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Del Tech requests funding to expand nursing program, maintain faculty salary competitiveness

Milton Pratt
Delaware Public Media

Gov. John Carney is recommending a 6.7% increase in Delaware Tech’s operating budget — just over $6 million — opposed to the 8.6% increase the college requested.

While the governor did not include the requested salary step increases for faculty and administrators, he backs full funding for Del Tech’s compensation stabilization plan.

Del Tech President Mark Brainard told the Joint Finance Committee that $980,000 will help continue the initiative to increase and maintain salary competitiveness compared to the state’s public school teachers.

“A couple of years ago, we ranked 17th out of 19, which is a problem in attracting high quality faculty to our programs, and we appreciate your support because right now we’re back to the middle of the pack," he says.

Brainard says Del Tech now ranks 12th in average salary compensation when compared to Delaware’s 19 public school districts.

The community college also requested $2.5 million to expand the associate degree nursing program — Carney recommended funding half of that.

President Mark Brainard says the expansion effort is a response to a recent meeting with the Delaware Health Care Association which continues to raise concerns about the statewide nursing shortage.

“My response to them was, ‘why reinvent the wheel?’ There’s an infrastructure – there’s a mechanism in place. There was an idea that somebody had, and it worked. Let’s make a proposal to the governor and OMB and see if they’d be willing to do this," Brainard says.

He explains the proposal would add about 48 nursing graduates to the pipeline.

If lawmakers approve the $1.25 million the governor recommended, Brainard says Del Tech will seek help from the Workforce Investment Board to deliver the other half.

Before residing in Dover, Delaware, Sarah Petrowich moved around the country with her family, spending eight years in Fairbanks, Alaska, 10 years in Carbondale, Illinois and four years in Indianapolis, Indiana. She graduated from the University of Missouri in 2023 with a dual degree in Journalism and Political Science.
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