The VCCS State Board decided to break with normal practice and delayed action last week on setting new tuition and mandatory fees for the upcoming academic year. State lawmakers still have not approved a state spending plan for the upcoming fiscal year and absent a budget plan from the central government, community college board members decided to take up tuition and fees at their meeting in July.
The VCCS has been able to old the line on tuition hikes for the past four years.
Board members voted to elevate Douglas Garcia to chair the state panel starting in July. Garcia succeeds N.L. Bishop, whose term on the board is expiring.
Garcia, from Alexandria, serves as the Director US Federal Government Relations for Pearson Education and has been on the VCCS State Board since 2015. “We have a lot of great initiatives in the works,” said Garcia, “and I look forward to the opportunity to work with the governor to align our workforce development initiatives with his goals and vision.”
Veteran Board member Peggy Layne will move into the role as Vice-Chair of the policy-making panel for Virginia’s Community Colleges.
The Board voted to recognize a couple of VCCS leaders who will retire at the end of June, voting to confer “Chancellor Emeritus” status upon Glenn DuBois, and “President Emeritus” status to Frank Friedman, who led Piedmont Virginia Community College since 1999.
Also at Thursday’s Board meeting: Eastern Shore Community College President James Schaeffer reported on the college’s continuing progress and efforts toward a sustainable future. In January 2019, the State Board approved a three-year reboot plan to establish Eastern Shore Community College as a strong, sustainable college that will more effectively and efficiently serve the educational and training needs of the Eastern Shore of Virginia.
Schaeffer reported ESCC revenues exceeded expenses in FY 20 and 21, adding that FTE enrollments were up 14 percent last fall, and that ESCC saw a 92 % increase in academic programs offered from 2019 to 2022.
With a brand new academic building and shifting courses from 16-weeks to eight weeks, Schaeffer says ESCC is experiencing “a new day” serving a community that desperately needs an institution to help its people train for new jobs. You can read more about ESCC’s reboot initiative.