UPDATE: 9/18/2012 5:55 PM
A decline in enrollment is to blame for the budget problems at Washington State Community College.
They had to switch from quarters to semesters and now Washington State Community College says that's why there's less students signed up for classes.
"We planned on anywhere between a five and ten percent drop. We planned on a five and I always figured if we got to ten we'd be able to find somewhere to meet that budget," says WSCC President, Dr. Bradley Ebersole.
A budget that's forced to meet a nearly 16 percent drop in students, forcing the college to cut three full time jobs.
"The college workforce has been willing to come forward with furlongs of as much as five percent of their salary and we're going to honor that and not take any more than that as well."
A short term fix for what the administration sees as a possible long term problem.
"I can't say about the cuts, but this is going to be a difficult situation for the foreseeable future as least this year and probably next year. Washington State as well as other community colleges throughout the state are going to be facing challenges"
Challenges to keep the student body satisfied.
"The classes will still continue to be strong. Some of our classes are going to be larger than in the past because we don't have the luxury of running classes in the very small size that we have in the past and it makes sense for us to make sure there's a good number of students in every class."
The changes will take place October 13th.
A tight budget may cause some teachers to lose their jobs and they'll find out Monday night.
A decrease in enrollment at Washington State Community College is to blame. College officials say employees will be cut.
The board of trustees will meet Monday night to discuss just how many and who will be let go.
They say all employees will be notified Monday night and will release further details to the public Tuesday.
Washington State Community College is looking to the future when discussing their upcoming budget.
"We really do need to be prepared for this so we can react in a way that's 'planful,' doesn't hurt the academic program, and works well with our faculty and staff," explains WSCC President, Dr. Bradley Ebersole,
That means planning for future budget constraints.
"So with that we know we're facing challenges along with enrollment and we're not alone, our sister colleges are in the same situation and with that comes a resulting budget. We are watching carefully to see how that affects our finances. They are planning ahead."
Dr. Ebersole says the decrease stems from the college moving from quarters to semesters and from further financial aid restrictions.
"As we deal with budget situations I'm trying very hard to initiate strategies that are none invasive to people's lifestyles," says Dr. Ebersole. "And I'm doing everything I can to keep this work force having a good sense of morale and hopefully that's one way to do that."
The WSCC Board of Trustees has now approved a voluntary furlough program.
This means each each member is able to take up to five days of unpaid vacation between now and November 17.
"So if someone feels it fits into their lifestyle and fits in the finances and are able to take a few more days off, they're able to take a furlough which allows us to save some money," continues Dr. Ebersole.
"I have had some opinions, some people don't like that fact that we have to take them in eight hour increments they would maybe prefer a smaller chunk of time like four hours increments, and we do have one person who has already elected to take the voluntary furlough," says WSCC Human Resources, Martha Lamp.
Lamp says it's an opportunity for her to give back to the college, on her own terms. She says she understands it's not for everyone.
"It is a good way for someone like me, who isn't the bread winner of my family, to take some time off and maybe help somebody that is single and working keep a job," continues Lamp.
The college is also offering a voluntary retirement incentive.
This is a one time offer of 10,000 dollars to about 17 eligible faculty members.
One of those 17 says she will be considering all her options.
"Nice offer, again having just seen it this morning, in fact I was just reading it before we started this and I have to consider all the details and ramifications," explains director of library service, Georgene Johnson.
Dr. Ebersole says if these programs don't work, the issue will return to the board of trustees to be readdressed. "You know it's really a pilot and if no body chooses to do so, my feeling, it was an effort we put forward, we tried it and we'll go on to the next strategy after that," he continues.
Dr. Ebersole says students in no way will be affected or notice a difference.