Board Report – May 2011
I would like to express my condolences to the family and friends of Officer Chris Kilcullen. I attended the services on April 29 and hope that our community's strong support is of some comfort to those bereaved by this tragic loss.
I appreciate the work of the board and Budget Committee which met last week and earlier this evening. As always we are faced with uncertainties and a demand for services that exceeds our funding. We essentially have four levers to use to achieve a balanced budget under difficult circumstances: growing enrollment, using reserves, raising tuition, or reducing services.
The state budget picture will become clearer tomorrow morning when State Economist Tom Potiowsky releases the new state revenue forecast. It's unlikely there will be much change since the last forecast. If there is additional funding for community colleges, it will likely come from the stability fund. Students, staff, board members, and the Oregon Community College Association are working hard to try to improve the allocation to the Community College Support Fund.
On April 27, I testified before the House Education Committee in support of funding for community college capital construction projects. No community college projects were included in the Governor's or Co-Chairs' Budgets. However, legislative leadership has indicated that, depending on the news of the state revenue forecast, there may be funding for a small number of community college projects. Our project - the renovation of the Forum building - is currently tied for 7/8 on the list, but we may move up if other colleges take their projects off the list due to a lack of local match. Capital funding will likely be one of the final budgets passed this session.
Lane Community College Day at the State Capitol was April 27. Thank you to Board members Tony McCown and Pat Albright for attending, along with numerous managers, faculty, staff and students. This year's programs on display in the Capitol's Galleria included ASLCC, Culinary and Hospitality Management, Energy Management, GIS, Massage Therapy, Small Business Development Center, and Cooperative Education. During the day, we met with many Lane County legislators as well as Co-Speaker of the House Arnie Roblan. Thank you to everyone that made it such a successful event.
I would like to thank ASLCC and the Oregon Student Association for their great work in organizing the rally for post-secondary education at the Capitol on April 25. Over 100 Lane students participated, the highest turnout of any school in the state. Governor Kitzhaber and Education Sub-Committee Co-Chair Rod Monroe were keynote speakers. Students also met with 70 legislators during the day, lobbying on post-secondary education funding, the Oregon Opportunity Grant, and SB 742 (tuition equity).
Lane County legislators held a budget town hall meeting with Co-Speaker Arnie Roblan and Ways and Means Co-Chair Peter Buckley on campus on May 5. For those attending, I think it was apparent that legislators have a tough job ahead as they begin to move budgets over the next few weeks. I testified in support of $425 million for the Community College Support Fund. I would like to thank Jim Salt, Bob Baldwin, Mario Parker-Milligan, and the numerous students who also testified, as well as all of those in attendance.
You may have seen in the news that we won another $100,000 EWEB Greenpower Grant, this time for a photovoltaic array for our Downtown Campus. I accepted the grant award at EWEB's Earth Day event on April 23, along with Pat Albright and Tony McCown and others from Lane. The array will be a living lab for students as well as an energy source for the building and it will help us earn a Platinum LEED rating. This is the second award for Lane. The first Greenpower Grant helped fund the solar station on main campus.
I'd like to congratulate PeaceHealth Siuslaw Region as our Co-op Employer of the Year. Since 2000, more than 85 students have interned at PeaceHealth-Siuslaw and 26 percent have been hired. We honored PeaceHealth-Siuslaw at our annual advisory committee dinner a couple of weeks ago.
We are investigating air quality issues in Building 4. Some employees who reported symptoms have been relocated. We still have no cause-and-effect data to identify the problem or a solution but we have contracted with a new environmental services firm and industrial hygienist and we have consulted OSHA. We will keep working on this issue, and we are anxious to solve the problem and protect employees.
I have been meeting with candidates for the openings on this board, and I want to encourage everyone to exercise the power of their vote and to get their ballots in on time for the May 17 election.
Tamin Ansary lectures here tomorrow night at 7:30 p.m. in the Center for Meeting and Learning as part of our Reading Together project. He will also meet with students. Ansary is a well-known Afghan-American author and speaker and wrote the critically acclaimed memoir, "West of Kabul, East of New York." I hope you can attend the lecture. It's free and open to the public.
You're welcome to attend our Employee Gala on Wednesday, May 25 and help us celebrate our 10-year, 20-year, and 30-year employees, and our retirees. It will be from 3 to 5 p.m. in the Center for Meeting and Learning.
Just a short run down on some of the things I have been involved in - I attended the Regional White House Summit in San Diego with Susie Johnston. We held the Grand Opening of the new Dance Studio that was part of the bond project. It is a beautiful dance space on campus. As a state, we launched the Adult Basic Education to Credentials grant that we received from the Gates Foundation, and Lane is one of the few colleges in the state working on that. Last week, Donna Zmolek hosted the President's Executive Assistants conference for all of the community college presidents' assistants in Oregon, and they spent a good couple of days here at Lane. I taught a leadership class for the Hospitality Management program last week, and Spring Conference was held last Friday.
I will close with a reminder that our best event of the year is coming up: graduation will be Saturday, June 11, at the Lane Events Center at the Fairgrounds.