Craig Editor's note: This is the second part of a three-part Q&A series the newspaper conducted with Colorado Northwestern Community College's President Ron Granger.
To meet the challenge of declining local revenues, Colorado Northwestern Community College is restructuring.
We asked college President Ron Granger what changes will mean for staff, hiring process and programs.
Craig Daily Press: How many employees are impacted by the restructure?
Granger: Overall we will be reducing our staff by four people.
CDP: What is happening with the Gateway tutoring program on the Craig campus?
Granger: The Gateway Center will still provide all the tutoring and academic help for our students that we provided in the past. We are not reducing hours at the Gateway Center and in fact hope to provide more flexible hours for our students in the future.
CDP: We've heard concerns about the lack of diversity in staff, is that true? If so what is being done to address this concern?
Granger: We always have concerns about diversity in staff and faculty especially in Northwest Colorado. To address this we are advertising to a wider market when we have vacancies and have already found that to be helpful.
CDP: We also understand there are some community concerns about the ESL program? What is planned for the future of this program?
Granger: We are committed to the ESL program and will continue to offer our students the help needed. This program will be provided now and in the future.
CDP: Will the restructure impact any programs on either campus?
Granger: For next year’s budget, we did not cut programs on either campus. Changes were made in the supervision of the programs.
CDP: In addition to the Craig and Rangeley campuses, the college also owns the Bell Tower Building and Trapper Fitness. Will these be retained or are you considering divesting of these properties?
Granger: The Trapper building is under the control of the board of control, so I can’t tell you right now what will happen. We haven’t had any discussions about the Bell Tower to date.
CDP: Is the Craig soccer program making money? If not how much is it expected to cost and what steps are being taken so that this program becomes an asset?
Granger: As with any program we did not expect the soccer program to make money in the first year. The program was started late and we were restricted on recruiting because of time. This next year we have already been recruiting so we expect to have more student athletes in the program and will retain more of those students in future years. This year the program was close to breaking even with the tuition, fees and state aid generated.
CDP: At the end of last year and the beginning of this year roughly $500,000 was taken from cash reserves, the Colorado Community College system implemented a hiring freeze and some programs were scaled back. Why was $500,000 needed from the reserves? Can you put this amount in context of the overall budget and/or reserves?
Granger: Not being here last year, I can’t give all the reasons why those reserves had to be used. We do know that revenues were over budgeted and that was the main cause. Overall, $500,000 is approximately 5 percent of the total budget and was about 30 percent of the total reserves.
CDP: How has hiring continued to be impacted and looking into the next year, what will the projected decrease in revenues mean for hiring?
Granger: We have instituted a policy to look at all vacant positions when they come open. We determine then if we need to replace that position, hire for a different area, or not hire at all. This policy will continue in the future.
In part three we ask Granger about CNCC’s potential to grow.
Contact Sasha Nelson at 970-875-1794 or snelson@CraigDailyPress.com or follow her on Twitter @CDP_Education.