- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
The College of Southern Maryland joined the parade of agencies and institutions begging for a more generous cut of the fiscal 2013 county budget, as CSM President Brad Gottfried asked the Charles County commissioners June 12 for money to operate the La Plata campus’ business building and fund new projects.
With the June 26 adoption of a fiscal 2013 budget looming, Gottfried asked county government for $9.4 million, $310,000 more than CSM received this year. Otherwise, the new fiscal year, which will begin July 1, will mark the fourth that CSM’s funding from Charles County has remained flat, Gottfried said.
The additional money would be used to operate the La Plata campus’ newly expanded business classroom building and pay for utilities, maintenance and cleaning, Gottfried said.
Funding also is needed to increase the college’s health insurance premiums by 5 percent, or $122,300. The college is asking the county to cover one-third of this cost, or $40,359, documents state.
“Those are bread and butter. We really need those dollars. The other two are a passion,” Gottfried said.
He then unveiled plans for a “diversity institute” and a “nonprofit institute,” the first intended to “address pressing social issues that are facing Charles County,” and the second to help charities function more like businesses, documents state.
“As you all know, during these tough economic times, nonprofits are being asked to do more and more and yet they are struggling because of management issues and funding issues. Many of them are not being run as a business. Many need to be consolidated. We believe, I believe fervently, what is needed is an institute that can work with each and every nonprofit,” Gottfried said, at a first-year price tag of about $40,000.
The diversity institute would cost “$53,000 to get this off the ground. Both of them would have part-time directors. ... It is on the cheap. Quite frankly it’s a starting point to hire someone in both of these arenas to take hold and with the vision we have for Charles County, make it even better,” Gottfried said.
As it is, Charles County is falling behind, relative to Calvert and St. Mary’s counties in its contributions to the school, Gottfried said. With the proposed budget, Charles County would be contributing 27 percent of the funds required to run the La Plata campus, while Calvert chips in 35 percent of the Prince Frederick campus’s needs and St. Mary’s pays 30 percent of Leonardtown’s.
“We’re going in the wrong direction. What’s happening is we’re cutting services and raising tuition, and with every raise in tuition … we’re driving students away. Driving students away is not good for Charles County,” Gottfried said.
Gottfried did not raise the matter during his presentation, but he also is seeking a site and funding for a fourth CSM campus, to be built in the area of Hughesville or Charlotte Hall.
Six properties are under consideration, three in Charles and three in St. Mary’s counties.
The college will be depending on the county government of whichever site is chosen to pay for the purchase or lease of the property, Gottfried said Monday.
Staff writer Jason Babcock contributed to this report.