Friday, December 18, 2009
* Document recommends budget criteria
The framework for deciding just how Shoreline Community College will respond to anticipated state budget cuts is starting to take shape with the release of a document recommending criteria and guidelines to be considered.
“I appreciate the thoughtful work that went into this document,” said Daryl Campbell, Vice President for Administrative Services. “It will be useful as the college moves forward with another round of painful cuts forced by the continuing deterioration of the state budget.”
The criteria and guidelines come from a subgroup of the Budget and Strategic Planning committees, formed in early November. The document was forwarded to President Lee Lambert and his President’s Senior Executive Team. PSET reviewed the document, then discussed clarifications with Budget Committee Chair Mary Kelemen and Strategic Planning Committee Chair Kira Wennstrom. Subgroup members were Larry Fuell, Mary Bonar, Gillian Lewis, Chip Dodd, Susan Hoyne and Angela Atkinson.
“I wanted to be sure that (PSET) understood the intent behind the words,” Campbell said of the meeting with Kelemen and Wennstrom. “It was helpful and the result was we agreed to make some changes to ensure clarity.”
Entitled, “Criteria for Restructuring and Guidelines for a Transparent Process,” the document focuses on two areas: considerations for making cuts and then recommendations to help the campus see how those decisions were made.
“Both of those areas are very important,” Campbell said. “Difficult choices lie ahead. We have to be sure that the college retains what it needs to not just survive, but move ahead. In addition, a transparent process that lays out the rationale for those decisions can help make them understandable, perhaps not easier, but at least understandable.”
Criteria for Restructuring and Guidelines for a Transparent Process
Developed by the Budget and Strategic Planning Committees
in collaboration with PSET
Based upon major budget reductions in 2010, the existing Mission, Strategic Plan, and the organizational structure of Shoreline Community College will have to be modified. These changes should take into account the interconnected nature of the college’s programs and services. These changes should be viewed as strategies to sustain the institution well into the future. PSET should determine the strategic, financial and organizational direction of the college, and announce it to the campus community as soon as the restructuring process gets underway. Throughout the coming weeks and months, PSET should regularly provide information in order to facilitate transparency of the process, and ensure that PSET has the information needed to facilitate effective decision making.
When deciding on these changes, PSET should operate under the following core principles:
Shoreline Community College must meet its contractual obligations.
Shoreline Community College must remain an accredited institution.
Shoreline Community College must meet its current FTE target allocation.
PSET should restructure the college in order to optimize programs and services in consideration of the institution’s strategic direction as determined by PSET.
This process should include:
Optimizing support services/programs/disciplines, with respect to FTE generation in relation to how they serve the needs and demands of the students and the greater college community
Streamlining services/departments for efficiency
Maximization of revenues and funding source
To ensure transparency, decisions regarding the reorganization should be collaborative, understandable, and communicated in a timely fashion. The following is intended to provide PSET with guidance around these general principles. PSET should:
Determine the college’s strategic objectives, and share them with the campus.
Frame the rationale for restructuring in light of these strategic objectives.
Throughout the entire process, communicate regularly with all units through Deans and Directors, and via all-campus meetings.
Throughout the entire process, describe and explain how qualitative and quantitative information is being considered in decision making.
Communicate the rationale for all final restructuring decisions to the campus in a clear and timely fashion after the process concludes.
Thursday, December 17, 2009
* Budget on menu at brown-bag discussion
At the second in a series of brown-bag lunches focusing on budget issues, Shoreline Community College President Lee Lambert outlined challenges on the horizon.
Laying a Foundation may take some investment
Shoreline Community College needs more money, but it could take spending some to make some, Shoreline Community College President Lee Lambert said at a budget-focused, brown-bag lunch discussion, Dec. 15, 2009 in the PUB Quiet Dining Room.
“I believe we’ll have to invest in our Foundation to get it to the point where it can be a significant help to the college,” Lambert said.
Lambert said the college needs to reduce its reliance on state support and is taking steps to increase dollars from grants and contracts. The efforts of Judith Hansen, who came to SCC this fall for part-time help on grants, are already paying off, he said.
Lambert acknowledged that adding resources anywhere at a time of cuts could be seen as difficult, but that the college can’t wait or depend on more money from the state. He said state support has continued to decline, with more cost burden shifted to students in the form of tuition.
