MHCC board delays vote on program cuts
The Mt. Hood Community College Board of Education will not vote on a controversial move to cut seven career programs at its meeting Wednesday, Dec. 18, but will take more time to review the proposal.
Cutting the seven programs as part of a "revitalization process" would save the school about $800,000 and make a dent in the institution's deficit spending.
The program eliminations affect 11 instructors but the college said it will work with them and they might be given other roles in the college.If the programs are discontinued, it would likey cut enrollment by about 182 students.
The programs the administration proposed to terminate are cosmetology, environmental health and safety, automotive maintenance and light repair, business technology, practical nursing, broadcasting and wilderness leadership and experiential education.
Most of these programs are relatively small. The college would still offer automotive programs such as its Subaru U and other medical programs such as the nursing program connected with Oregon Health & Science University.
"This is not something we take lightly. Board members asked for additional information on the impacts of the cuts, and therefore would like time to review the new data to ensure we make an informed decision about these seven programs," MHCC Board Chair Diane McKeel said in a statement.
The November announcement that the seven programs would be axed drew well over 100 protesters to a Nov. 20 board meeting. More than 75 faculty, students, graduates, employers and community members spoke on behalf of the seven programs, some of them brought to tears.
The speakers at the Nov. 20 board meeting criticized the college's process of coming up with the cuts as not being transparent. Some of the faculty in the programs were stunned that their courses of study were to be eliminated. Some speakers argued the data used to make the proposed cuts was not accurate.
The board will hold its regularly scheduled meeting on Dec. 18, but no action will be taken regarding academic revitalization or the seven programs at that time. The board will reconvene in January, but no date or agenda have been set for that meeting.
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