While lawmakers in Olympia try to plan a budget for the state, Shoreline Community College is trying to plan a way to deal with that budget, whatever it may be.
- Seek to maintain college program mix and mission
- Seek to retain quality teaching and learning
- Reduce in instructional areas non-critical for degrees
- Strive to minimize FTE loss and maximize instructional and administrative efficiencies
- Strive to maintain quality of support services provided to students
- Must continue to meet fiduciary requirements
- Reduction will be within range of $2.0 to $2.5 million
- FTE target will be unchanged
- Minimal capacity to sustain further cuts to administrative and classified staff
- Minimal capacity to sustain further cuts to travel, goods and services
- Investments in International Program and Virtual College, if any, will be funded from college reserves
- Until further information becomes available, the Governor’s budget proposal is an appropriate framework for planning
- Areas of low/declining enrollment
- Programs with 4+ FT faculty
- Areas with adequate PT faculty pool
- FTE loss minimal
- FT-to-PT faculty ratio
- Outside accreditation
- Reduce impact on occupied positions by eliminating vacant or temporary positions
- Re-evaluate position functions within student success and adjust based on operational and student needs
- Availability of non-state funding
- Reduce in areas with 4+ faculty/unit and/or availability of PT pool
- “Mission-critical” support services
- Services that should be provided to students and staff
- Levels of service required to meet needs
President’s Office (HR, Advancement)
- Legal, contractual and regulatory compliance
- Dependable sources of non-state funding
Feb. 23-March 14: Feedback sessions
March 15-25: President’s Senior Executive Team reviews the feedback
March 28-31: Union notifications
April 4-8: Formal notification to affected faculty
April 4-15: Formal notification to affected classified and exempt employees
Strategic Planning and Budget Committee suggested questions for feedback sessions
- What might the impact of the proposed budget cuts be on your job?
- What might the impact of the proposed budget cuts be on your program?
- In your area, what impacts to quality of instruction and/or student services from the proposed cuts might not be readily apparent to someone unfamiliar with your work, program and responsibilities?
- Can you recommend alternative budget cuts to those proposed that would have less impact on your work, program and responsibilities?
- Can you think of questions about the proposed cuts that might still be needed to be asked?
“The economic indicators and the political winds are shifting, making it very hard at this point to say anything for sure,” said Daryl Campbell, Vice President for Administrative Services at the college. “One thing we do know is that our state funding will shrink, we’re just not sure by how much. We do have a starting point, Gov. Gregoire’s proposed budget. However, like everyone else, we also see the indications that cuts might go deeper.”
Waiting for a more definitive state budget picture is not an option, according to Shoreline President Lee Lambert. Reductions of the size outlined in the Governor’s budget will mean job losses at the college. Because of timelines stipulated in labor contracts, those processes must start before the Legislature is anticipated to finish its work if savings are to take effect by the start of the new fiscal year, July 1, 2011.
“Starting today, we’re asking the entire campus community – faculty, staff, administrators and students – to join the conversation in the coming weeks,” said Daryl Campbell, Vice President for Administrative Services at the college. “Work by the Senior Executive Team (SET), in consultation with deans and directors, provides a starting point for this conversation. These preliminary recommendations are by no means a pleasant starting point. Unfortunately, we believe they do give an appropriate sense of scale to the challenges ahead.”
The preliminary recommendations from SET use a variety of budget-reduction tools including reduction-in-force (RIF) for faculty members, layoffs of classified and administrative-exempt staff, shifting of some salaries to non-state funding sources, elimination of some existing but empty positions and combining some positions.
Based on the reduction identified in Gregoire’s proposal, the numbers of position losses in the preliminary recommendations by employee category are 18 full-time faculty positions, 7.5 classified positions and 4.5 administrative exempt positions. Employees will be informed of the identified positions, however formal RIF/layoff notifications will not take place at this time, according the Stephen Smith, Vice President for Human Resources and Legal Affairs.
“We’re doing this now so that we can gather feedback, make any adjustments and still have time for contractual timelines,” Smith said.
While Gregoire’s is the only official budget plan on the table, the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges this past week asked colleges to forecast impacts of reductions at higher levels. The Governor’s budget sets a target of 9.2 percent for 2011-12, rising to 13 percent the next year. The State Board is asking for impacts to a range of cuts that go as high as 13 percent next year and 18 percent in the second year. Campbell said that would take the current target of about $2.25 million for next year all the way to $3.4 million. The State Board’s deadline for feedback from colleges is tomorrow, Wednesday, Feb. 23.
“We can use our current set of assumptions and speculate what deeper cuts might look like,” Campbell said. “However, because of the short turnaround time and speculative nature, we’re not identifying specific positions related to the State Board request.”
Campbell said that while considerable work has gone into the preliminary recommendations, they are just that: preliminary and recommendations.
“There are many factors out there that could impact these numbers; decisions to be made that are outside of our control. We need to start somewhere and these preliminary recommendations are based on the information we have now,” Campbell said. “After receiving campus-wide input, watching what happens in Olympia and any other influences, SET will make final recommendations to President Lambert, who will ultimately decide on a reduction plan by April.”