“There is talk about new taxes,” Lambert said, adding that if a tax hike is approved, any help, “doesn’t appear it would include higher education.”
A healthier foundation, however, is something that would help the college, he said. The details of how a foundation is structured and tied to the college are important.
“There are two schools of thought,” said Lambert, calling them “self-support and “college support.”
“Clark College has the self-support model,” Lambert said, adding that in some cases, a completely autonomous foundation can lose touch with college needs. He also said that a self-support model at Centralia Community College failed. “Ours is 100 percent on the college, but that also has problems. The best is 51 percent college, 49 percent self-support.”
“Gov. Gregoire’s recently released budget sets the stage for the conversation in Olympia,” Lambert told the group of about 35 gathered Dec. 15, 2009 in the PUB Quiet Dining Room. “It won’t be the budget we end up with, but it does outline the challenge.”
Lambert noted that this fall, higher-education officials had been expecting to deal with an $80 million cut. The Governor’s budget pegs that number at $89 million, about 11 percent more than anticipated. However, it isn’t clear how that reduction, or any number that comes in a final budget, would be allocated to colleges and universities across the state.
Despite the uncertainties, Lambert said it appears that Shoreline’s share could be in the $1.5-million to $2-million range. “The problem is that 85 percent of our operating budget is for people,” Lambert said. “We can’t do this without impacting people.”
Another challenge for Shoreline’s budget, he said, is the college pays those people. “In terms of students served, we’re the 10th largest community college in the state, despite having the smallest catchment area,” he said. “However, we rank No 3 in faculty costs, sixth in classified employee costs and 12th in administrative costs.”
Making any cuts will be difficult, especially if the state continues to hold to the current student-number targets for higher-education. Lambert acknowledged the strain the college is feeling now, with the specter of being asked to continue with even fewer employees of all categories.
Faced with a rock and hard place, Lambert said college officials are attempting to take a new look at the overall structure and how it addresses the basics of legal and contractual requirements, the accreditation process and Board of Trustees core themes. “At some level, we’re looking at reorganizing the college to be able to move forward,” Lambert said.
To help that process, a work group formed from members of the Budget and Strategic Planning committees has submitted recommendations to the President’s Senior Executive Team. That document is currently being reviewed by PSET members. Also, some PSET members are just starting meetings to envision how the college could meet both of the state’s target numbers: students and budget.
Another avenue may be collaborative efforts with other colleges, Lambert said.
Lambert said he has been in discussions with officials at Lake Washington Technical College looking for areas of collaboration and cooperation that may cut costs or bring added revenue. “I recently had lunch with two of our trustees, their president and two of their trustees,” Lambert said. “Now Everett Community College heard about it and they want to join the discussion. This is not a merger, just working together in a way that helps everyone.”
Lambert also touched on the need for technology upgrades to carry the college forward. Those upgrades will be expensive, perhaps $1 million to start. Funding those upgrades would mean additional cuts someplace else to pay for them.
Wednesday, December 09, 2009
* SCC Hosts Preschool Preview Night on January 7, 2010
Finding the best preschool for your child can be overwhelming with so many things to consider.
That is why Shoreline Community College’s Parent Education Program is partnering with ParentMap to sponsor one of three Preschool Preview Nights, from 5:30 to 8 p.m., Thursday, January 7, 2010 in the PUB Main Dining Room.
Faculty and staff from approximately 30 preschools from across Seattle, Shoreline, north King County and south Snohomish County will share information about their preschools from general information about the centers to curriculum. Parents will have the opportunity to talk one-on-one with preschool teachers and learn about the general environment of the preschool, curriculum, learning activities and materials, one-on-one and small group opportunities for children to work and play with instructors, and reading time and play time. They will also have the chance to talk to other parents about their children’s experiences at different schools.
Parents will go home with materials and a much better sense of what preschool might be best for their child or children.
A few of the preschools participating, in addition to the parent cooperative preschools affiliated with Shoreline Community College, are Capitol Hill Cooperative Preschool; Hearing, Speech and Deafness Center; Pacific Northwest Montessori Association, Kinder Kampus Preschool and Child Care and The Highlands School.
Remarks by parents who have attended Preschool Preview Nights previous years:
• “The preschool Preview Night was very useful especially for people like us who were looking at preschools for the first time.”
• “Thanks for having it. It woke me up to the fact that it was time to start looking and enroll my preschooler for the Fall - ALREADY!!!”
