Shoreline Community College officials will continue to plan for a range of potential budget cuts, following a Monday, Jan. 12, meeting of the President’s Senior Executive Team.
Vice President for Administrative Services Daryl Campbell outlined the difficulty of pinning down a specific target, despite the fact that Gov. Chris Gregoire on Dec. 18, delivered a budget proposal that calls for 6.5 percent reduction for the community college system statewide.
“The 6.5 percent number may not be realistic for Shoreline Community College,” Campbell said at the meeting. “The Governor’s budget identifies some areas of savings that (SCC) doesn’t currently get so we wouldn’t be able to cut them.” Campbell also talked about other variables, including action by the Legislature, which opened session on Monday, Jan. 12, and the potential for a worsening state and federal economic performance.
In addition, Gregoire called for a 5 percent tuition increase for community colleges, but Campbell said staff from the State Board of Community College and Technical Colleges (SBCTC) told him that any tuition hike could go into double digits. Such an increase could be a double-edged sword, he said. Higher tuition rates would bring more money, but also potentially bring lower enrollment if fewer students could afford the new rates, he said.
Campbell recommended that the college continue planning for 10, 15 and 20 percent reduction targets. “We should think of 10 and 15 percent as possible and 20 percent at the upper reaches,” he said.
At the meeting, vice presidents John Backes and Tonya Drake discussed preliminary looks at reduction plans in their areas, which include academic affairs and student success. Campbell said that all four vice presidents, including Stephen Smith in human resources, would meet their Friday, Jan. 16, deadline in presenting plans to President Lee Lambert. Before that happens, however, Campbell and Lambert will meet Wednesday, Jan. 14, with the college Budget Committee.