by Ryan Burns
Anticipating major cuts to its state funding, College of the Redwoods has prepared a preliminary 2011-2012 budget that excises $2.5 million in expenses. Those savings would be achieved in part by cutting 200 class sections (an 11 percent reduction), suspending men's soccer and basketball baseball for at least two years and leaving eight currently vacant full-time positions unfilled.
Four full-time administrative or managment positions have already been cut, CR Interim President Utpal Goswami said in a press release. "However," he added, "we are not planning any more layoffs unless the budget changes significantly at the state level."
CR's Board of Trustees voted Monday to approve the operating budget, which is slated to be finalized in September after the state's own budget is (cross your fingers) approved. The $2.5 million figure could increase or decrease depending on what the Legislature decides. Most of the 200 classes set to be eliminated are taught by part-timers, according to the release.
Gaswami offered a silver lining: New building projects currenlty underway at the main CR campus will pump "at least $20 million" into the local economy through construction contracts, he said. The projects include a new Student Services and Administration building, already in progress, and two new academic buildings, which are set to break ground this summer.