American Hero or Thief Mixing Corporate Greed with Public Institutions
From the time Mr Steve Wallace obtained FSCJ Presidential status, 15 years ago, the cost of tuition has increased 248% for Florida residents and 254% for out of state FSCJ students.
Under blasts from the corporate controlled media, Dr. Steve Wallace, FSCJ President, is reported as resigning from Florida State College position. In question are 4.7 million dollars. Further accusations and criminal charges should follow. Dr. Steve Wallace, Florida State College of Jacksonville former President, has a long history of exploiting the public for his personal gain at the detriment of students. His participation with the Florida Take Stock in Children program and the scholarship programs they have developed to guarantee the payment of these exorbitant tuition increases should be highly scrutinized. Criminal acts should be punished.
In March, another audit found problems with FSCJ’s financial aid appeals process that by September cost the college $4.7 million. The college’s financial aid workers approved almost 1,700 appeals to award Pell Grants or loans to students who did not qualify.
…A Times-Union report in July showed Wallace spent about $187,000 during two years on dining and drinks, travel, technology and other job-related expenses. Wallace also asked the college’s foundation to fund $16,000 in charitable donations often made in his name.
…On Sept. 30, Gov. Rick Scott called for a “top-down” review. The previous week, the head of the state Senate Higher Education Committee, Sen. Steve Oelrich, said a grand jury should investigate FSCJ’s finances.
“I have reviewed key findings associated with recent audits of FSCJ and am concerned that lack of management and financial oversight has hurt students at the college,” Scott said. “Such findings negatively impact the school, the taxpayers and the programs necessary to help students find the best jobs in the workforce.” Visible problems emerged with a state audit issued in January that brought to light several operational issues.
Well lets look at why the school might need to steal from the tax base to finance students higher education. We should also look at some of the the more elaborate schemes Mr. Wallace now stands accused of using to increase, tuition, his pay and the pay of others working at the FSCJ institution of higher learning. Mr. Wallace spoke just last week at the “Take Stock in Children” where he proudly boasted about collecting money to pay for Florida poverty students to attend colleges such as FSCJ. Since Mr Wallace obtained Presidential status, 15 years ago, the cost of tuition has increased 248% for in Florida residents and 254% for out of state FSCJ students. He has increased the cost of the tuition at alarming rates, while forcing the burden on tax payers and students.
Current costs (2012-2013) for getting a college education at Florida State College in Jacksonville are as follows:
$1,234.56 for Florida resident students/ semester $102.88/ credit hour
$4,791.24 for non-Florida resident students/ semester $399.27/ credit hour
Costs (2002-2003) 10 years prior for getting a college education at Florida State College in Jacksonville are as follows:
$649.20 for Florida resident students/ semester $54.10/ credit hour
$2,422.20 for non-Florida resident students/ semester 201.85/ credit hour
Costs (1997-1998) when Wallace became President. 1997-98 $41.50 $157.40
$498.00 for Florida resident students/ semester $41.50/ credit hour
$1,888.80 for non-Florida resident students/ semester $157.40/ credit hour
From jacksonville.com a 2002 historical perspective of FSCJ President Wallace’s raising tution:
Published Wednesday, June 5, 2002
FCCJ hikes tuitionBy Tia Mitchell
Times-Union staff writer,
Trustees for Florida Community College at Jacksonville voted yesterday to raise tuition and enact a new pay scale that means a raise for most faculty.
Trustees approved FCCJ President Steven Wallace’s recommendation to raise tuition about 5 percent to $45.31 per credit hour for college credit courses for in-state students, effective for the 2002-03 school year.
The increase, which is 12.5 percent above the standard tuition fee set by the Legislature, is part of the administration’s strategy to cover the costs of improving safety and security.
Tuition for vocation courses will be $41.40, an increase of 1.5 percent, while tuition for adult education courses will increase 1 percent to $20.40. Tuition for workforce development courses will remain flexible according to “market price.”
In previous years, tuition was set 10 percent above the standard fee. The extra 2.5 percent in 2002-03 will bring in an additional $400,000 for the campus security department.
Including required student fees, the total cost per credit hour will be $54.10 for in-state students and $201.85 for out-of-state students.
Steven Bowers, vice president of administrative services, said FCCJ plans to increase tuition for college credit courses 15 percent above the standard fee next year, the maximum allowed under state law.
“That’s part of our tuition strategy to go to the maximum because our appropriation funding has been limited,” Bowers said.
“But to protect students from too big a jump at once, we’re going to implement the strategy over two years,” he said.
While the tuition increase was passed by the board without any comments or debate from trustees or the public, several people spoke against the pay scale proposed for faculty and adjunct professors.
Jean Shepard, chairwoman of the South Campus fine arts and humanities department, said many of her adjuncts will actually earn less.
In the old system, adjuncts were paid by the hour for the time they spent in the classroom. In the new system, they will get $500 for each credit hour awarded by the course.
So, an adjunct who spends six hours a week in the classroom teaching a three-hour course made roughly $2,500 under the old system. Under the new system, the adjunct will make $1,500.
“So, although in some cases it benefits adjuncts, in others it doesn’t,” Shepard said.
Wallace said these cases are rare and most adjuncts will make more under the new system.
“We employ over 1,000 adjuncts a year and we believe the adjustments we’re making next year will affect fewer than five [negatively],” Wallace said. “Even with the adjustments that were addressed with concerns, the adjunct salary will be highly competitive.”
After about 10 minutes of public comment, the board approved the plan. Professional-level employees, which include everyone from secretaries to financial aid counselors, received a 3 percent raise.
Full-time faculty are now the only campus unit that has not addressed money matters for the upcoming school year. Wallace said representatives of the United Faculty of Florida have not contacted him to begin collective bargaining.
FCCJ’s professors, librarians and counselors voted in April to let the United Faculty of Florida bargain on their behalf.
Staff writer Tia Mitchell can be reached at (904) 359-4425 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here is a glance at the total cost for college credit course tuition and required fees in recent years at Florida Community College at Jacksonville.
In state Out of state 2002-03 $54.10 $201.85
2001-02 $51.45 $191.95
2000-01 $49.30 $182.55
1999-00 $47.10 $174.40
1998-99 $44.30 $168.00
1997-98 $41.50 $157.40 Note: The cost is per credit hour, and includes parking for students. Fees include services such as financial aid, health and technology.
Source: FCCJ administration