A Message From Mercer County Community College's President,
Dr. Patricia C. Donohue

March 21, 2007

Dear Friends,

MCCC's recent Scholarship Dinner Dance was amazing, thanks to our wonderful Foundation Board and many devoted staff. I thank the many trustees who participated and all who supported this event - from our major sponsors and more than 360 attendees, to those who purchased ads, donated to our auction and purchased auction items. All these efforts contributed to our success in raising about $60,000 for scholarships. I was truly impressed!

At its March 15 meeting, the college's Board of Trustees reviewed our proposed budget for fiscal year 2007-08. Prior to this meeting, on March 8, I discussed the proposal, including proposed tuition/fee increases, with student groups at both the Kerney and West Windsor campuses. We are grateful for the increases proposed in Governor Corzine's budget and County Executive Hughes' budget. However, after those dollar increases are applied across the entire college budget, the resulting 1.6% increase in revenue is far less than the inflation rate.

We have been strategic and prudent in preparing the proposed budget, and have focused on affordability for students. We have proposed a modest increase in student tuition of $3 per credit hour, an increase of 50 cents per credit hour in the technology fee and 50 cents per credit hour in the college fee. This total increase of $4 per credit hour raises the total per credit hour charge from $98 to $102, placing MCCC in the bottom third of community colleges in cost to students -- still a great bargain. The Board of Trustees will vote on these increases at its April meeting and then take the budget to the Board of School Estimate.

As we work to form our collective vision for the future, we will continue our strategic planning process. Under Dr. Wilfrid's leadership, a Strategic Planning Committee began its work, which we will use as the foundation to move forward. Mercer's Director of Library Services, Pam Price, and Dean of Liberal Arts, Dr. Robin Schore, have agreed to serve as co-chairs of the committee, and will invite all Governance Council members to a focus session. Our Board of Trustees will be holding a workshop to review and discuss the planning. Ideas and suggestions are welcome from all of the college's constituent groups. We welcome you to send suggestions to Pam Price at pprice@mccc.edu, or to call me at 609-570-3613.

I look forward to working with you as we continue making Mercer County Community College the best it can be for student success.

Patricia C. Donohue
Mercer County Community College