Thursday, June 25, 2009
* College adopts operating and SS&A budgets
It took only a moment for the Board of Trustees to approve the 2009-10 General Fund Operating Budget at the June BOT meeting on Wednesday, June 24 at the Lake Forest Park campus. Vice President of Administrative Services Daryl Campbell and Budget Director Holly Woodmansee had presented the details of the proposed budget at a special session last Wednesday, June 17.
Details of the proposed Student Services and Activities (SS&A) budget were also presented to the Board at the special session on June 17. However, action on the SS&A budget took a different path.
At last week’s special session, Ursula Wright, Minister of Finance, Student Body Association (Student Government), reported that in its SS&A budgeting process, funding was either significantly reduced or not allocated for the 2009 – 2010 fiscal year for three CAT II (Category II Organizations)—the Concert Band; the College Gallery; and Spindrift, the College’s art and literary journal. As a result, students, alumni, faculty and community members attended the meeting on the 24th and during the meeting’s Open Comment period, respectfully expressed their support for the programs with passion and conviction.
A Shoreline AFA graduate talked about the merits of Spindrift and the College Gallery. “When I found out about what was going on with funding for Spindrift and the Gallery, I just had to come here to talk about how important they are to students.” She went on to talk about the importance of students having the opportunity to show their work, especially students seeking AFA transfer degrees, saying that their resumes have to reflect their work being shown publicly. “Where else would we have that opportunity?” she asked.
Gallery Director Natalie Niblack thanked President Lambert for the College providing “bridge funds” to support the Gallery until the issues in question can be resolved. She also stated, “The total function of the Gallery is education” and that all the exhibits have an educational component. She gave an example of an upcoming Native American show, saying that she is hoping the artist will talk to art students as well as members of the First Nations Club. “It’s a requirement for the Associate Fine Arts degree for students to show their work,” she added. Niblack also spoke about the Gallery as a recruiting tool, saying that potential students see it when they visit the campus.
The Trustees also heard from Spindrift staff members who spoke passionately about the opportunities that the magazine provides students. One student talked about the credibility that being published brings them, not only as students but as artists. “It’s great to see your work published – and use it as part of your portfolio,” she said. The literary editor of the 2009 edition said, “To get to experience this kind of work has been life changing for me. It’s a really important part of my life. Everyone involved feels extremely passionate about it,” she said referring to all the benefits that working on Spindrift brings to students.
A community member’s remarks were on the lighter side, saying that he is retired and doesn’t need a resume at this point. “I can really brag about it to my wife and kids, though,” he said about his work being shown in the Gallery and included in Spindrift. He went on to say that he had spent a lot of time with students and had seen how much both the Gallery and Spindrift meant to them.
Kathie Hunt, Humanities Professor, shared the importance of the Gallery for all students. “My students, mostly of whom are not art students, go to the Gallery every quarter to draw, sketch, write and talk about the art and the diversity,” she said. She thanked Niblack for bringing the works of not only our students, but the broader diverse population and for supporting diversity on our campus.
About a dozen people told the Trustees the importance of keeping these programs and the Trustees all agreed that these programs were incredibly valuable to not only our students but to our community.
Trustee Smith stated, “Art is not a luxury. It is nourishment.” He spoke about the value of the Gallery exhibiting the works of students as well as the works of non-students, mentioning nationally recognized artists as an example. In relation to Spindrift, Smith asked, “What could be better than having our students’ work published alongside nationally recognized artists’ works?” Although the majority of the discussion focused on Spindrift and the College Gallery, Trustee Stucky put in a plug for the Concert Band, saying there had been some confusion on student fees supporting Continuing Education students. Stucky pointed out that these students paid their own travel expenses.
A student added that he was disappointed that Student Government had not let students know about this situation earlier. Student Leadership Center/Student Government Program Manager Jamie Ardeña acknowledged that communication about the situation could have been better. He provided an overview of the SS&A budget process and how notification to organizations on the SS&A allocations followed past practices. He recognized that the process needs to be reorganized so that organizations are informed of the recommended allocations for the next fiscal year in a timely manner.
