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OCC Professor Raises Concerns About Fee Increases

Fees approved by Board of Trustees earlier this year didn't go through proper channels, she says

When the Ocean County College Board of Trustees voted in January to increase tuition and fees for the 2013 fiscal year, those fees had not gone through the proper channels, a professor told the board on Monday.

Kathleen Malachowski, a 20-year member of the college's faculty who served as chair of the college Senate last year, said the revisions to the fee structure circumvented the college's governance process, going directly to the board of trustees without any input from the Senate.

"That is not in accord with the college's procedure or with its bylaws," Malachowski said.

Tuition increased $4 per credit for Ocean County residents, to $98 per credit, and according to the minutes of the Jan. 25 meeting, course fees were only going to increase "where necessary." Technology and student fees were increased by $1. Tuition for out-of-county students stayed the same.

Malachowski said she complained to the curriculum committee and its chair, Martin Novelli, told her that OCC President Jon Larson said raising the fees was the college's prerogative.

Larson denied that claim on the spot: ""Martin never spoke to me," he said.

Malachowski said 114 course fees were increased, however, through what she said was a change in the way the courses were labeled.

A student who paid a fee of $50 in the spring for a particular biology class now pays $63 for that same class, she said, adding that not all of the fees are reimbursable.

"The proposed revision to the course fee structure should have gone through the (college senate)," she said.

Malachowski said she spoke to both the curriculum committee and to the college obudsman, David Wolfe, about the issue, and was told the college's deans knew about the increase.

Harvey York, who was the lone no vote on the tuition increase in January, told Malachowski the board would look into the issue before its retreat, which is scheduled for Sept. 14.

"That (the lack of input from the college senate) was not information we had when we voted," York said.

mom in brick August 28, 2012 at 02:24 PM
There is also an addtional fee of $100 to take an online class.... does that make sense? Thats above and beyond the technology fee that you pay per semester.
BC Lib August 28, 2012 at 06:41 PM
The fees for out of county (this includes state and country) have not been raised because of Larson's goal to go "global" with his distance learning plan. Sadly, the president of the college and the board of trustees are not looking out for the interests of the Ocean County resident students whose tax dollars are used by the county to keep tuition low. An out of county and out of country student should have to pay higher fees since they aren't contributing their tax dollars to the functioning of Ocean County College. For years out-of-county students taking on-line classes were paying THE SAME tuition as the in-county student. The administrations mantra has been "in the best interest of the student" but that is a lie. The increase in fees are going to be used to increase the amount of money available to hire more administrators and give them raises. If the administration really was looking out for the best interest of the students they would be hiring more full-time faculty members or retaining the ones they had and fired.
Bowie Thelonius August 28, 2012 at 09:08 PM
The school just hired a "Vice President for Academic Affairs". Wonder what the Harvard educated administrator is getting? Our tax dollars at work. Wonderful.
JEFFREY August 29, 2012 at 01:57 AM
It looks like someone upstairs may be on the take from someone or acts like they're on drugs or something to try to pull this kind of stunt. Something here is not kosher.
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