Nassau Community College has proposed a budget for next year...

Nassau Community College has proposed a budget for next year which anticipates a tuition increase of $110 a year. Credit:

Nassau Community College has proposed a budget for next year that anticipates a sharp reduction in state aid, no local property tax increase, and a 3 percent tuition increase of $110 a year.

The proposed budget of $202,947,227 is slightly lower than the budget adopted at this time last year. The college submitted its budget in a memorandum to the Nassau County Legislature, which is to take up the plan at committee hearings on Monday.

The college, saying it had worked hard to control costs, said that the proposal was the first time since the college opened in 1959 that it has proposed a budget that was smaller than the budget it proposed the year before.

The lean budget did not stop the school from continuing with its long-range expansion plans. College officials held a ceremony Friday on the East Garden City campus to break ground on a new life sciences building.

The $40-million U-shaped building with an open-air courtyard will house the chemistry and nursing departments and should be ready in 20 months, the college said.

Nassau Community College president Donald Astrab is scheduled to testify Monday about the budget - the first he has overseen since he was named to the post in November. Astrab, former vice president of academic affairs at Brevard Community College in Florida, replaced Sean Fanelli, who retired in January after 27 years as head of the school.

"I believe that the college budget is an example of how to make difficult choices in tough times while still promoting academic excellence and educational effectiveness," Astrab said in remarks prepared for his legislative appearance.

The budget memo said tuition had to be increased because there was no increase in property taxes, and a cut in state aid of up $2.5 million, with more reductions on the table in Albany.

"Tuition is the only controllable source of revenue in our three-partner funding model," the statement said.

Tuition, now $3,622 a year, would increase to $3,732 for its 22,000 students, the memo said, adding that it would still be $44 less than Suffolk County Community College and $118 less than Westchester Community College if those schools enact proposed $200 annual tuition increases.

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