Because of $715,000 in budget cuts passed down from the state since last May, Colorado Northwestern Community College President Peter Angstadt announced the elimination of four positions Wednesday.
These cuts included the Business Assistance Center director position in Craig.
Dean Hollenbeck, vice president of CNCC in Craig, said the position, occupied by Ken Farmer, was in place to help local businesses.
"We cut that position basically because it would have the least impact on the students," he said.
Angstadt said despite a 15 percent total setback in this year's budget resulting in cuts last May and December, the college was hoping not to have to cut personnel.
But Angstadt agreed with Hollenbeck that the action taken was done with the students in mind.
"Some colleges and universities are laying people off in mid semester," he said. "But the way we look at it is our business hours are from August through May. We want to keep people in place through the end of the semester so we don't harm the students."
Angstadt said those being let go already have been notified, but won't leave until the end of the spring semester.
"We wanted to keep them through May and June so they have enough time to plan," he said.
Despite budget shortfalls, Hollenbeck said planning for the nursing program scheduled to start next fall at the Craig campus is still moving forward.
College officials also will continue pursuing a new campus in Craig.
"The state budget cuts have had an impact on the discussions with the state," he said.
But Hollenbeck said one item that will help in selling its plans to the state, is CNCC's potential partnerships with the city, which may build a recreation center at the site, and The Memorial Hospital, which is considering building a new facility at the same site.
"The advantage we have in discussions with the state is these partnerships, which is very enticing to the Commission on Higher Education," he said. "Because of that, they're looking at us a little different."
Hollenbeck agreed with Angstadt that, for now, the system had made all needed cuts but would not predict if more cuts would be passed down from the state.
"You don't know," he said. "It changes day to day."
Positions cut at the Rangely campus included a bookstore clerk, vice president of learner systems and director of distance
Angstadt said he was confident everything that needs to be done has been done to balance the budget.
"I think this will be it unless the state economic condition gets worse," he said.
The four position cuts announced Wednesday are in addition to seven cuts made last year.
Josh Nichols can be reached at 824-7031 or email@example.com.