By Dr. Ross Tomlin
Last week, a group of TBCC staff, board members, and a student visited the capitol in Salem to attend a legislative summit. We met with our legislators, attended bill hearings, and had very productive discussions as we shared our thoughts on budget needs. This legislative process reminded me of the several different levels of governance at a community college, all working together to help the college function effectively so that we can be successful for our students. With the biennium funding session happening at the state legislature, this is a good time of year to share those levels of governance with you.
The Oregon State Legislature provides approximately 40% of the funding we receive annually, which goes to our general fund. Property taxes and tuition/fees are the other main sources of revenue. The TBCC Board will approve our budget in early June without knowing what allocation we will receive from the state; this makes budgeting an added challenge.
The TBCC Board approves the college budget, large expenditures, all college policies, and the hiring and evaluation of the college president. Our Board of Education recently approved a $2/credit increase to our tuition and universal fee. So, the tuition rate for next year will be $108/credit along with $22/credit for our universal fee, keeping TBCC close to the least expensive tuition/fees in Oregon.
Community College boards are made up of seven elected officials from within their college district. For TBCC, that is the whole of Tillamook County. We have an excellent board that cares deeply for our college and works well together to keep TBCC moving forward. Kathy Gervasi, retired Tillamook principal, has been the Board Chair for the past six years. Mary Faith Bell, a county commissioner, has been the Vice Chair for the past six years. We also have Mary Jones, owner of Pelican Brewing and other Tillamook County-based companies, Tamra Perman, co-owner of JAndy Oyster, and Betsy McMahon, a retired educator. Two new board members joined in October, Shannon Hoff, a nurse educator at Adventist Health Tillamook, and Andrea Goss, a retiree who is very active in the community.
Aside from the Oregon State Legislature and the Board of Education, community colleges also have a unique form of governance called shared governance. At TBCC, our shared governance is a College Council that includes faculty and staff that meet regularly. They approve all college administrative rules and evaluate all program reviews.
It takes this entire governance process to keep the college moving forward to accomplish our goals and help our students be successful. We are very fortunate at TBCC to have supportive and caring legislators, a Board of Education, faculty, and staff that works with college administration to make TBCC successful.