The Lane Community College board met Wednesday evening to hear public comment on the administration’s proposed budget. One hundred forty-five people signed up to speak.
The college needs to close a gap of over 10 million dollars due to declines in enrollment and state funding and increases in personnel costs. The Board promised to stay as late as they needed for everyone to have their three minutes. Here are some of their voices:
Blair: “Local directors, and directors across the state are looking for teachers that not only have a passion for early learning, but a degree in ECE [Early Childhood Education]. LCC would be moving in the opposite direction of Oregon in terms of advocacy for quality child care programs and teachers with a degree. Let’s align with the state’s priority of quality care and quality teachers and keep the ECE program.”
Reed: “Counselors represent an investment, an investment in everything that’s going to help us change our declining enrollment issues. It costs less for us to keep students than to spend money on trying to recruit more students, which is often where we get caught up.”
Salt: “If we need to scale our college back, then let’s keep the programs and the services that our students rely upon and let’s engage in more self-management. Our proposal proposes to save 600 thousand roughly dollars in management vacancies. The administration has no vacancy savings for management.”
That’s Kathryn Blair, Casey Reed, and Jim Salt.
During a break, Board Chair Rosie Pryor said this is the most difficult part of her job:
Pryor: “This is really, really hard. At the end of the day, we have hit a wall financially, there’s not enough money. And so the board is faced with making really tough choices, including tuition increases.”
College president Mary Spilde needs to present a balanced budget to the board at the next meeting on April 26th.
KLCC is licensed by Lane Community College. Some KLCC staff are college employees.