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Board votes to approve 2004-05 proposed budget
Photos and Story by James Hill
PORTLAND, Ore. — The Portland Community College Board of Directors voted to approve the proposed general fund budget for the 2004-05 fiscal year of $128,601,564 at its April 15 meeting. This is the first of a three-step process to eventually adopt the final budget in June. In May, board members will vote on the approved budget. The seven-member board passed the proposed general fund budget that includes operating expenditures for the 2004-05 fiscal year and is the college’s primary operating fund for all major instructional programs, instructional support and services."We have strived to manage this unstable funding environment and its impact on PCC by making reasonable revenue and expenditure projections for the future and by focusing on the college’s student-centered mission,"said PCC Interim District President Jerry Berger. "The President’s Cabinet has identified cost reduction and revenue enhancement ideas and options for meeting the reduced funding challenge."The college is facing a $4.75 million budget hole to fill for the 2004-05 year, due to the drop in enrollment and declining state funding. As part of the budget balancing plan for the 2003-05 biennium, the PCC Board of Directors approved a tuition increase of $4 per credit for the fiscal year of 2004-05. Tuition will increase from $58 to $62 per credit hour, a 6.89 percent increase, starting summer term. The board also repealed its border state surcharge of $10 per credit. The charge had been instituted in 2003 by the board, but the revenue reaped from this increase was not enough to offset tuition revenue lost from the decrease in enrollment from border-state students. The students will pay the same rate as in-state students.Finally, the per-credit cost for international students increased by $5 to $190. The cost is roughly $10 to $20 less than the cost for international students at Seattle-area colleges, which PCC competes with to attract overseas students.The budget will go before the Multnomah County Tax Supervising and Conservation Commission at a public hearing on Wednesday, May 26. The proposed levy to property owners will be 0.2828 per $1,000 of assessed value.The breakdown by campus: Sylvania, the largest PCC campus, will operate on a $37,536,191 budget; Rock Creek has $19,136,226 earmarked for its operations; and Cascade will get $15,030,753. The college’s Extending Learning Campus will have a budget of $6,236,554.Portland Community College is the largest post-secondary educational institution in Oregon, enrolling 100,000 students annually, and operating three comprehensive campuses along with five workforce training and education centers, a small business development center and education outlets in hundreds of community and business locations.