, Ore. (KMTR) - Due to a decrease in state funds, the college is eliminating 23 positions and cutting multiple programs, including their baseball team and women's basketball team.
Some serious cuts are coming for Linn-Benton Community College (LBCC)
for the upcoming school year. The community college in Albany
says a drop in state funding has given them no other options.
The college's president, Greg Hamann, announced the drastic cuts Wednesday in a campus-wide letter. LBCC plans to eliminate 23 positions, multiple programs and could possibly raise tuition.
The college says the changes are a result of a $2.9 million shortfall in the budget, stemming from state funding cuts; a small 5% drop in enrollment and rising healthcare costs also played a part.
Of the 23 jobs cuts, seventeen staff members will be laid off, while eight others are retiring and the college will not fill their positions.
LBCC says the decision was very difficult and those being laid off will receive some help. Spokesperson for the college, Dale Stowell, says the school will be offering "resume writing support, job retraining if they feel like they need it,and other support services to help keep them moving forward and be prepared for whatever's next.”
He added, “You know it's always difficult when you lose people who are doing great work.”
Come fall, LBCC students could be charged $3 more per credit, but that decision is pending approval from the State Board of Education.
Some program cuts include The Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence, English for Speakers of Other Languages and the Turning Point Transitions program.
The college is also cutting two of their four sports teams. LBCC says they had to focus their funds on programs that encouraged academic success and the baseball team and women's basketball team just don't fit the bill.
“Really, in the decisions regarding the sports program we applied the same criteria that we did to the other programs, which is what benefits the most students, with the resources that we have, to move toward graduation?” explains Stowell. “The two programs that we kept showed a much higher than average graduation rate among the participants in the program.”
The two sports programs remaining at LBCC are volleyball and men's basketball. The Roadrunners baseball team will finish out its season. The cuts and layoffs will start July 1.
LBCC says some of the funds saved from eliminating two sports programs will go toward a campus-wide wellness and recreation program. They plan to spend the next couple of months working out what that program will entail.
Stowell says LBCC didn't want to cut any of those programs. They focused on keeping the programs they felt did the most good, for the largest number of students.
All these cuts will save the school $2.2 million. The additional $750,000 would come from the proposed tuition hike.