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LCC Budget Committee Votes to Postpone Budget Decision

During its May 10 meeting, the Lane Community College Budget Committee postponed a vote on the administration’s proposed 2017-2018 budget.

Approximately a dozen speakers gave testimony during the 20 minute public comment portion of the meeting. All of the speakers asked members of the committee, which consists of the Board of Education members and appointed volunteer members, not to cut programs like philosophy and the early childhood education program.

Faculty member Adrienne Mitchell said the alternative budget, calculated by the faculty union, “is not a proposal to lay off management.” (See EW’s earlier story on the budget here).

Another speaker asked the committee to consider looking at the number of the six-figure management salaries before cutting parts of the early childhood education program.

Brian Kelly, vice president of college services, presented the proposed budget; he told the budget committee that the “decision is on whose numbers you want to believe.” Kelly did not provide projected lost tuition revenue from proposed program cuts — which faculty has asked to see reflected in the proposed budget.

Members of the committee said there were “gray areas” of the budget that needed more attention. Board Chair Rosie Pryor said, “Revenue is a code word for crystal ball.” Students lined the walls of the room with signs protesting program cuts. A motion to delay the budget vote was approved and is now scheduled for Wednesday, May 17.

Students cheered after the budget vote was delayed.

Student Ashley Kim is an animal sciences major and is considering changing to a social science major. “To be honest, I didn’t care about this until I started an internship at OSA [Oregon Student Association], and then I started taking ethics studies and other social science classes, and I really value those classes.”

Evan Young is a student and hasn’t decided on a major yet, but said all of the programs are important. “There are just so many things wrong with the budget already,” he said. “Cutting these really important programs and then the whole thing about the management.”