CBC students to pay more fees in 2011

PASCO -- Students at Columbia Basin College will pay an added fee starting next year, college President Richard Cummins told the CBC board of trustees Monday.

The new student fee is needed to prevent the elimination of entire programs offered by the college, he said.

The amount of the fee has yet to be determined.

Gov. Chris Gregoire ordered the state's community and technical colleges to cut 6.2 percent from their budgets after dismal revenue forecasts in September. For CBC, that's $1.2 million, Cummins said.

With some taxes repealed and new ones rejected in last week's elections, those cuts likely will increase to 10 percent or more, he said, possibly before the end of the fiscal year, June 30.

The college already has gone through a round of layoffs.

"There's not a whole lot left to cut," Cummins said. "Now we would have to lay off individuals and cut programs in a way that impacts the primary mission of the college."

Unlike many other community colleges around the state, particularly in the Puget Sound area, CBC has resisted raising revenue from special fees so far, Cummins said.

But that's about to end.

Cummins will receive an analysis from the college's budget reduction committee Nov. 25. He'll present his plan to the trustees at the December meeting and submit his proposal to the Legislature in January.

It will include "some fees," he said, but he didn't yet know how high they would be.

Also Monday:

* The board welcomed its newest member. David Mitchell is a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel and current consultant for the Department of Energy at the Hanford site. His father, CJ Mitchell, is a former board member. Mitchell replaces Wayne Martin.