Senators seek to increase community college accountability

December 25, 2019 GMT

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — Two state senators hope to increase accountability and transparency in the budgeting process for New Hampshire’s community college system.

Sen. Dan Feltes, D-Concord, and Sen. John Reagan, R-Deerfield, both sit on the Senate Finance Committee. They expressed concern after the New Hampshire Technical Institute announced that it is laying off 10 people Dec. 27, including senior professors in the departments of English, education, accounting and social science.

While the layoff announcement came after the filing deadline for new legislation, the senators said they will seek some kind of legislative fix to address the issue.

“If you say you are going to do something with taxpayer money, then you should do it,” they said in a statement. “Laying off ten people during the holidays, when you said you would maintain present staff head count and you got a nearly 20% increase in taxpayer money, is just not the way to do business.”

College President Gretchen Mullin-Sawicki has said the decision was “very painful, but unfortunately necessary to create a more sustainable institution” at a time when enrollment has dropped 8% in the last year.