• “I found three schools that I didn’t know about previously and have now gone to their open houses.”
As a co-sponsor of the Preschool Preview Night, Shoreline Community College’s Parent Education Program will provide information about the seven parent cooperative preschools (located in Shoreline, Lake Forest Park, Bothell, Woodinville, and Kirkland) that are affiliated with the college. The college provides parent instructors for all the preschools, which offer a developmentally appropriate, play-centered curriculum for children birth through five years old. Parents whose children are enrolled in the preschools participate in the preschools on a weekly basis and earn college credit for the parent education that they receive.
The other Preschool Preview Nights will be held on January 13, 2010 at Meydenbauer Center and on February 27, 2010 at Clover Park Technical College.
For more information, please check out the Preschool Preview Nights at the ParentMap web site at: http://www.parentmap.com/.
To learn more about Shoreline Community College’s Parent Cooperative Program (seven locations), please check out the web site at: http://www.shoreline.edu/parentcoop.aspx.
Shoreline Community College is located at 16101 Greenwood Avenue North, just west of Aurora Avenue and north of Seattle city limits.
Monday, December 07, 2009
* Jobs and Economic Growth Forum finds financing a key block
State Rep. Maralyn Chase, D-32nd Dist., listens during a forum on jobs and economic growth, Dec. 7, 2009, at Shoreline Community College. More photos.
The current tight credit market is squeezing out the possibility of significant growth for the green economy and green-collar jobs, according to speakers at a forum on how to spur both areas.
“We need to establish parameters for green lending,” said Jeff King, manager for Cascade Bank’s Shoreline Branch. King was one of 25 people attending the Monday, Dec. 7, 2009, forum hosted at Shoreline Community College. State Rep. Maralyn Chase, D-32nd Dist., was moderator.
Chase called for the forum at White House behest after President Barack Obama’s similar meeting this past week in Washington, D.C. The President is schedule to address jobs creation again in a speech Tuesday, Dec. 13. “I’m not sure how many of these forums are happening around the country, but we’re doing it and we’ll get the information back to the President,” Chase said.
King said that with banking rules and regulations “changing so dramatically,” it is difficult for him to make a loan for an energy efficiency retrofit such as insulation, solar module installation or other green projects. “I may be able to make a home equity loan, if there is equity, but much more difficult for a business,” he said. “If I can’t do the loan, I will call around, but it is tight.”
Mike Nelson, director of SCC’s Clean Energy Technology Center, got the forum directed at financing with a quick Economics 101 lesson.
“Businesses don’t create jobs, markets create jobs and markets don’t happen without capital,” said Nelson, who is also with the Washington State University Energy Extension and director of the Northwest Solar Center. “The most important thing to create is the financing. The technology is ready, the financing isn’t.”
Roger Valdez, a researcher associate with Sightline Institute, agreed with financing as the crux of the problem.
“At Sightline, we’ve been researching green-collar jobs and what needs to be done to stoke demand,” Valdez said. “The major problem is there is no access to easy financing.”
Running a close second to financing was worker training, specifically, certified training that is tied to industry and jobs, Valdez said.
“That’s just what we do at the Professional Automotive Training Center here at Shoreline,” said Don Schultz, director of the program that is tied to manufacturers and dealers. “All of the training is certified by ASE (Automotive Service Excellence) and the manufacturers. When they leave us, they have a degree and certifications they can take anywhere.”
Jim Hammond, director of the Puget Sound Auto Dealers Association, said the school’s model can be replicated in other industries. “This is the national leader in automotive technician training,” Hammond said.
Schultz said he and other college are working on partnerships that would bring national certifications criteria to clean-energy technology training and jobs.
SCC President Lee Lambert reminded the group that automotive technician careers are green-economy jobs. “These are green jobs,” Lambert said. “We’re training them in a paperless environment, a clean environment, an emphasis on recycling.”
Others representing groups at the forum included: Dusty Hoerler of Sustainable Works, Shoreline City Council members Chris Eggen and Janet Way; Shoreline Chamber of Commerce President Wendy DiPeso, Larry Owens of NW Mechanical and Shoreline Solar Project, Maryn Wynne, Shoreline Solar Project, John Vicklund, director of Washington Manufacturing Institute, Mark McVeety of the Small Business Accelerator program at SCC, and Jim Hansen of Ravenna Capital Management.