Next steps in budget process for fall quarter 2020

Dear Colleague,

Thank you for attending the September 29 Zoom Hall Budget Meeting. I am appreciative of your attentiveness and participation as we move through these difficult budget decisions as a College. Please watch for an email in the near future with the captioned video recording and the responses to the unanswered questions posed during the meeting.

In the meantime, I would like to provide some additional context for the next steps in our budget process as we continue to work thoughtfully and carefully though the significant budget reductions that are before us. 

The Seattle Times recently announced that state budget shortfall forecast may be more favorable than what has thus far been communicated to us by the State. This is very encouraging news that may lead to a welcome change in the anticipated 15% reduction to our state allocation for 2020-21. However, it is important to note the Legislature has not yet finalized their 2020-21 budget and has also not yet provided us with any confirmation of a decrease to the reduction of our state allocation.

Additionally, please remember other factors are contributing to the need for the proposed reductions as well, including a continued decline in our student enrollment (-8% over the last two years and -9% for this fall quarter), the cost of the ongoing COLAs for faculty and classified staff, and the impact from the loss of permanent revenue from the state associated with COVID-19 pandemic. Together, these factors require us to make extremely difficult and heart-wrenching reduction decisions at the College.

Even with more optimistic state budget news, the College’s budget shortfall is still estimated to be between $5 – 7 million. Therefore, it is imperative that we continue discussions and problem solving around the current budget reduction proposal.

The Executive Team is continuing to respond and adapt to both potential and confirmed changes in the budget shortfall amount and will be continuing conversations with our two unions, supervisors, impacted employees, and student leadership, expected to last through fall quarter. 

I am committed to providing as much information and data as possible to the campus community, as these budget conversations are complex and the changes we’re faced with making are of great consequence. I hope you’ll be able to join us for the next Zoom Hall Budget meeting on October 15.

Respectfully,

Cheryl Roberts, Ed.D.
President

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