Editorial from President Greg Hamann

It’s not by accident that Linn-Benton Community College’s middle name is “Community.” Formed by the Linn-Benton community in 1966 and governed by a community-elected Board for all of the 44 years since that time, we at LBCC continue to build on our commitment to serving you; our community.

Not so much a statement of mission as a description of our passion, we continue to believe that our communities are better places to live and to work because of what we do. By providing almost universal access to quality education beyond high school (and even for those who did not complete high school), LBCC creates critical pathways for all of us to benefit from and contribute to the economic and cultural vitality of the Linn-Benton community of which we all are a part.

We do this in a variety of ways, through a variety of programs, striving always to be responsive to the diverse needs of our community. Here are just a few examples:
• Our partnership programs with area high schools – such as College Now – as well as our partnership with Oregon State University – the Degree Partnership Program – create accessible and affordable pathways for many to pursue a 2-year degree, 4-year degree, and beyond.
• For those who did not complete high school, LBCC has a variety of “re-entry” programs and support services that make it possible for many to get back on track toward the expanded opportunities that post-high school education provides.
• For those looking to develop or enhance their skills for the workplace, LBCC provides and is continually developing career and technical education programs that equip graduates for today’s – and tomorrow’s – jobs. The new Mechatronics and Occupational Therapy Assistant programs are two examples of our commitment to making sure we have programs that are current and relevant to the jobs right here in our community.
• And for those who are looking for an education that enriches their life in ways other than – or broader than – their career, LBCC provides a rich array of Personal Enrichment classes that enrich our communities as well, one student at a time.

But, while we at LBCC remain wholly committed to serving the community, this year we are especially challenged in our continued capacity to do so. Reflecting and affirming the critically important role we play in our community, student enrollment at LBCC has increased by 25% in just the past two years, and looks to increase by as much as another 10-15% in this current year. Unfortunately, at the same time that we are experiencing this double-digit increase in demand, the public resources available to us to serve each of our students has decreased by about 33%, leaving us with tough decisions about tuition increases, program reductions, and reductions in student support services. You may hear about these decisions in the months ahead and, when you do, I hope you will know that they are in response to reduced funding and in no way an indication of reduced commitment to you, our community.

We at Linn-Benton Community College are grateful for the role you have given us to play in building better places to live and to work.

Greg Hamann
President, LBCC

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