Northern Virginia Community College has reduced summer class offerings about 9 percent, trimmed faculty pay and laid off about 140 support employees because of state budget cuts, NOVA officials said last week.
Although no faculty members have been furloughed, those teaching fewer courses this summer will be paid proportionately less, college President Richard J. Ernst said Thursday. The two-year institution has campuses in Annandale, Manassas, Woodbridge, Alexandria and Sterling.
The summer session, which has just begun, is financed as part of the fiscal year that begins July 1, officials said. The state has cut the budget of all 23 Virginia community colleges 5 percent and has limited tuition increases to 7.5 percent for the coming year; state-supported, four-year colleges and universities have incurred similar curbs.
NOVA, the largest institution in the state community college system, has cut its summer budget almost $1 million, despite a 4 percent enrollment increase compared with last summer, officials reported.
About $500,000 will be saved through the reductions in classes taught. "We're offering just about everything we offered in the past, just fewer sections," said Ernst, adding that the typical class has more students.
About $450,000 will be saved through the cuts in support staff, Ernst said. He said all workers laid off were temporary employees, including janitors and maintenance workers.
"I'm emptying my own wastepaper basket," he said. "And you may not see the grass cut as much as we might like." Ernst said the college is trying to save as much money as it can this summer to avoid faculty layoffs in the fall and next spring.
Last year, NOVA's enrollment increased from about 52,000 to roughly 59,000. Many of the students attend part time and plan to transfer to four-year institutions.
In-state students pay 20 percent of the cost of their education at Virginia community colleges, with the state system financing the rest, so the enrollment increase exacerbates the budget squeeze, Ernst said.