Education roundup: College working to avoid lay-offs despite deficit |

Education roundup: College working to avoid lay-offs despite deficit

Dylan Silver

Lake Tahoe Community College president Kindred Murillo hasn’t had an easy job since she started at the college eight months ago.

Her most recent challenge: devising a way for the college to absorb nearly $500,000 in state reductions without cutting staff.

“We’ve scrubbed our budget to see where we can pull that money, so we don’t have to do layoffs,” Murillo said.

The college is facing $498,000 in cuts to the current year’s budget. Though they’ll have to pull back on discretionary funding and the hiring of temporary employees, Murillo believes they’ll make it through the year without having to issue pink slips.

“If there’s positions we don’t absolutely need to fill or stuff we don’t absolutely need to buy, we won’t,” she said. “We’re just going to stop.”

Murillo has found the savings through distributing the responsibilities of the unfilled vice president of business services position to people already on staff. She’s tightened up the technology budget, including refusing to spend the $2,000 allocated for new equipment in her department. And at the beginning of the year, she set aside money for mid-year cuts.

“We were really concerned when we went into this year that there would be mid-year cuts,” she said.

The college has enough set aside in “rainy day” and “restricted” reserves to nearly cover the deficit. It’s unclear exactly how much of that they will have to use, Murillo said.

The college is already planning next year’s budget. Staff are working on grants and Murillo hopes to score some state money for facility upgrades, she said. With hints at massive workload reduction in community colleges coming from the state, the college has to consider a variety of scenarios for next year, Murillo said.

“I call it ‘the good, the bad and the ugly,'” she said.

LTCC professor to speak on geology

Lake Tahoe Community College professor Scott Valentine will give a talk on the geology of the Tahoe Basin Wednesday at Explore Tahoe: An Urban Trailhead Visitor Center.

The presentation will begin at 4 p.m. Valentine will discuss the earthquakes, glaciers, volcanism and other geologic events that led to the creation of Lake Tahoe.

The cost is $5.

Financial aid deadline on Friday

The deadline for filing federal financial aid applications is Friday, March 2. In order to be considered for all financial aid programs, students should have a FAFSA submitted and electronically signed by this deadline. Staff at Lake Tahoe Community College’s financial aid office can help anyone interested in the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

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