The 2018-2019 operating budget for Lower Columbia College is in place, approved last night by the LCC Board of Trustees. The budget for the upcoming year is $24.1 million, which is about $1.1 million more than last year. LCC President Chris Bailey says that the college is in a pretty good place for next year. College officials say that the majority of the increase comes from state funding, and the bulk of that money will go to salary and benefit increases that have been dictated by the state. They also say that budgeted unemployment costs and campus utility costs have been adjusted to reflect actual expenditures. They also had been projecting a tuition increase of 2.2 percent; with the increase in state funding and some conservation in budgeting, that increase has been reduced to 1.5 percent.
Employees of the Year were also recognized at yesterday’s LCC Board of Trustees meeting; Graphic Designer Maya Muller is being honored by the Lower Columbia College Foundation as the Classified Employee of the Year, while Director of eLearning Sarah Griffith is this year’s Exempt Employees of the Year. Both receive a 500-dollar cash award from the Foundation, and perhaps more important, both get a reserved parking space for the 2018-2019 school year. Mark Gaither is this year’s full-time Faculty Member of the Year, while Victoria Soladey and Mavoureen Rister are being named as the Adjunct Faculty Members of the Year.