10:45 a.m., April 9, 2013

College prepares for more budget cuts

The 62nd Legislature 2013 session has ended with many state institutions taking cuts and already being asked to consider further cuts for the next biennium of FY14-15.

“We have been asked to draft budget examples for 4, 6 and 8 percent cuts for the upcoming biennium,” Dr. Joe Schaffer, Laramie County Community College president, said. A 6 percent budget cut was handed down to all community colleges.

In detail, LCCC’s budget was cut by $1.3 million from $44.7 million to around $43 million, Schaffer said. Further, the college will see a $30,000 cut in its budget because student enrollment has slowed down. These come from reduced student athletic and high-tech fees intake. “The overall budget for LCCC is approximately $67 million with funding from other sources, for example, the plant fund, one-mill, auxiliary, etc.,” Schaffer added.

The Wyoming Community College Commission (WCCC) received an 8 percent budget cut.

In detail the WCCC received:

$230,947,293 in state aid for the colleges,

$11,763,849 for administration,

$3,200,000 for contingency reserve,

$5,352,640 WYIN Loan and grant program (same as prior proposal),

1.2 million veteran tuition waiver (same as the prior proposal),

$600,000 teacher shortage loam program (same as the prior proposal).

The funding for adult education and public television has been cut from the budget.The 62nd Legislature approved one-time funding of $7.5 million for enrollment growth.

LCCC will see the effect throughout the college with a reduction in adjunct instructors and part-time staff, and current open positions, which “aren’t necessary for the college to function,” will not be filled in the near future, Schaffer said.

“We have money carved out for one-time initiatives some basic strategic initiatives and the board priorities, which lie within academic affairs, student services and the new advising model,” Schaffer said.

On the other hand, the college will invest the money available in instruction, student services and a compensation plan for employees who have been under a pay freeze for the last few years.

“I don’t know that it is balanced yet, but we are getting closer,” Schaffer said.

Schaffer added the college is trying to be proactive in order to ensure the college will be fine even with more budget cuts coming in the new biennium.

Further appropriations for construction projects were made as follows:

Western Wyoming Community College (WWCC) wellness with a total of $5.2 million, half from the state general fund and the other half from other funding (same as prior proposal);

Central Wyoming Community College academic space improvement with a total of $3.6 million, $2.3 million from the state general fund and $1.3 million from other sources (same as prior proposal);

Central Wyoming Community College Lander improvements with a total of $2 million, $1.3 million from the state general fund and $700,000 from other sources (same as prior proposal) and

Northwest College Yellowstone Building with a total of $14.3 million in funding, $9.3 million from the state general fund and $5 million from other sources.

Other construction projects have been approved in the budget, but these are not funded by the state general fund. These projects are as follows:

WWCC will receive $1.7 million in funding for a Workforce Training Facility;

Eastern Wyoming College $4.7 million for an Agriculture Complex;

EWC $9.6 million for a Douglas Campus and

Northern Wyoming Community College District will receive $4.7 million for a Gillette agriculture complex, $3.8 million for a Sheridan agriculture complex and $11.7 million for a Thorne Rider Center.

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