Increase in community college funding would help with low staff and faculty pay, hiring challenges
The N.C. Community College System has asked the state legislature for a $232 million increase in state funding over the next two years for increases in employee salaries and student investment.
Craven Community College President Ray Staats said average community college salaries in North Carolina are far below many other states nationwide.
“We are below average both in the southern region and nationally. I think we're ranked about 41st in the country,” he explained.
Staats said the disparity makes it hard to attract quality faculty and staff members, particularly in tech areas. He added that they often will advertise a position and only have one or two candidates. In some instances, he says before they can even hire a preferred candidate, they've accepted a job elsewhere.
Community colleges have also asked for $146 million in student investment, which would be distributed across the 58 colleges based on size and each college could choose how to spend the money.