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LCC Board Votes To Eliminate Tech Programs


The Lane Community College board voted four to two Wednesday night to eliminate the Auto Body and Electronic Technology programs. The controversial decision came just after dozens of people voiced their concerns in a public comment session.

The administration proposed the cuts as part of its plan to offset next year’s projected $4.7 million dollar deficit. LCC staff, former and past students and local business owners said the board had asked the wrong questions and not followed procedures. Jim Salt is President of the LCC Education Association:

Salt: “The chair of this body asked the administration and us to work together. We did that. The administration didn’t. And they’re continuing to present a conclusion that it will save the college money to close these programs. That simply isn’t true.”

Salt said the board must have assumed students who would have attended the tech programs would enroll in other classes. He says past cuts show enrollment drops when programs are cut.

An email to staff from LCC President Mary Spilde says colleges across the state have faced similar budget shortfalls. She says when other colleges eliminated programs, they were able to sustain themselves. Both Spilde and the faculty say they hope to work together to re-structure the Medical Office Assistant program.

Karen Richards joined KLCC as a volunteer reporter in 2012, and became a freelance reporter at the station in 2015. In addition to news reporting, she’s contributed to several feature series for the station, earning multiple awards for her reporting.
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