This year’s drop in enrollment, search for a next year’s president, and Central Oregon Community College’s other important issues were the focus of the Board of Directors’ meeting on Oct. 9.
1: Enrollment drop
COCC’s enrollment is down 4.8 percent this term, according to Jim Middleton, president of COCC.
“This is expected,” Middleton told the Board. “We planned for at least 2.5 percent.”
Middleton explained that community college enrollment is reciprocal with the state of the economy.
“When the economy tanks, people come back to school,” Middleton said. “The economy gets better, people go back to work.”
The drop in new students was substantial, but balanced out by a rise in transfer and returning after absence students, as well as more concurrently enrolled high school students.
2: Ochoco remodel
A $1.7 million remodel is currently in planning for to provide more office space in the Ochoco building at COCC’s Bend campus. The goal is to gather the Humanities and World Languages and Cultures departments, which are currently spread across campus, into one section of one building, according to the progress report. The remodel is currently in the predesign stage, but work in classrooms will have to be finished by Fall 2014.
3: Purchase of BrightSide for Veterinarian Tech program
As the County gave COCC the “go-ahead” for the land purchase, COCC has now acquisitioned BrightSide Animal Center as a lab and classroom space for the Veterinarian Tech Program. A minimum remodel will take place to bring BrightSide up to standard, according to the progress report. The budget for the whole project, including land acquisition, is $486,000.
4: Approval of the Budget Committee
Members of the COCC Budget Committee are elected respective to zones they represent in the community, and the State of Oregon requires that those zones be reevaluated “regularly” to keep with population change, according to Paradis. However, with the changes in zones, some members now live in zones they don’t represent. Ron Paradis, director of college relations, recommended the Board of Directors make exceptions that under “special circumstances” for members who live in-district, but in a neighboring zone can represent that zone. The Board of Directors approved this item.
Editor’in’Chief, The Broadside