Though Lewis-Clark State College enrollment has been soaring, budget cuts are taking their toll, interim President Tony Fernandez told legislative budget writers this morning. Already, certain highly sought after classes, like microbiology, have had enrollment caps, making it harder for students to get into sections of the class they need as prerequisites for their majors, particularly in health-related fields. That could delay their graduation by as much as a year. “Faculty and staff retention may be affected if we continue to have years without merit increases,” Fernandez said. “Our salaries do not compare with our educational peers.” Through recent years' budget cuts, the college has tried to avoid cutting permanent faculty, but has reduced other positions, including a big cut in temporary hires, including adjunct faculty. He noted, “If there is a continued decline in general fund appropriations for support of higher education, there will be student fee increases.”
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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