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A new year brings new initiatives, excitement

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PORTLAND, Ore. – Portland Community College begins the 2005-06 academic year with several new initiatives, new board members and a brand new building.PCC, the largest post-secondary educational institution in the state, will open its doors to students on Monday, Sept. 26.students at Sylvania.PCC turns 44 this year. The college began offering classes in 1961 at the old Failing Elementary School in the Ross Island area of Portland with a dozen students earning diplomas the following year. The college is a local success story, now serving more than 89,000 full- and part-time students in a multi-campus system. PCC District President Preston Pulliams said, "This may be a different year but the college’s commitment to opportunity for students and continued economic development of our community remain our chief goals. Our greatness comes from the daily service to our students and our important contributions to the economic wellbeing of our community and state. As we enter this new academic year we’ll continue this commitment and seek more ways to contribute to PCC’s vision."For the 2005-06 year, the college may be getting older, but there is plenty of new to go around.What’s Happening Around PCC:New Board DirectorsTwo new faces have joined PCC. Jim Harper and Denise Frisbee were elected to their respective zones in May. Harper for Zone 4 (southwest/northwest/southeast and downtown Portland), replacing Dana Anderson, and Frisbee for Zone 1 (Lake Oswego/Tigard/Tualatin/Sherwood), replacing Norma Jean Germond. Both Germond and Anderson served 20 years on the board.Harper has spent more than 40 years with PCC. He’s been a student, a volunteer and a corporate user of the many quality services PCC provides. He was a PCC Foundation board director for the last 18 years, including serving as the board chair from 1990 to 1992. Frisbee is an attorney and development services liaison with the City of Lake Oswego. She has an extensive background in community service, including serving as campaign co-director for the local option levy for the Lake Oswego School District in 2004.Board passes budget for 2005-06The Portland Community College Board of Directors voted to adopt the general fund budget at its Thursday, June 16 meeting. The adopted budget for the 2005-06 fiscal year is $134,583,291. To balance the budget, the seven-member board voted to raise tuition by only $2 a credit to $64 for next year, effective for fall term of the 2005-06 school year. The state’s community colleges received $428 million for the next biennium, helping to offset larger increases. The 2005-07 funding lags in comparison to four years ago when community colleges received more than $460 million. The general fund budget is the primary operating fund for all major instructional programs, instructional support and services.The board also raised the student activity fee to $1.25 from $1.10 and the technology fee to $4 from $3. The board did not raise tuition for international students, keeping the per credit rate at $190. The cost is roughly $10 to $20 less than the cost for international students at Seattle-area colleges, with which PCC competes to attract overseas students.Enrollment agreement with Concordia UniversityPCC is signing a co-admissions agreement with Concordia University on Sept. 12 at 10 a.m. at the Cascade Campus. This is the first formal co-admissions agreement between a public college and a private university in Oregon. Columbia Gorge and Tillamook Bay community colleges are also partners.The preliminary enrollment figures for the 2004-05 school year show that 89,000 full- and part-time students attended PCC, up from 83,000 last year.The new arts and humanities building at CascadeThe final piece of the Cascade 2000 construction bond is nearing completion – the Daniel F. Moriarty Arts and Humanities Building. The facility is named after former PCC President Dan Moriarty, who retired from the college in 2001 after 15 years at the helm of the state’s largest institution of higher education. The two-story building, located at 705 N. Killingsworth Street, will house the professional music, multimedia, distance education and arts programs. The $7.5 million, 42,200-square-foot facility, which broke ground in October of 2004, will be dedicated on Wednesday, Oct. 12, from 3 to 5:30 p.m. The event will be held in the auditorium and will feature Moriarty as the keynote speaker. Tours, demos and live jazz are planned. The building was designed by Yost Grube Hall Architecture and incorporates sustainable design features to reduce energy usage and promote a healthy indoor environment. The contractor is Walsh Construction. PCC awarded $7.5 million of contract funds to the college’s Minority, Women and Emerging Small Business (MWESB) program, a portion of which aided Cascade Campus construction projects.The new Business Center of IndustryThe new PCC Center for Business and Industry kicks off this year. The center combines all of PCC’s services for business under one umbrella and provides a single point of contact. PCC wants to create a vital institutional focus and commitment to businesses as valued clients and key partners in the development of a strong workforce and economic system. The recently hired director, Cher Hinerman, was formerly the knowledge/learning strategist for Intel Corp.Grants OfficeThe Grants office at PCC received approximately $25 million in grants and contracts in 2004-05. Some of the more high-profile grants awarded to the college include funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to extend replication of the Gateway to College Project across the country and enhance the PCC program ($5.4 million); U.S. Department of Education: Hispanic Head Start (5 years, $748,975 to prepare Head Start teachers for work with Latino students); English language acquisition for para-educators in the Portland Public Schools (5 years, $745,513); and Trio student support (4 years, $942,760 to provide support to first-generation college students).

About James Hill

James G. Hill, an award-winning journalist and public relations writer, has been the Communications Specialist for the Office of Public Affairs at Portland Community College since November of 1999. A graduate of Portland State University, J... more »

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