President Lambert told the Board that Vice Presidents John Backes and Tonya Drake and Dean Norma Goldstein convened a meeting on Monday, June 22 with members of the Student Body Association and the faculty with oversight of the Concert Band, the Gallery and Spindrift to begin a dialogue about how to get the programs back on track. Lambert said they will continue to work with all three programs and “try to fill the gap while working on a resolution.” He continued, “My hope is that students will reinstate the funding so the College doesn’t have to pick up the full tab.”
Lambert agreed that there it is apparent that there is a breakdown related to the SS&A budget process—the Board approves the budget and then, notification to the organization requesting SS&A funding, typically follows. He made it clear that this was not a fault of the current Student Body Association leadership as “The students have been doing what has been done in the past. This we can address into the future.”
Shoubee Liaw, Chair of the Board, agreed with Lambert’s statement. She added that she appreciated the efforts of this year’s Student Government as the SS&A budget process was completed in a much more timely fashion than in previous years. She reminded attendees that, “This is student money. and asked faculty, staff and students to “be mindful of the Student Government’s budgetary processes and timelines as we want them to be respectful of our timelines.”
The SS&A budget discussion ended with President Lambert proposing four options for the Board’s consideration:
1. Approve SS&A budget as presented
2. Not approve the SS&A budget as presented
3. If there is a difference of opinion, the College and the Student Government will commence with a conciliation process to address the issues in the SS&A budget and “bring the budget” back to the Board for approval. (Note: With the incoming Student Government not starting until August and the timing factors, the presentation to the Board was estimated for October.)
4. Approve the budget as with the proviso that Student Government will work with Administration to resolve the issues surrounding the allocations related to the three organizations (Concert Band, the Gallery, Spindrift) with a “report back” to the Board as an information item on the outcome of the work between the Student Government and the Administration.
Following a discussion, the Board, by motion, approved option 4.
SCC/D. Myers and L. Yonemitsu
Friday, June 19, 2009
* Education + Industry = Successful Partnership
Automotive Training Center Expansion is Underway at SCC
It’s common knowledge that education and industry working together equates to opportunity and success. Students get the education they seek, industry gets the trained workforce they need, and the economy reaps the rewards.
Right now at the northwestern corner of Shoreline Community College you can see the effects of this kind of partnership in action. Thanks to state funding and the commitment of local dealerships and private donors, a $4.2 million expansion of the college’s Professional Automotive Training Center is underway.
Although construction is in its early phase, the size of the 22,000+ square foot addition is easy to visualize. Concrete flooring is already in place on both the northern and western sides of the original structure. The concrete tilt-up walls are also currently being framed. The pouring of the walls is planned for July 2, with July 8 slated for tilting them into place
The western portion of the addition will be a two-story structure that will be home to Toyota Corporation's training quad. Classroom space for the college's Toyota T-TEN Program will occupy a generous portion of the floor as will six training quads for corporate upgrade training for Toyota, Hyundai, Kia and Volvo, and Snap-on Industrial and Hunter Engineering. The area will also provide space for restrooms and a storage room for tools and equipment for the college programs. The upper floor will provide badly needed faculty offices as well as a dining area that will be used for corporate events. The northern addition will provide an additional eight bays for college training programs.
Construction of the new facility is in the hands of the competent Sierra Construction Company, a Woodinville based general contractor and construction management company that specializes in commercial, industrial and tenant improvement construction. They have done renovation work for Bellevue and Lower Columbia community colleges as well as Washington State University and others, and came highly recommended.
The addition is in response to a significant shortfall of qualified technicians the state has been facing for several years.
