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PCC approves budget for 2008-09
Photos and Story by James Hill
At its regular meeting on April 19 the PCC Board of Directors approved the college’s general fund budget for the next two fiscal years, based on state funding at the level recommended by Gov. Ted Kulongoski.
“This budget assumes that the state community college support fund will be $483 million for the 07-09 biennium as recommended by the Governor,” said PCC District President Preston Pulliams to the Board. “If colleges are funded at the $458 million proposed by the co-chairs of the Ways and Means Committee, we will not be able to make any of the additions or improvements to the budget that are included in this proposal, without significant tuition increases.”
PCC’s approved general fund budget for fiscal year 2008 is $142 million, an increase of 7.6 percent over the prior year ($132 million). The majority of funding included in this budget comes from state funds (42 percent), but student tuition is the second largest source of revenue at 36 percent. As state funds have declined as a percentage of PCC’s revenue, tuition has increased 51 percent over the last six years. In 2001, before the state funding cuts began, the state contributed 55 percent to the college’s revenue with tuition representing just 26 percent.
The budget approved by the Board is estimated to enable the college to enroll as many as 600 additional full-time equivalent students, or an increase of enrollment by 3 percent (approximately 300 students) each year.
In addition, the budget would fund:
* 17 new full-time faculty positions; six classified positions; 15 academic professionals; six administrators; and one and a half confidential employees. Several of these positions restore cuts that were made in previous years, and others represent program expansions and enhanced student support services. New faculty would be added in welding, gerontology, biology, history, aviation science, and social sciences, among other areas. There will be tuition increases of $1 per credit hour starting in summer term of 2007 and $2 per credit hour starting summer term of 2008. This would bring tuition for those years to $68 and $70, respectively.
* No increases in the parking or technology fees and no more than a 10-cent per credit increase in student activity fees.
Pulliams reminded the board that the community colleges are still pushing the Legislature for funding above the Governor’s recommended budget.
“If community colleges can secure funding at a level of $529 million, PCC can begin to make significant improvements to course offerings and services to students,” he said. “At that level, we could reasonably consider reductions in tuition, and restoration of many of the cuts to basic academic support services we have lost over the years. We would do much more to ensure student success and prepare many more students for good jobs that are available right here in our community.”
Approval of the college budget is just one step in the process. The PCC general fund budget now goes before the Multnomah County Tax Supervising and Conservation Commission for review in May. Final budget adoption by the Board will take place in June, and adjustments can be made after that point, if the Legislature has not completed its work by then.
Portland Community College is the largest post-secondary institution in Oregon, serving approximately 88,200 full- and part-time students. For more PCC news, please visit us on the Web at www.pcc.edu/news. PCC has three comprehensive campuses, five workforce training and education centers, and 200 community locations in the Portland metropolitan area. The PCC district encompasses a 1,500-square-mile area in northwest Oregon and offers two-year degrees, one-year certificate programs, short-term training, alternative education, pre-college courses and life-long learning.