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Greenfield Community College

GCC Board of Trustees approve FY2013 budget, Pura declines raise

GREENFIELD — A $25,916,862 budget approved Wednesday by the Greenfield Community College board of trustees will preserve academic programs while reducing other services throughout the college.

The budget, about $1 million less than last year, is the direct result of decreased state contributions and an estimated 3 percent enrollment decline, administrators said.

The board had allowed administrators to make budgetary decisions in June in preparation for the start of FY2013 in July, and reviewed those decisions Wednesday.

“We have built what we think is a sustainable budget,” said Tim Braim, chief financial officer. “We’ll continue to work on fine-tuning the budget for the next few years because we don’t think the revenue stream will change.”

Administrators said that they worked hard to avoid making any reductions that would have diminished the quality of education available for students.

The changes include the closing of the health services center, an annual cap of $100,000 on construction projects as opposed to $500,000 spent last year, a new contract with a less expensive security services company and the centralization of supply purchases.

No cuts were made to academic programs. But in July, the school made some changes to administrative positions which included the layoff of Allen Davis, the former director of the GCC Foundation. Hiring and salary increases were frozen, adjunct faculty teaching time was reduced, professional development was cut and the school will not hire temporary clerical workers this year.

Braim said that administrators will look to the GCC Foundation and alternate revenue streams to cover some of the cuts, including professional development.

And the campus bookstore will be privatized and will be run by Follett, the company that runs the University of Massachusetts campus store. Administrators are hoping the store will generate about $70,000 in additional revenue each year.

Board members acknowledged the difficult situation administrators faced this year in making budgetary decisions.

“(GCC is) proactive in keeping things right in line,” said Chairman Robert Cohn, which he said will mean a “smoother ride into the future.”

Pura declines salary raise

The board offered Pura a 3 percent salary increase Wednesday, which the president respectfully declined.

“As much as I appreciate the statements made by the subcommittee, I’m going to need to decline that generous offer,” Pura told the board. “Keeping with the way the rest of the college has had to work and toil in the day-to-day without the kinds of support needed by the state, it would be impossible for me to even consider taking that raise.”

Pura’s salary, $172,976, has remained constant for the past two years, and there is no expectation that the increases will be applied retroactively.

He told board members that the real strength of the college lies with its faculty members, who he said go to work each day, despite a decreased lack of financial support and appreciation from the state and federal government.

“They get up and just bring an enormous amount of passion into classrooms, and as a result, lives are transformed,” said Pura.

Chris Shores can be reached at:
or 413-772-0261 x264

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