NCI to seek $1.5 million for next year

October 25, 2006

By CHARLES BOOTHE - Bulletin Staff Writer

With the doors of the New College Institute open barely a month, college officials have started the process of requesting an extra $1.5 million for next year.

"We have actually started work on the process (of requesting funds) for the next session of the General Assembly," said Dr. Barry Dorsey, NCI's executive director, explaining that agencies can request additional money for each year of the biennium budget.

Dorsey said the request is contingent on the approval of NCI's board, which will discuss the matter at its meeting Monday.

The process of seeking the money has begun because the filing deadlines did not coincide with NCI's board meeting schedule, he said, adding, "We had no choice but to submit (the necessary paperwork), and it's all preliminary pending approval by the board."

The request for those funds, he said, will go to the Secretary of Education and then to the Department of Planning and Budget before the governor sees it.

Dorsey said the governor should have his budget ready by December and "we'll know then if the request is approved."

The college was awarded a total of $2.5 million for 2006-2008, which was matched by The Harvest Foundation. The extra $1.5 million, if also matched by the foundation, would bring the 2006-2008 total to $8 million.

If approved by the General Assembly, the extra money, Dorsey said, would help NCI "create a teacher's academy that we're trying to put together to produce more math and science teachers in a short period of time for our area."

The money also would be used to obtain additional faculty-in-residence positions, he said.

But Dorsey cautioned that everything is preliminary and the two other higher education entities in Southside that are part of the consortium with NCI — the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research in Danville and the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center in South Boston — also have made requests for the same amount of money.

Dorsey said he has not heard how Gov. Tim Kaine's office has reacted to any of the requests and it probably is too early to tell, but the governor's budget (for the second year of this biennium) should be ready by December, and Dorsey is optimistic the request will be a part of that budget.

"He (Kaine) is very, very supportive of NCI and has been from the very beginning," he said. "And he was very positive today."


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