When the Ocean County College Board of Trustees voted in January to increase tuition and fees for the 2013 fiscal year, those fees had not gone through the proper channels, a professor told the board on Monday.
Kathleen Malachowski, a 20-year member of the college's faculty who served as chair of the college Senate last year, said the revisions to the fee structure circumvented the college's governance process, going directly to the board of trustees without any input from the Senate.
"That is not in accord with the college's procedure or with its bylaws," Malachowski said.
Tuition increased $4 per credit for Ocean County residents, to $98 per credit, and according to the minutes of the Jan. 25 meeting, course fees were only going to increase "where necessary." Technology and student fees were increased by $1. Tuition for out-of-county students stayed the same.
Malachowski said she complained to the curriculum committee and its chair, Martin Novelli, told her that OCC President Jon Larson said raising the fees was the college's prerogative.
Larson denied that claim on the spot: ""Martin never spoke to me," he said.
Malachowski said 114 course fees were increased, however, through what she said was a change in the way the courses were labeled.
A student who paid a fee of $50 in the spring for a particular biology class now pays $63 for that same class, she said, adding that not all of the fees are reimbursable.
"The proposed revision to the course fee structure should have gone through the (college senate)," she said.
Malachowski said she spoke to both the curriculum committee and to the college obudsman, David Wolfe, about the issue, and was told the college's deans knew about the increase.
Harvey York, who was the lone no vote on the tuition increase in January, told Malachowski the board would look into the issue before its retreat, which is scheduled for Sept. 14.
"That (the lack of input from the college senate) was not information we had when we voted," York said.