New College Institute would receive more than expected

June 20, 2006

Bulletin Staff Writer

The New College Institute likely will begin its first two years of existence with $100,000 more than expected.

The Senate on Monday approved a budget plan that includes $2.5 million over two years for the New College. The measure now goes to the House, where it is expected to pass in a floor vote today.

Prior to last Friday's budget agreement between House and Senate conferees, New College officials said the most they were likely to get from the state was $2.4 million, the amount originally earmarked for the institute by the House. The Senate's preliminary budget proposal included $1.4 million over two years for the college.

"It's great that the General Fund appropriation is $1.25 million each year," said NCI Executive Director Dr. Barry Dorsey. "That's the largest amount we could have hoped for."

The board of The Harvest Foundation will decide how much the organization plans to add to the state's General Fund contribution, though it has agreed to at least match it dollar-for-dollar, said interim executive director Allyson Rothrock.

If that match is realized, the institute will receive at least $5 million during the next two years.

Of the state money, the fiscal blueprint approved by the Senate stipulates that $650,000 be used to establish visiting faculty programs with three Virginia institutions of higher education.

The spending plan calls for $200,000 to be used to bring Radford University instructors to teach nursing programs; $150,000 to go toward a teacher education program offered through Longwood University; and $300,000 to be used to establish computer science and technology programs through the University of Virginia.

The first two of those programs were included in a slate of courses that NCI will begin offering this fall as part of a pilot program and U.Va. has agreed to teach courses toward a master's degree in education beginning in September.

Local students also will be able to enroll in a bachelor of arts in criminal justice program offered through Ferrum College and bachelor of business administration, master of business administration and master of education programs offered through Averett University.

The classes will be taught in uptown Martinsville's Shumate & Jessie building, which is being renovated to accommodate students by mid-August.


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