Thursday, October 16, 2008

Budget Cuts: How Will They Really Add Up?
By Phoenix Staff Writer Amber Mitchell

With state revenues down, every Massachusetts college is facing budget cuts. At HCC, $428,674 worth of budget cuts are taking place this year. Bill Fogarty, VP of Finances, said, “We are trying to make the cuts in a way that is going to have the least impact.”Fogarty said that the strategy is to make smaller cuts across the board. “We are cutting out 10% of travel. Some departments were getting increases. Now, they are just getting smaller increases. We
will be waiting on some hiring.”
This is good news for some students and the visual arts department, who seemed worried the
majority of cuts would put the new photo facility, currently being constructed in G Building on hold. When asked about the photo facility, Bob Aller, professor of art and future head of the photo department, said, “I’m hoping it doesn’t get cut. It would really be damaging and a setback.”The school wants to be able to offer three additional classes with the help of the new facility. They would like to add digital photography, standard color photo, and alternative processes.“The biggest selling point and the biggest demand is digital photography,” Frank Cressotti, head of the visual arts department said.
Fogarty said the school hasn’t cut any funds from the photo lab. “We haven’t cut that budget,” he said. “We have even looked into fundraising.” The original budget appeared to have been stretched further than intended. “We had an initial budget,” Fogarty said. “When it comes to furnishing these things, we sometimes get a little carried away. So, we are trying to stay within the budget. Get as close as we can.”
Cressotti said that he understood the impact of the budget cuts for the art department. “The
chances are very good, in fact, that we won’t get everything we want,” he said. As for when the photo lab will open, Fogarty said, “The photo facility will be opening on schedule [November] and ready to operate by the spring semester. While the school is planning for the current cuts, the state is waiting to see what it’s revenues look like for September and October. “These are the states highest months for revenue. If they are not making their revenues, they will make additional cuts,” Fogarty said. “So, we are trying to do some contingency planning around
that in case that does happen.”Any additional cuts would not apply to the ’08-’09 school year. The funds would be taken from the school year 2010. Fogarty said, “That could make ’10 a difficult year for us.”
The committee consisting of Fogarty, Cressotti, Aller, and possibly the dean of humanities is
scheduled to meet in October. With the rising costs of fuel and the downturn of the economy, the HCC budget will likely face a shortfall that is roughly double the size of the states original $428,674 cut. HCC will have to pay twice as much for heating and cooling this year. General Maintenance, landscaping, repairs, and all the other aspects of the school also need to be taken into account. Fogarty said the exact number is not yet known.

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