associate of Science (A.S.) programs primarily designed for transfer to a four-year institution (66%); Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S) and certificate programs primarily for students intending to directly enter the workforce (22%); and signature A.A.S. and A.S. programs that are unique among area community colleges (12%).

Over the past three years, Onondaga Community College has been nationally recognized for its innovation and efficiency. Among the prestigious organizations recognizing the College are the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, the Aspen Institute, and University Business magazine, which recognized the College as a 2010 Model of Efficiency.