Community colleges of Butler, Beaver consider merger
With an aging and shrinking county population and flat funding subsidies, the head of the Community College of Beaver County board of trustees said it makes good sense to reach out to the school's Butler County counterpart about a possible merger.
“Butler County Community College is in good shape, and we are as well, but we'll see where we are in five years,” said Helen Kissick of Brighton. “Maybe the better equation may be to combine horsepower between the two.”
Butler County Commission Chairman Bill McCarrier, who sits on the Butler college's board of trustees, said he's not initially inclined to support a merger.
“I don't see any pluses for it,” McCarrier said. “We have a good system now. I don't see any point in joining. I would have to see a lot more details, the pros and cons of a merger.”
Beaver trustees on April 16 unanimously voted to approach Butler's board of trustees with the idea.
Nick Neupauer, the Butler college's president, said that the board likely would decide within the next month whether to consider a merger. A merger could take several years, if approved.
Also on April 16, the Beaver board approved a $21.5 million budget for 2013-14 with a $900,000 gap that will be filled with reserves and a 17 percent tuition increase.
Butler in May is expected to approve a $27.3 million budget, according to James Hrabosky, vice president of finance and administration, that raises tuition about 6 percent and raises some fees, for a total increase of 8.75 percent. Butler also would use about $500,000 in reserves to balance the spending plan.
Beaver has 2,251 full-and part-time students, and Butler has 3,875. Butler also has a wider geographical reach, with campuses in Butler, Lawrence, Mercer and Jefferson counties, while Beaver has its campus in Center, an aeronautics program in Chippewa and a Washington County center in Southpointe. Both colleges have cited flat state funding in recent years as budget concerns. Both colleges also receive annual subsidies from their respective county governments, Beaver contributing nearly $3.7 million this year and Butler contributing $4.65 million.
Kissick said it's too soon to know whether a merger would lead to any job cuts, or change how union contracts would be handled. She said it's too early for the college to have discussions with union representatives. But Kissick added that she's in favor of at least exploring a merger.
“We'd like to see what this would look like,” Kissick said.
Bill Vidonic is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-380-5621 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Butler County authority: O’Malley’s leave from agency must remain confidential
- Butler County to raise fees on defendants in criminal court cases
- Mars board hopes to hire superintendent by May
- Butler community college opens 4-year degree options
- Former agency supervisor claims Butler County fired her because of her age
- Controller withholds housing agency check