“Dealerships throughout the Pacific Northwest have seen the effects of a workforce that cannot meet the needs of our communities,” said Jim Hammond, President of the Puget Sound Automobile Dealers
Association, a proactive organization that supports dealerships. “We realized that we could help out by providing more training and that in order to do so, we needed a larger training facility. We are so grateful to Toyota Motor Sales USA, PEMCO Insurance, and all the banks, insurance companies and new car dealers who made this possible.”
|The Puget Sound Automobile Dealers Association made the expansion possible through a fundraising campaign. $2 million came from the state and $2.2 million from private sources. |
Additionally, enrollment in the college programs has been bursting at the seams for years and dealerships continue to need college facilities for upgrade training for their technicians -- the need for more classrooms and training space is at a premium. The addition will provide training and office space for both the college’s factory-sponsored training programs – Chrysler CAP, General Motors ASEP, Honda PACT and Toyota T-TEN programs, and for dealership and corporate upgrade training.
“It’s an incredible opportunity for our students to have the corporate training right here,” said Don Schultz, Interim Director, Professional
Automotive Training Center, and the man behind the program itself. The onsite programs will provide opportunities for our students to meet and talk with the factory instructors, support their training in the sponsoring dealership, and share technology, tools and vehicles and more. The local economy will benefit as well. “Our partner businesses will send their incumbent workers from across the region for their upgrade training,” he said, which includes Oregon, Montana, Idaho, Alaska and Washington. “These partnerships also support our local economy – our hotels, restaurants, and other businesses.”
|"The expansion of the Professional Automotive Training Center is a perfect example of how partnerships work in the truest sense." Don Schultz, Interim Director, Professional Automotive Training Center Shoreline Community College |
Another bonus for Shoreline students and incumbent workers, Snap-On Tools has partnered with the college and will provide training on automotive diagnostic tools at the college. The Snap-on tools are used widely in industry, not only in the auto industry, but also in the emerging green technology sector, such as wind and solar power. The automotive diagnostic tools company has had a relationship with the college and PSADA for years, donating more than a million dollars worth of tools to the college’s automotive programs. Read more about this partnership online at the On Campus blog at:
Completion is slated for mid-November, however Sierra Construction believes they will have the project completed by Fall Quarter 2009. Upon completion, the auto manufacturers will move in.
The center has garnered national acclaim for its innovative partnerships between industry and the college since its doors opened in 1992. With the reputation as the best automotive program in the country, more than 60 colleges from as far east as New York state and as far north as Alaska have travelled to Shoreline to see firsthand what is happening on the north end of Shoreline’s campus in the Professional Automotive Training Center. All of them have heard about the national awards that keep finding their way to Shoreline and all of them want to learn about the unique partnership between business, industry and education that has made it all possible. Several of these schools have replicated the Professional Automotive Training Center model.
“Without the commitment to industry, we never could have done this,” said Jim Hammond, Executive Director of the Puget Sound Automobile Dealers Association.
* Summer enrollment sets record
It looks like more students than ever before will be at Shoreline Community College this summer.
“We’re seeing numbers that put us ahead of last summer’s count in every category,” said Chris Linebarger, director of recruitment and enrollment services. The surge pushes enrollment over the target for 2009 summer quarter with the most state-supported student FTEs, or full-time equivalents, ever.
As of Thursday, June 18, the college had 2,075 state-supported student FTEs enrolled for summer quarter which starts Monday, June 22. The summer quarter target is 1,800 FTEs. The previous high-water mark for a summer quarter was in 2003, with 1,876 state-supported student FTEs
“It can be difficult to compare specific numbers because of changes over the years in the way the state has asked us to track students,” Linebarger said. “But clearly, lots of people are coming to Shoreline Community College.”
Linebarger noted that while classes started Monday, June 22, students can still register. Registration is also being taken now for fall quarter. “Fall quarter numbers are ahead of last year’s, too,” she said.
All state colleges count enrollment in terms of FTEs. The actual number of students, or headcount, can vary depending on class load and other factors. For example, two half-time students combine to count as one full-time equivalent student.
The FTE count is important because that’s how the state funds colleges. Each college is allocated money based on a set number of FTEs. If a college serves more than the state-set FTE target, it gets a larger slice of those students’ tuition, but it doesn’t receive any additional state support for those students.
If the summer trend continues through the year, SCC will serve more students than its state allocation, but that doesn’t mean enrollment would be limited.
