More budget cuts expected for CNCC

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MEEKER -- How and where to cut the Colorado Northwestern Community College budget was at the top of the agenda at the college advisory board's first meeting of 2005.

Chief Administrative Officer Bob Rizzuto told the board members from the Moffat County Affiliated District and the Rangely Junior College District that more cuts are on the way and likely will include personnel.

"If you look at the state budget for community colleges as a pie with 13 slices, and compare that to the funding formula, our cost per student is still not where we must be to be in line with all the other schools," Rizzuto said.

He said that, looking at the numbers from last year and those projected for next year, the college is $900,000 short.

"There's only three ways to make up the difference," he said. "More students, more resources or more cuts," he said.

Rizzuto told board members that the community college system's presidential cabinet is looking at all the high-dollar programs such as dental hygiene, nursing, criminal justice and physical education and recreation.

"These are our signature programs, and unfortunately the boards might need to think about cutting one or more programs," he said.

In other business the board restated its desire to meet with Mesa State College President Tim Foster. Mesa State has been mandated by the Colorado Commission on Higher Education to live up to its "regional education provider" obligation and service students in Delta and San Miguel counties -- communities that CNCC had been serving under an agreement with Mesa.

Mesa absorbed about 80 full-time equivalency students in two-year programs that were managed by CNCC.

"I see nothing wrong in pressuring Mesa State to provide four-year classes and graduate-level classes," Advisory Board Chairwoman Kandy Kropinak said. "Students should not have to go to Greeley or Denver to finish their degrees."

The next CNCC board meeting will be March 16 at Meeker Town Hall.

The state community college board will be present, along with Nancy McCallin, president of the system.

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