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CCAC Announces Hiring, Spending Freeze

The Community College of Allegheny County announced on Thursday it will immediately put a hiring freeze on administrative positions and eliminate all unnecessary expenditures to prepare for possible state budget cuts.

The Community College of Allegheny County is tightening its budget for the remainder of the fiscal year, but college officials say the effects shouldn’t be seen in the classroom.

In anticipation of Gov. Tom Corbett’s proposed 2011-2012 state budget cuts, the community college will immediately place a hiring freeze on administrative positions and eliminate all non-essential expenditures, according to an official statement released by CCAC on Thursday.

The freeze will not extend to instructional expenses or impact the hire of faculty. It will include administrative, non-union positions funded by the college’s regular budget, the statement said.

“Any expenses related to students are essential and they will not be affected,” said David Hoovler, CCAC's assistant to the president and interim director of public relations.

While he said CCAC probably won’t see immediate effects from the cuts, Hoovler also said there are some open positions, such as those in student support services, which could impact programs.

He couldn’t say how the cuts would specifically affect CCAC’s Boyce campus, but said that the required elimination of non-essential expenditures will likely be noticed.

“Everybody will feel this to some degree — it will affect all campuses,” he said.

The freeze will go into effect immediately and last at least until CCAC completes its budget process for the current fiscal year, Hoovler said.

The college’s fiscal year ends June 30.

“It’s our hope that this is just a temporary measure,” he said.

College president Alex Johnson discussed the cuts with CCAC's board of trustees at its monthly meeting on the college's Allegheny campus Thursday.

“As we take a comprehensive look at the college’s own 2011–2012 budget, we will strive to maintain academic excellence as well as an affordable education,” he said. “While we are taking steps to reduce expenses, we already have a very lean budget.”

CCAC said it would face a $3.6 million reduction if the governor’s proposed cuts go through.

The proposed state budget cuts would include a 10 percent reduction in support to community colleges.

Johnson said while he hopes the cuts are withdrawn, the college must prepare in case they do become a reality.

“These measures are prudent to ensure that CCAC ends the current fiscal year on solid financial footing,” he said.

Johnson announced the freeze to CCAC employees Wednesday.

CCAC is the largest institution of higher education in the state with 30,000 credit students, 35,000 noncredit and workforce development students, four campuses and six centers.

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