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Addresses Campus Community
LEWISTON - At a public meeting in Lewis-Clark State’s
Williams Conference Center Wednesday, President Dene Thomas presented the
results of the first phases of the college’s organizational review and
planning for FY 03 budget cuts.
LCSC administrators, current faculty and staff, as well as some retirees, a
few students and other interested onlookers attended the meeting, filling
all three rooms of the conference center.
While admitting the budget scenario is a tough hurdle, Thomas says her goal
is to rise from the challenge as a competitive, efficient educational
institution that remains focused on the needs of its constituents and
maintains its basic commitment to high quality education for Idahoans.
Thomas began her status report by outlining the key tasks and considerations
of the planning committee. Her administration has stressed that the process
is addressing challenges in LCSC’s organizational structure, as well as
budget constraints the college is facing.
The initial organizational changes will help streamline the channels for
reporting to the president and the provost. Goals included better
coordination of all instructional programs, giving the president more
flexibility to focus on external issues when needed, and increasing mutual
support among the college’s three mission areas.
The program review process has resulted in cuts to administrative and
instructional areas, with administrative areas taking the biggest percentage
cut relative to the total general education fund. Reductions in both areas
would result in a total of 14.7 positions being cut from the current
organizational structure. The position cuts, along with reductions in
support funds (for both areas), offer a savings of $1,094,000.
That amount, coupled with the proposed student fee increases, still leaves
the college with a $106,000 bill to pay. Thomas said she is still looking
for ways to come up with that money. “We’re lifting rocks to find the rest
of it,” she said.
Following Thomas’ address, Vice President for Administrative Services Dean
Froehlich presented the latest proposal for increases to student fees. The
administration’s original proposal was modified as a result of input
received at the hearing on student fees last month, and written comments
collected by Froehlich’s office since the increases were first announced.
College administrators will present the proposal to the State Board of
Education later this month.
Before opening up the forum to questions from the audience, Thomas closed
her formal presentation by citing FDR’s well-known maxim: “ . . . the only
thing we have to fear...is fear itself.... nameless, unreasoning,
unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into
advance.” She assured all in attendance that "LCSC is not resigning itself
to retreat or stagnation—the college will emerge from this process and
advance toward its goals."