Bellevue College plans for next few steps

On Monday, May 4, two budget information sessions were held in order to describe budget recommendations for next year.

These were held at 9:30 a.m. in the Library Media Center (LMC) and at 2:30 p.m. in C130

“Resulting from the worsening economic conditions faced by our State, system-wide savings and reductions were mandated by the Governor and Legislature,” read a letter from College President B. J Floten and Vice President for Administrative Services Rachel Solemsaas that was addressed to the campus community regarding these budget alterations.

These “worsening economic conditions” have led our State’s legislation to mandate a 10.7 percent reduction to Washington’s community and technical colleges (CTC).

In addition, the Legislature is mandating a tuition increase of 7 percent, which is expected to produce 7.6 percent in net reduction.

Although the College is currently awaiting a final allocation from the State Board for Technical and Community Colleges, the college estimates that its share of the reductions will be around $2.2 million.

While some students and faculty have been apprehensive of these budget cuts, the College has taken many steps in making more small changes rather than fewer big changes. This would potentially have less of an effect on students and would allow campus life to exist as usual.

One example of the possible changes is to reduce the Library Media Center’s open hours. While the idea is not yet definite, it has been proposed that the LMC should subtract seven hours from its usual weekly amount.

This reduction could help to save the college a great deal in energy bills, as the LMC has a great number of lights and electronic equipment that are kept on when students aren’t using them.

Although no specific numbers are known for how much money this would save the college, it’s little changes like these that the college plans to make in order to compensate for these recent mandates from the Governor and State Legislature.

While these cuts and reductions may seem ominous to some, Floten and Solemsaas’ letter also indicates, “[That] the necessary reduction is less than the savings [the College] has previously identified.”

In accordance with this, the College is proposing to restore some funding to high priority areas and plans to, “[Place] $1.15 million in contingency in