Dr. Denise K. Henning speaks at a forum on priority planning for Northwest Community College in Houston on Oct. 26.

College holds forum to choose priorities

Facing a tight-budget future, Northwest Community College is turning to the public to help it narrow its priorities.

Facing a tight-budget future, Northwest Community College is turning to the public to help it narrow its priorities.

“We have hard decisions to make,” said Dr. Denise K. Henning, the college president and CEO. “Post-secondary education can no longer do business as it has in the past.”

Dr. Henning said that some economists predict that a shrinking global economy and an ageing population could mean that 30 to 35 per cent of post-secondary institutions will shut down by 2025.

Answering questions Oct. 26 at an all-day planning forum in the Houston Seniors Activity Centre, Dr. Henning did not sugar-coat her words.

“I’m going to be honest—we’re in about a $1.7 million deficit,” she said. “The bottom line is we will be doing business within it, narrowing our focus, broadening the depth.”

At a recent meeting of the B.C. finance committee, NWCC Vice President David O’Leary said the college is facing a 74 per cent drop in base funding.

Coupled with a reduction in funding from B.C.’s Industry Training Authority, the college’s annual capital cost allowance has gone from $827,000 to $215,00 a year since 2009, he said.

“The college has had to undertake extraordinary measures to continue to meet the range of programs and services required by our population,” O’Leary said. “We don’t have the capacity to provide even minimal maintenance with the funds we currently receive.”

To do well in that tough fiscal environment, Dr. Henning said NWCC has to stay relevant to people in the northwest.

“We have to meet students where they are,” she said.

Last year, the average student at NWCC was 28 years old and had three children, she added—not the typical image of a college kid fresh out of high school.

At its Houston campus, the college will hold training for road builders and heavy equipment operators starting in January and this spring—examples of the sort of industry-focused training the college wants to continue.

“You will see a lot of change,” Dr. Henning said. “We will be working side by side with business and industry, and our sister institutions because that’s where efficiencies are created and more is possible.”

Called “Together This Way Forward,” the priority-planning exercise will tour 15 northwest communities before it wraps up. The result will be a college plan for 2012 to 2017.

Anyone who missed the live forums can complete a survey at www.nwcc.bc.ca. The survey will remain online until early December.

 

Just Posted

Better dangerous goods response wanted

Regional district directors to consider resolution tomorrow

Marijuana to be legal in Canada Oct. 17: Trudeau

Prime Minister made the announcement during question period in the House of Commons

‘Daddy bonus’ common in B.C. workplaces, study finds

UBC researchers say dads don’t have to be number one in the office to get a raise

Highway to Granisle to be sealcoated

Project to be completed by this fall

Houston student preparing for B.C. Summer Games

She wants to encourage more girls to play baseball

In reversal, Trump signs executive order to stop family separation

President had been wrongly insisting he had no choice but to separate families apprehended at border

UPDATED: Polygamous wife appeals conviction in B.C. child bride case

Emily Blackmore was found guilty of taking her underage daughter to U.S. to marry church leader

B.C. sets deadline for Indigenous salmon farm consent

All 120 operations will need agreements by 2022, province says

Family of 4 from Oregon believed to be missing in northern B.C.

RCMP, Search and Rescue crews searching area where vehicle was abandoned

B.C. creates public registry to track real estate owners

The first registry of its kind in Canada aims to end the hidden property ownership

Police watchdog called to Kelowna after car destroyed in crash

A motor vehicle incident has closed Highway 33 in both directions

BC SPCA receives 400 reports of dogs in hot cars so far this year

Society is again urging people to leave their pets at home if they can’t keep them safe in the heat

8 B.C. communities rank as the friendliest in Canada

Eight B.C. communities can claim they are the friendliest in the country.

Canucks host all-inclusive birthday party for B.C. kids with autism

Such invitations are rare for some kids with autism, and one B.C. family knows the feeling

Most Read