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ECCC board awaits final legislation action on severe budget cuts

By By Steve Swogetinsky/The Meridian Star
Feb. 14, 2001
DECATUR East Central Community College officials are taking a wait-and-see attitude concerning pending cuts in the state's General and Education Enhancement Funds.
As it stands, the college will receive 20.5 percent less in its appropriation for fiscal year 2002 as compared to what it was originally scheduled to receive during fiscal year 2001, dropping from about $6.6 million to $5.2 million.
That's the bad news.
The good news, if there is any, is that nearly half of the cut in funds has already come, says Mickey Vance, vice president for business operations.
The college is expecting to receive $625,498 less that originally appropriated during fiscal year 2001.
Vance said the college has already cut travel, equipment purchases and is under a hiring freeze.
Meanwhile, East Central president Dr. Phil Sutphin said the college would wait until the Legislature has concluded its current session in April before making any other plans.
Sutphin said that the college did not want to cut services.
some of those services, but we aren't looking at cutting any of the programs."
Sutphin said the hiring freeze will help, even though it will probably mean larger classes. And a tuition increase is likely loom, probably about 20 percent.
Sutphin said they would know more by next months board meeting.
In other matters, the ECCC board welcomed W. B. Jones of Leak County and Ray Shaw of Scott County as new board members.
Steve Swogetinsky is regional editor of The Meridian Star. E-mail him at sswogetinsky@themeridianstar.com.

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