Shoreline Community College President Lee Lambert says he may be looking at as many as six potential budget-reduction plans.
Lambert made the comment Wednesday, Jan. 21, to a joint meeting of the college’s Budget and Strategic Planning committees. Also attending were members of the President’s Senior Executive Team (PSET).
Lambert said that vice presidents John Backes, Daryl Campbell, Tonya Drake and Stephen Smith had on Friday, Jan. 16, presented plans on how the college could meet potential budget cuts of 10, 15 and 20 percent. “The 20 percent level is more back-of-the-envelope,” Lambert said. “I don’t have the same level of detail at 20 percent.”
However, Lambert said after seeing the vice-presidents’ proposals, he asked them to take another look from a perspective of how cuts impact the college’s strategic plan. “I’ve been looking at how this could involve restructuring,” he said.
Budget Committee Chair Carla Hogan asked if that meant really six plans instead of three.
“Yes,” Lambert said. “Maybe six scenarios.”
Lambert and others continued to stress how the uncertain economic and political situation makes planning even more difficult. Holly Woodmansee pointed out that the 6.5 percent cut outlined in Gov. Gregoire’s proposed budget is really a systemwide average, not a specific target for Shoreline or any other college.
“That’s why we really need the state board to tell us what our percentage will be,” Lambert said.
A key point of the meeting was just how much and when would information be shared with committee members and the campus as a whole. Lambert said he was looking for a balance between enough information so that the committees could give useful feedback to PSET, but not so detailed that confidentialities or privacy issues might be violated.
Budget Committee member Bob Francis he’d prefer more rather than less information, but added, “I understand the horns of the dilemma you’re on.” Francis, who was closely involved in planning budget cuts less than two years ago, added: “I think this cut is going to be a lot nastier.”
Lambert and Backes each said they were committed to sharing as much as possible. "Nobody should be talking to anyone about losing their job unless it comes from me," Lambert said.
Lambert also outlined a tentative budget planning and communication timeline, including:
- Jan. 30, PSET planning finished.
- First week of February, discussions with union representatives.
- Feb. 1-20, discussions with State Board of Community and Technical College officials, Budget and Strategic Planning committees and PSET.
- Feb. 20, all-campus meeting to present budget-plan overview.
- Feb. 23-27, private meetings with potentially affected individuals .
- March 6, all-campus meeting to present budget-plan details.
- May 22, a tentative all-campus meeting.