After years of no or minimal tuition increases at Paris Junior College, the Board of Regents voted Monday to raise out-of-district and out-of-state tuition by $5 per credit hour for the 2015-2016 academic year. In-district tuition will remain the same.
“We are facing the possibility of no increase in funding from the state,” explained PJC President Dr. Pam Anglin. “Current appropriation bills have minimal or no funding increases and this won’t offset the years of budget cuts we have received.”
Additionally, the average number of Texas community college students residing in their taxing district is 65 percent while the average for PJC students living in district is only 15 percent. Despite serving five counties, PJC’s taxing district is the city limits of Paris and the former Cunningham school district. The increase would bring in approximately $400,000 in more revenue. Even with the increase, PJC tuition will still fall below the state average.
“If PJC were successful in an annexation election,” said Dr. Anglin, “the number of students living in district would be 95 to 96 percent.”
To provide more assistance to students, the PJC Memorial Foundation will contribute $1 million in scholarships for the second year in a row.
In other business, the Regents:
- Received a financial report showing total revenues of more than $27 million, which is slightly down from last year. Expenses are down as well, so PJC remains in a good cash position.
- Heard a report that the bill approving handguns on campus passed the House. Dr. Anglin related a story of a campus police officer who was “shot” in an active shooter exercise because he was in street clothes. As a result of that experience, he has worn a uniform every day since.
“If you asked the police chief of every college and university in the state, the general consensus is this legislation will not make a college campus safer,” Dr. Anglin said, “it will make the college campuses less safe. We risk students shooting students because they don’t know who the bad guy is.”
- Approved the auction bid for sale of properties that have been struck off the tax roles.
- Voted to continue local charitable giving through the United Way by opting out of the State Employee Charitable Contribution Campaign. This allows donations to remain local.
- Accepted the Aramark food service contract for 2015-2016, including a 6 percent increase.
- Voted to accept the resignations/retirements of Office Technology Coordinator/Instructor Anita Ferguson effective May 15 and Associate Degree Nursing Instructor Judith Smith and History Instructor Allen Williams effective Aug. 31. Also approved reemployment of current full-time faculty for 2015-2016.