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Cuts may trigger dip into reserve funds

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The campus may be facing funding cuts by the state legislature

By Bonnie Gordon

The UNM-Los Alamos two-mil levy request, which goes before voters this month by mail-in ballot, was the first item on the agenda at the Monday meeting of the UNM-LA Advisory Board.

Los Alamos County utility customers are currently receiving election information in their January bills, Director of Student Services Patricia Boyer said. A number of speaking engagements have been arranged to educate the public about the election over the course of the month. The public can see a calendar of speaking engagements on the campus Web site at www.la.unm.edu.

The Central Avenue Grill has agreed to host a fundraiser for the campus on Jan. 21. The campus will receive 20 percent of the evening’s receipts in the dining room. This fundraiser will benefit the UNM-LA Director’s Discretionary Fund, Executive Director Cedric Page said.

Michael Wismer has resigned from the UNM-LA Advisory Board due to other commitments. He was recently elected chair of the Los Alamos County Council. His position, which runs through spring 2011, will be filled through application to the board. The board members will select someone to fill the seat from these applications, said Board Chairperson Marie Chiravalle.  More information on the application process will be available soon, she said.

During the meeting, Director of Business Services Lisa Clough presented a report on campus finances. “I feel we’ve been very fiscally responsible. Departments have been very good about pinching pennies,” she said.

UNM-LA may end up going into reserve funds to pay for spring semester classes, in spite of departmental savings, Clough said. The campus may be facing funding cuts by the state legislature during the upcoming session.

“Spring enrollment is looking good,” Boyer said. Currently enrollment levels are up approximately 7 percent over last year at the same time, she said.  Student Services expects a large increase in dual enrollment by high school students over the next few semesters. Page

commented that a 19 percent dropout rate at Los Alamos High School may indicate a higher demand for GED classes at UNM-LA.

Dean of Instruction Kate Massengale reported that UNM-LA has received a grant to provide Internet training, online learning training and other computer related instruction around the entire state. Grants to provide funds for the Applied Technologies and Environmental Science program are currently being written. Paperwork has been sent to UNM-Albuquerque for curriculum review on a new Health Sciences associate degree program.