Lane Community College’s budget committee recently released the first budget proposal for the 2018 fiscal year, with more to come. The goal is to balance the $10,683,300 budget deficit that the college has currently accrued, however, reaching this goal involves $7,322,300 in reductions.
In the category of reductions there are the following sections: materials and services, travel, part-time classified, part-time faculty, capital outlay, vacancies, reorganization, transfers and program and service reductions. This means that all of these line items will have funding either withheld temporarily, reduced or removed entirely. The biggest cut of all comes from program and service reductions with $1,630,700 possibly being eliminated.
According to the budget document provided at the April 12 Board of Education meeting, the following programs and services have been selected to take the hit — the majority of which are due to low enrollment.
- Counseling: Reduce two faculty counselor positions
- Early Childhood Education: Eliminate program
- Geographic Information Systems: Eliminate one-year certificate program
- Grants: Eliminate management position
- Honors Program: Eliminate program
- Religion and Philosophy: Eliminate disciplines
- Respiratory Therapy: Eliminate program
- Successful Aging Institute: Close program
- Watershed Science Technician: Eliminate program
- Workforce: Eliminate workforce development program
These proposed cuts will not only affect the students in these programs but will affect nine faculty members, four classified staff members and two manager positions. In response to these proposed cuts Lane’s Student Body President Robert Kirkpatrick spoke out.
“The student body has not given up on this campus,” Kirkpatrick said. “I am urging you and I will say please don’t give up yet on finding alternatives and find other ways to not take more money away from these students who are giving all they have.”
Kirkpatrick was not the only student to speak out at the April board meeting. Many students as well as college employees came up to the podium during the audience statement portion of the meeting to express to the board their concerns for the proposed cuts.
On Wednesday, April 19 there will be another board meeting to specifically address budget cuts and allow students and staff to state their opinions.
When speaking about the time and location of this meeting, board chair Rosie Pryor offered her voice.
“Whoever comes next week, we will endeavor to hear you, so if you chose to fill the room you do and we will work hard to hear everyone that wishes to be heard,” Pryor said.
The next meeting will be held in Building 19 Room 104 at 4:30 p.m. The agenda for this meeting as well as the current budget proposal can be found on Lane’s web site.