Peninsula College trustees approve budget, bargaining agreement

Full-time enrollment up 30 percent this spring over last year

PORT ANGELES — The Peninsula College Board of Trustees approved the school’s 2024-2025 budget and a collective bargaining agreement with the Peninsula College Faculty Association.

The $35,023,235 budget — $32,672,590 for operations and $2,350,645 for capital projects — included increases in state allocations for cost of living and health benefit increases and tuition revenue. The Washington State Board of Community and Technical Colleges in February approved a 3 percent tuition increase that, along with the college’s growing enrollment, contributed the revenue increase.

President Suzy Ames said during the trustees meeting June 11 that, to date, full-time enrollment in the spring quarter was 30 percent higher than in spring 2023. New bachelor, cybersecurity and natural resources programs contributed to the increase, she said.

In approving the PCFA’s 2024-2027 contract, the board significantly boosted full- and part-time faculty compensation, which lagged behind its peer institutions around the state. It also clarified the tenure process and included full-time advisors and athletic coaches for the first time.

In its election of new officers for the 2024-2025 academic year, the board approved vice chair Joe Floyd, Ph.D., of Sequim as the new chair and Claire Roney, Ph.D., of Port Townsend as vice chair.

Floyd replaced outgoing chair Dr. Michael Maxwell, who stepped down after serving on the board for 13 years.

Peninsula College is one of six Washington community colleges that will participate in a new statewide Tribal Stewards Program that will develop curricula that incorporates indigenous management techniques into natural resource programs. The Tribal Stewards Program is intended to train tribal members and non-members about sustainable environmental practices in areas impacted by climate change.

Peninsula College and the Makah Tribe will partner on the program, which will include recruiting more tribal students and providing opportunities for them to pursue a career in natural resources. Peninsula College presently offers a certificate and an associate of applied science degree in natural resources.

The other Tribal Stewards Program partners are: Grays Harbor College and the Quinalt Indian Nation; Green River College and the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe; South Puget Sound Community College and the Squaxin Island Tribe; and Spokane Community College and Wenatchee Valley College and the Colville Confederated Tribe.

Funding for Climate-Ready Workforce initiative was funded by the Inflation Reduction Act supported by U.S. Sens. Maria Cantwell, D-Mountlake Terrace, and Patty Murray, D-Seattle, and U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer, D-Gig Harbor.

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Reporter Paula Hunt can be reached by email at paula.hunt@peninsuladailynews.com.

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