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* SCC asks employees for budget input

Budget thinking caps

 

Here is information and background material that may be helpful when thinking about potential budget reductions at Shoreline Community College. Ideas may be dropped off in red suggestion boxes that will be distributed around campus and submitted anonymously via and online form at: http://anonymous.shoreline.edu/
anonymouscomment.htm

 

Reduction timeline

  • Feb. 11-18: Campus-wide budget input sought
  • Feb. 12: Brown-bag Q&A lunch, noon-1 p.m., PUB Quiet Dining Room
  • Feb. 19-26: PSET reviews input, crafts reduction plan; discussion with labor representatives
  • March 1-12: Potentially impacted employees contacted by President Lambert
  • March 12: All-Campus Meeting, 12:30-2 p.m., PUB Main Dining Room; present reduction plan
  • April 2: All-Campus Meeting, 12:30-2 p.m., PUB Main Dining Room; present progress and any adjustments to reduction plan

Assumptions

  • Reduction range of $1.5 million to $2 million in state-appropriated funds
  • There are approximately 10 vacant positions that would likely remain vacant
  • Freeze restrictions in place through June, 2011
  • No special exemptions to freeze restrictions would be granted by the state
  • Current labor contracts remain in effect
  • Serve the same number of student FTEs
  • Decision and transparency guidelines are used
  • Strategic objectives used

Documents

Shoreline Community College officials are ready for the next step in the process that would cut between $1.5 million and $2 million from the college budget: Asking college employees for their ideas.

 

“The Legislature is still working, but we can’t wait for them to come up with a final budget number,” SCC President Lee Lambert said. “The Legislature doesn’t always work on our timetable. We have to come up with a plan we think will be close and then be able to make adjustments if we have to.”

 

One big adjustment has already been made.

 

“We started our process assuming that state economic forecasts are correct and that higher education would face cuts in each of the next three years,” Lambert said. “We said, ‘OK, then let’s look at what that might mean for the college, craft a three-year plan and restructure for the future.’ We were making good progress, but the spending freeze bill really takes much of that planning off the plate.”

 

The bill, ESHB 2921, has passed both the House and Senate and is headed to Gov. Gregoire’s desk. It includes much of the same spending restrictions imposed by the Legislature during a four month period last year. This time, however, the freeze would be for about 16 months, through June 30, 2011.

 

“The freeze means we can’t replace people who leave, can’t create new positions that might be needed in a restructure and really are forced into taking a short-term look at a long-term problem,” Lambert said. “There are exceptions and things we can do, but in many ways, our hands are tied.”

 

The next step for Shoreline, Lambert said, is to ask everyone in the college community for their ideas on how and where to make budget cuts.

 

“Based on Gov. Gregoire’s proposed budget and information since then from Olympia, we think the cut for Shoreline could be between $1.5 million and $2 million for next year,” Lambert said.

 

“The vice presidents have taken a first look at how they might make cuts that get us into that range and now we're at the point where campus input is essential to moving forward with this process," he said. "Before any decisions are made, I want to hear from anyone who has ideas or thoughts about how to address this budget challenge."

 

Deans and directors are being asked to schedule meetings with faculty and employees to help facilitate discussion. Also, a brown bag Q&A lunch session has been scheduled for noon-1 p.m., Friday, Feb. 12.

 

Lambert said it would be helpful if input honored the guidelines provided by a joint work group of the college’s strategic planning and budget committees. The vice presidents have added strategic objectives to the guidelines, creating a base for considering budget reductions.

 

Lambert acknowledged that there are many ways to make cuts, but that secondary implications and impacts must also be considered.

 

“Take furloughs for example,” he said. “Sounds good at first glance, but what if we voluntarily use furloughs and then the state comes in and mandates additional furloughs? Also, I worry that once we give that away, it might never come back. Furloughs may be a solution, but we have to consider the potential for unintended consequences from all options.”

 

Lambert said the input would be gathered and “every comment will be seen by me and every vice president.” The vice presidents and Lambert will then craft a reduction plan and speak with union representatives. Lambert would then speak with individual employees whose positions would be affected.

 

“There is nothing good about making cuts,” Lambert said. “However, we can try to do them in the most thoughtful and sensitive manner possible.”

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