The Northern Marianas College is not exempted from the government-wide austerity measures that are currently being implemented.
Interim NMC president Frankie Eliptico said in an interview with Saipan Tribune that non-instructional staff at the CNMI college had their biweekly hours cut by 10 percent, or eight hours, in response to the austerity measures that have been put in place to cope with revenue cuts.
Eliptico assured, though, that no classes will be affected.
All NMC classes scheduled for the spring 2019 semester will also continue as scheduled.
“The aim of these austerity measures is not only to reduce spending but, more importantly, to continue NMC’s commitment to students and its high-quality programs and services while exercising fiscal responsibility to avoid any budget deficit due to reduced budget allocation from the CNMI government,” he said.
Eliptico noted that employees earning less than $25,000 a year are exempt from the austerity measures, as well as federally-funded employees and instructional faculty.
In a March 22, 2019, letter to Eliptico, Gov. Ralph DLG Torres said that a 15-percent funding cut would be implemented by April 1, 2019.
That 15-percent reduction translates to about $400,000 less appropriated to the college for the remainder of fiscal year 2019, according to Eliptico.
According to Public Law 20-67, NMC is appropriated a total of $5.2 million for the fiscal year. Eliptico did not disclose how much the college has already received since the beginning of fiscal year 2019 and how much of their budget remains for the fiscal year.