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SCC aims at $2.25 million reduction target

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Members of student government at Shoreline Community College, Huy Minh Nguyen, Robin Aranas and Ruby Kwong (from left) listen to SCC President Lee Lambert on Friday, Feb. 11, 2011, during an all-campus meeting.

 

Shoreline Community College is facing a $2.25 million budget reduction for the coming year and will unveil preliminary recommendations for how to get there on Feb. 22.

 

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“This is based on the Governor’s budget and information from the State

Board of Community and Technical Colleges,” Vice President for Administrative Services Daryl Campbell said at an all-campus meeting on Friday, Feb. 11, 2011.

 

The meeting had about 100 people in attendance with another 70 or so watching on webcast via Elluminate. “One of our assumptions is that the information we have will change, but we need to get started.”

 

Campbell also outlined a timeline and communication plan for when and how the college would arrive at a budget for the fiscal year starting July 1, 2011.

 

The budget proposed in January by Gov. Chris Gregoire would mean a cut of 9.2 percent to Shoreline’s state-allocated funds, Campbell said. Gregoire’s proposal also includes a 10 percent tuition increase and 3 percent salary reductions for all employees. However, those items come with caveats, he said.

 

While students would pay the increased tuition, Shoreline wouldn’t see all of it. “Some we give back to the state and the amount we do get depends on the mix of students,” he said. “It’s the same for all colleges.” Still, the State Board assumes Shoreline would get about $800,000 from the tuition increase. “They’re wrong, our experience shows we’ll get less than that, but we’re using their number for now,” he said.

 

On salary reductions, while Gregoire calls for pay cuts for all, her plan specifically exempts faculty. Then, Campbell pointed out, the classified employees’ union is in negotiations now with the state over a host of items, including pay. Despite that, Campbell said that for now, the college’s assumption will be the Governor’s assumption: pay cuts for classified and administrative exempt employees. “That’s about $230,000 for Shoreline,” he said.

 

After those and other add-backs, Shoreline would need to find $1.17 million in cuts. Campbell said that in round numbers, that would be achieved with an $800,000 reduction in instruction-related costs, $123,500 from the administrative services area, $123,500 from student services and $123,000 from the president’s office, which includes the Office of Advancement and the Human Resources Department.

 

“Next week, the deans and directors will get together and look at the details,” Campbell said. “On Feb. 22, we’ll publish initial recommendations with the preliminary list of position reductions.”

 

At that point, Campbell said, the campus must become involved in providing feedback. “We do that by engaging in problem solving,” he said. “I ask you, starting today, to engage in the process.”

 

Campbell said that from Feb. 23 to March 14, there will be a series of opportunities to ask questions and offer solutions.

 

“The Strategic Planning and Budget Committee said it is important to go out and talk to people,” he said, adding that a calendar of the scheduled events would be published online and included in weekly budget-related communications. “And, while any feedback is welcome, the committee also suggested the kinds of information that would helpful.”

 

Among those questions are:

  • What might the impact of the proposed budget cuts be on your job?
  • What might the impact of the proposed budget cuts be on your program?
  • In your area, what impacts to quality of instruction and/or student services from the proposed cuts might not be readily apparent to someone unfamiliar with your work, program and responsibilities?
  • Can you recommend alternative budget cuts to those proposed that would have less impact on your work, program and responsibilities?
  • Can you think of questions about the proposed cuts that might still be needed to be asked?

Campbell said that following the feedback period, the timeline would be:

  • March 15-25: President’s Senior Executive Team reviews the feedback
  • March 28-31: Union notifications
  • April 4-8: Formal notification to affected faculty
  • April 4-15: Formal notification to affected classified and exempt employees

After all affected employees had been notified, Campbell said the reduction plan would be published.

 

At the meeting, President Lee Lambert also spoke about the importance of and challenging times facing higher education. "President Obama has said, higher education is critical to the future of this country," Lambert said. "But, due to the economic challenges, we're going to have to do things differently.

 

"One thing Shoreline Community College should be proud of is that through everything that has been happening, we've never compromised the learning of our students."

 

SCC/Jim Hills

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