Hazard Community and Technical College (HCTC) announced a record (unofficial) Fall 2009 enrollment of 4,714 students, a 16 percent increase over fall 2008. This is the largest all-time annual enrollment increase in the history of the College.
HCTC President/CEO Dr. Allen Goben said he wants to see the college continue to grow with more people being served, but noted that the increase does create a major strain on College departments. Our faculty and staff have done a tremendous job serving students despite state budget cuts over the last few years, Dr. Goben said, but it has truly stretched our resources paper thin. Our entire annual part-time faculty budget this year was already expended just to cover increased fall enrollment. Spring enrollment is expected to climb as well, and the College will have to shift funds from other areas to cover the increased instructional costs.
During the 2008-09 academic year, the Kentucky Community and Technical College System
(KCTCS) eliminated programs, reduced the number of courses and services offered to
students, and reduced the number of faculty positions in order to absorb a $13.5 million
reduction in state appropriations. KCTCS began the 2009-10 year with an additional
$4.4 million cut to its budget amidst wildly surging enrollment across the state.
It has been a long climb back to create capacity that continually and positively transforms the lives of Kentuckians. Dr. Goben added, We streamlined several areas to improve convenience even amidst a declining budget. Although it s a challenge and has stretched us to the limit, we re honored to serve Eastern Kentucky. HCTC provides real opportunities for real people that help grow our economy reduce our criminal justice and prison system costs and improve the education, health, and well-being of citizens. All of these things save the Commonwealth money or create revenue, making us a great investment of resources to lead a strong recovery.