The Lower Columbia College Board of Trustees on Wednesday approved the 2014-2015 budgets and passed a new three-year faculty contract, and not much is changing.
The operating budget was approved at just shy of $21 million, nearly identical to past three budgets. The student activities and athletic budgets were also approved at a combined $600,000.
Though money from the state has dropped 28 percent since the 2008 recession, an initial spike in enrollment followed by a steady but declining number of students has helped keep the budget in line, said LCC Director of College Relations and Marketing Susan Groth.
The faculty contract was ratified earlier this week and negotiations went smoothly ahead of the trustees’ approval, said Vice President of Administration Nolan Wheeler.
The changes were mostly technical, and the only adjustments to pay comes for adjunct professors: A $2,500 professional development fund has been set aside and adjuncts now have four personal days per academic year, putting them on par with tenured faculty.
LCC’s operating budget comes from $12 million of state money and $6.7 million in tuition and fees. Revenue from local programs such as Running Start brings in $1.8 million with the college tapping its reserve fund for about $450,000 to account for the total of about $21 million.
That money is spent 83 percent on salaries and benefits, 14 percent on goods and services and the rest comes down to tiny fractions for equipment and student aid, etc.
The new health and science building, opening this fall, is getting its first $2.4 million payment from the college, though all of that money will come from the state.