“We’re here to serve students,” SCC President Lee Lambert said. “While we are experiencing budget cuts, we’ll continue to provide the education and training that students want and need and help get the state economy going again.”
Thursday, June 18, 2009
* SCC's budget unveiled just as Gov. Gregoire calls for more cuts at state agencies
As expected, the overall 2009-10
Gov. calls for 2% cut
Gov. Chris Gregoire is asking for more cuts from state agency budgets.
In an e-mail sent late Thursday, June 18, 2009, Gregoire asked for all “executive Cabinet agencies to decrease their General Fund employee costs by 2 percent from what was budgeted.”
Gregoire cited numbers in the revenue forecast released the same day, June 18, which indicate further losses of about $482 million over the next two years. The report also says that any turnaround could start later this year.
Gregoire acknowledged that with the current hiring cap in place, the move “may necessitate furloughs, reductions in force or reductions in overtime, or not filling vacancies.” She said agencies will be able to fill positions needed for core duties and to accomplish reforms enacted during the past legislative session. “I’m also directing agency directors to continue their stewardship of controlling spending on equipment purchases, out-of-state-travel and personal service contracts,” she said in the message.
Shoreline Community College President Lee Lambert said that additional state cuts are not a surprise.
“We anticipated this,” Lambert said early Thursday evening. “While we don’t have figures yet and await direction from the state board, we were conservative in building the proposed budget we just showed to our Board of Trustees."
“We’ll exercise prudence, and (the President’s Senior Executive Team) will meet Monday to discuss this.”
budget for Shoreline Community College looks to be going down a little more than 10 percent.
“The total reduction of $2.716 million includes the approximately $1 million we cut for this current year,” Vice President of Administrative Services Daryl Campbell told the college Board of Trustees at a special June 17, 2009, study session.
The special session was called just for the preliminary review and no public comment period was scheduled. A final budget is expected to be adopted at the board’s regular meeting, scheduled for June 24, at the Lake Forest Park campus.
Campbell said the proposed budget includes the 7 percent tuition increase approved by the state Legislature and ordered by the State Board of Community and Technical Colleges. However, budget director Holly Woodmansee clarified that in the world of state finances, 7 percent doesn’t always mean 7 percent.
“We will realize abut 5.2 percent,” Woodmansee said prompting Trustee Roger Olson to ask, “Where does the other 1.8 percent go?”
Woodmansee explained that a process of takeaways and givebacks is involved in turning 7 percent into 5.2 percent.
“First, 3.5 percent of all tuition is required to go into a tuition loan fund," Woodmansee said. Then, the college adds back various fees with the bottomline equaling 5.2 percent.
In addition, Woodmansee said college officials are proposing to take about $256,000 of the expected tuition increase for a tuition set-aside. “We did that just in case tuition doesn’t come in at the levels we expected,” she said.
Woodmansee acknowledged that while enrollment numbers for both summer and fall quarters are doing well, the budget covers the entire year. “This is a conservative approach,” she said.
Campbell noted that an additional $50,000 is identified in the proposed budget as a cushion for salaries and benefits. “That’s about $300,000 as a contingency fund,” Campbell said. Adding that the college hasn’t always had such breathing room, he was also cautionary: “There’s always the possibility of additional cuts being imposed by the state (See related story).”
Not in the budget, Campbell said, were any of the fee-related changes being proposed. SCC President Lee Lambert explained the approach by saying, “We wanted you to see what is being proposed and see if any of you have any heartburn before counting on it in the budget.”
Vice President for Academic Affairs John Backes said the deans and others, along with business office representatives, did an extensive review of all college fees paid by students. Backes noted that some fees went up, some down, some were eliminated and some consolidated.
Stuart Trippel, Acting Director, Financial Services, did a comparison analysis of four “typical” students as an illustration of the fee impacts.
