On February 16 Governor Herbert signed the 2012 Fiscal Year Higher Education Budget Bill HB0007SDI. The bill calls for a seven percent budget cut for Higher Education Schools, and for a 5.9 percent budget cut for Utah College of Applied Technology, or UCAT schools. The bill goes into effect July 1.
The Higher Education Appropriations Subcommittee (HEAS) was introduced to HB7, calling for 7 percent budget cuts – and possibly a 10 percent budget cut. The subcommittee was able to find the funds to keep the budget cut at 7 percent. It listened to many presentations by different members of the higher education community, including SLCC’s own President Bioteau. These presentations showed how important Utah’s colleges and universities are to the state’s economic future.
The Higher Education Appropriations Subcommittee prioritized the budgets under their jurisdiction in the event more funds become available to replace some of the 7 percent cut in the base budget. They recommended replacing 4 percent of the Utah State Higher Education funding as a second priority, and the remaining 3 percent of the budget as their sixth priority.
In February, along with other colleges and universities throughout the state, Salt Lake Community College presented the positive attributes of the school to the State Legislature. In the presentation the College states its mission as “a comprehensive community college providing access to education and training for a skilled and educated workforce.”
The presentation lists SLCC’s pathways, which are associate degrees, certificates, licensure and customized training.
The presentation goes on to state that SLCC is ranked third in the nation of associate degrees conferred. The college has 62,617 Salt Lake area students that are educated and trained annually. It has 120 degree programs and 60 plus career and technical education programs. The “by the numbers” part of the presentation finishes by showing that 74.2 percent of SLCC students are part time students, many who are already engaged in Utah’s workforce. Total head count since fall 2008 has increased by 4,116 students, which equals a 14 percent increase.
“Every year during the legislative session the College strives to tell about our students to the Legislature and the public. Our greatest challenge is maintaining student access and quality of service in the wide range of difficulties we’ve been facing in these hard times,” Joy Tlou, Director of Public Relations of SLCC said.
SLCC also shows positive numbers of its School of Applied Technology (SAT). SLCC provides open entry, open exit, non-credit, competency-based technical training. The SAT provides 938,257 hours of training in Salt Lake County. They have a 63.5 percent completion rate, an 82.7 percent placement rate, and an 89.2 percent Licensure rate.
President Bioteau, along with Trustees Jesselie Anderson (Board Chair), and Gail Miller (Board Vice chair), visited with key legislators informing them of the College’s priorities and the important role that the College plays in the states system of higher education.