One person I called yesterday for Friday’s state budget story was Olympic College President David Mitchell. He sent me a note saying he’d respond when he saw what the budget meant for Olympic specifically. He called back today.
Like others, the 6 percent cut in the budget did not surprise him. If anything, the surprise was pleasant. “We were bracing for much higher,” he said. Community and technical colleges made out better than the big colleges.
That, Mitchell said, was a reflection that community and technical colleges train people to get to the work that is available. “In hastening economic recovery, our mission is workforce development, getting people back to work. I think that message was really heard.”
The college has been preparing for the cuts by not rehiring where there are vacant positions. Mitchell also said the college will look at programs and make more cuts strategically, not across the board. The emphasis will be on saving programs that are in high demand and making cuts where enrollment is low.
And the school probably won’t need to cut enrollment. Those enrolled, however, will pay 5 percent more for tuition if the budget goes through as planned.