Statement by Dr. DeRionne Pollard, President of Montgomery College, on FY14 Operating and Capital Budget Actions by the County Council
“With Montgomery College’s commencement on Friday, there is much to celebrate this week, and I am very grateful that this year we can extend that same spirit to our budget. After several years of flat funding or substantial cuts, the Montgomery County Council’s final vote today on our operating and capital budgets holds positive news for Montgomery College.
The approved fiscal year 2014 operating budget includes $99.6 million in county support, which marks an increase of 4.4 percent over last year. Combined with an increase of 4.7 percent in state funding support, our budget picture looks more stable than it has in years.
Most importantly, Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett’s recommendation and the final budget approved today by the council recognized the sacrifices made by our employees and students over the last few years. With the increased revenue from the county and state, our employees will receive well-deserved salary improvements. These improvements include adjustments of the full-time faculty and staff salary schedules; a general wage adjustment of 2.25 percent for staff, full-time faculty, and administrators; and increments of 3.5 percent and/or pay-for-performance increases, in accordance with applicable collective bargaining agreements, procedures, and board action.
The budget also keeps tuition affordable for our students, who have shared the burden during challenging economic times. I am pleased that the county supported the Board of Trustees’ decision to freeze tuition for our students in fiscal year 2014—the first time we have done so in seven years.
In addition to supporting our employees and our students, the council’s Education Committee proposed, and the full council supported, $500,000 in county funds for ACES (Achieving Collegiate Excellence and Success), our new college completion partnership program with Montgomery County Public Schools and the Universities at Shady Grove.
The council also took action on the College’s capital budget, providing funding to complete the Germantown Bioscience Education Center and continue the renovation of the Rockville Science West Building. The council also voted for partial funding for a new parking garage at the Rockville Campus. In total, the council appropriated $66.3 million for the College’s capital budget, including $8.2 million in information technology support.
The budget actions of our elected officials demonstrate their continued commitment to the faculty and staff of Montgomery College and to providing accessible, quality higher education for all Montgomery County residents.”