Cuts cost coastal college 13 jobs.
Byline: Winston Ross The Register-Guard
COOS BAY - Thirteen full-time members of the staff at Southwestern Oregon Community College lost their jobs this week, as the school was forced to cut its 2008-2009 budget in the wake of declining revenues.
The college also is eliminating a part-time position and cutting its budget for materials and classroom supplies by 10 percent across the board. Staff members will forego seven days of paid work this year and take on extra job responsibilities to make up for the fewer hands on deck. Students will see a $5 per credit increase in fees.
The budget shortfall amounts to $2.9 million, said college spokesman Rick Osborn. The school's total budget is around $16 million.
The positions cut include the Student First Stop, foundation assistant, office of instruction assistant, library aide, grounds maintenance worker, transitional education teacher aide, adult basic education PC tech, English Language Institute instructor, president's office assistant, allied health special project position, community education director, computer labs supervisor, human resources recruiter and resource grant writer. The foundation executive director position was reduced to part time.
"In the past couple of weeks I have had to make the hardest decisions of my life in order to make sure this college is positioning itself for the future in the most fiscally responsible way possible," said Interim President Patty Scott. "The executive team and I have agonized over these decisions, and many tears have been shed throughout this process."
Some faculty members placed the blame for the cuts on outgoing president Judith Hansen, who faced three no confidence votes earlier this year in part for her handling of the budget.
"There was no way to fix this without laying off people," said Athletic Director John Speasl, a vocal critic of Hansen's. "She overestimated incomes and then spent it like it was there, and that put us in a hole."
With most of the cuts coming from classified and administration, staff members will feel the cuts more than students, Speasl said.
Hansen couldn't be reached for comment, but has previously said there had been revenue added into the budget that wasn't going to be realized, and that salaries of faculty members increased by 3 percent annually during each year of her presidency, which she called "unprecedented."