For the resident transfer student example, Trippel said costs would go from $1,078.71 to $1,168.56, an 8.3 percent increase. The resident professional-technical student example showed a 1.8 percent decrease, from $1,112.79 to $1,092.99. The first quarter, non-resident, non-citizen student example saw a 6.6 percent increase, from $2,957.69 to $3,152.49. The resident eligible veteran student example showed a 9.2 percent increase, from $567.99 to $620.50.
The trustees expressed general concern about costs, but indicated they understood the nature of and need for the fee changes.
The student budget presentation was made by Minister of Finance Ursula Wright and most of the trustees’ questions revolved around two programs not funded: the college art gallery and the Spindrift literary magazine.
Money in the student budget comes from fees and Wright said the student budget committee was very focused on student money going to help students. Wright said the students started with a process to determine decision criteria and then applied those criteria to budget requests.
Regarding the art gallery, Wright said it should be exclusively student art and it should be in a location more visible to more students. The gallery is now in the Administration (1000) Building and some of the art comes from off-campus sources, she said.
As for Spindrift, Wright said students were again concerned that it didn’t contain exclusively student work. Students also questioned why the book’s purchase price doesn’t reflect the production costs.
Another arts-related reduction was in the budget line for the concert band. Wright said that students from the Center for Business and Continuing Education division are in the band and benefit from general student fees, but that CBCE students don’t pay those fees. A funding request for a band trip to British Columbia was denied, Wright said.
All is not lost for the unfunded programs, however. Wright noted that while those funds were not approved, that money wasn’t spent elsewhere. “We still have the money,” she said.
Lambert asked Wright if she felt student government would be willing to look at some sort of cooperative approach with the college and also noted a meeting between college officials, student government officers and faculty is tentatively scheduled for June 22. Wright said she thought the students would be open to discussion.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
* State Board declares financial emergency
A financial emergency has been declared for Washington’s community college system.
Members of the State Board of Community and Technical Colleges made the declaration at their meeting Thursday, June 11, 2009. While the depth of the financial challenge facing the state has been known for some time, the board was required to wait until Gov. Chris Gregoire signed the 2009-11 biennial budget, making official the impacts to the colleges. Today was the first opportunity for the board to meet since Gregoire signed the budget on May 19.
“This will make no difference to the budget-related processes here at Shoreline Community College,” SCC President Lee Lambert said. “Since this past August, we’ve worked to anticipate and plan, based on the economic indicators. The result has been that we’ve been able to work with faculty and classified representatives under existing contracts.”
The primary effect of the emergency declaration is on the process required by contract when faculty layoffs might be made. The emergency declaration would allow colleges to shorten the timeline to 60 days for what is officially known as a reduction in force (RIF). The declaration does not change collective bargaining agreement provisions addressing layoff units, seniority or recall rights.
“We’ll continue to plan as best we can for an uncertain future,” Lambert said. “At this point, we don’t feel the emergency declaration will make any difference to what we’re doing.”
Faculty union representative Karen Toreson also doesn’t anticipate impacts at SCC, but doesn’t mean she likes the declaration.
“While the State Board’s declaration of financial emergency will not alter the reduction process that has already taken place on at Shoreline Community College, I am nevertheless disheartened to learn that the State Board has taken this action which has the sole purpose of reducing the number of full-time tenured faculty,” Toreson said Thursday.
Made possible by a law passed in 1981 during another economic downturn, the possibility of a declaration can be triggered by any one of the following reasons: 1) agencies’ spending authority is reduced by the governor; 2) the Legislature cuts funding from one biennium to the next in constant dollars, or, 3) the Legislature cuts funding within a biennium in constant dollars. While the 2009-11 budget made it possible to invoke the law, today’s board declaration was still required.
Individual colleges are not required to use the expedited process. According to a state board staff analysis, a declaration of financial emergency enables local trustees to assess their institution’s fiscal situation and determine if they will exercise the authority to implement an expedited layoff process of tenured or probationary faculty. If a local board exercises this option, notice is given to the affected faculty members consistent with applicable laws, local policies, and collectively bargained agreements. The notice must clearly state that the faculty member’s separation is not due to job performance.