ROCK SPRINGS (WNE) — Thirteen instructors at Western Wyoming Community College will conclude their time at the college at the end of the semester under cost-saving recommendations that were approved by the Board of Trustees on Thursday night. While Western will receive about $300,000 more in state funding than projections indicated last week, a shortfall is still anticipated in the 2021-2022 school year, so trustees voted 6-1 to approve measures including layoffs and benefit reductions.
Last week, the board was told it faced a $2.3 million to $2.4 million shortfall in the next school year. This week, they received the news that more funding is forthcoming, but it is not enough to close the gap. Even with extra funding and the budget revisions, the college still expected to have to use about $200,000 from reserves to balance the budget, which is why the administration still endorsed its budget recommendations.
Dr. Kim Dale, president of Western Wyoming Community College, recommended the budget changes with “confidence and a very heavy heart.” She said that on behalf of the entire Western community, she hopes that they won’t have to come forward again with similar recommendations.
Trustee Carla Hester-Croff was the only trustee to vote against the revised budget. She said she agreed with most of the recommendations, but not all, so she wouldn’t vote for it. She said the college’s focus should be education, and more alternatives should have been explored.