Administrators Meet with State Legislators on Budget Priorities

Screenshot of Zoom meeting between PCC administrators and state legislators.

WINTERVILLE—Pitt Community College administrators met with state legislators Don Davis, Brian Farkas, Chris Humphrey and Kandie Smith recently to discuss state budget priorities they hope the N.C. General Assembly will address this year.

The meeting, which took place virtually Feb. 25 with new N.C. Community College System President Thomas Stith III also in attendance, featured the PCC leaders requesting salary increases for faculty and staff. Stith said North Carolina ranks near the bottom in the nation in terms of average salary for community college employees, and N.C. legislators have not approved a raise for them in two years.

Another PCC priority was to request an adjustment to the amount of money allocated to community colleges based on enrollment. Because the pandemic led to a decline in enrollment throughout the state, PCC officials asked legislators to make sure the General Assembly fully funds community colleges so they may assist with North Carolina’s economic recovery efforts.

Citing PCC’s longtime shortage of instructional space, the Pitt administrators asked legislators for support to construct a workforce development building on campus. They said the facility would allow the college to better respond to local workforce training needs and help PCC get closer to the state average in terms of square footage per student. While most college campuses offer approximately 120 square feet per student, PCC is closer to 70 square feet per student — the most crowded of North Carolina’s 58 community colleges.