Fort Lewis College's Center for Civic Engagement faces a
50 percent budget cut during the next two years as part of reductions across the college.
The center's $131,000 budget in 2009-10 looks to be cut by half, and it's unclear what the center will look like in two
The cut is a small part of the college's plan to close a
$4.5 million budget gap during the next two years. The budget cuts are driven mostly by expected drops in state
Founded in 1993, the center seeks to create an ethic of citizenship" through volunteerism, internships and off-campus
work study, according to the center's Web site.
Staff members at the center have sent a letter to supporters asking their help in lobbying FLC administrators and
trustees to reverse the proposal.
At this critical time, the center would like to ask you to add your voice to this process," says the March 24 letter
signed by FLC's Jennifer Stark, co-director of community outreach, and Michelle Bonanno, co-director of community-based
learning and research.
Bonanno referred questions to Stark, who said the center potentially could face personnel cuts if the proposal goes
through. She said the center is aligned with the college.
A lot of the activity that is generated through the center's mission was really modeled after the core values and the
mission of Fort Lewis," Stark said.
The budget proposal that
includes the projected cut to the center was created by a panel of FLC administrators, faculty and others. It calls for
laying off seven employees by 2011, but only one of those is a full-time faculty position.
Gary Linn, a member of the budget committee and the center's sponsoring dean, referred questions to Michele Peterson,director of budgets.
Peterson said the budget committee has not yet decided whether the center's cut will go through as proposed, but she
acknowledged concerns about it on campus.
College spokesman Mitch Davis cautioned that the budget proposal has not been finalized. After a round of public
hearings concludes, the proposal will be revised before being sent to President Brad Bartel and the Board of Trustees
Just because something is proposed doesn't mean that it'll come to fruition in the end," Davis said. But, he added,any changes that reverse proposed cuts will require reductions elsewhere.
If we take something out of the proposal, we'll have to find somewhere else to cut," he said. There are no easy
decisions, no more fat to cut. Every cut will hurt."