By Blaine Jackson
Staff writer

The sudden arrival of 20 students in support of the radio and television program on Thursday, Nov. 15, surprised people attending the Academic Council meeting.

A short commercial was presented near the end of the meeting in defense of the program. The commercial featured a testimonial from Renee McCallen, who graduated from LBCC, and a statement from radio personality Rick Dees for why the program should be saved.

Executive-In-Charge for the Dr. Phil Show and The Doctors, Rich DeMichele also argued in favor of the program.

Representatives from 19 programs considered for cuts, stepped forward to voice their reasons why their programs should not be cut.

Counseling, medical assisting, recording arts, photography are just a few of the programs being put up for possible cuts as the Academic Council met.

One after the other, each teacher representative came up to present their own proposals on how they can cut costs from their programs and still improve retention rates.

Fred Lamm, who teaches automotive mechanics, came up to speak and seemed to speak on the behalf of all the programs presented.  Lamm mentioned his program can help get his students work in a short amount of time after they complete the program.

But, he went on to speak for the students who don’t complete their program. “If a student leaves college and achieves what they wanted out of our program, are they a dropout? No. They are successful because they got what they needed from us.”

The comment caught the attention of everyone attending. Lamm also said “How many basketball players who played here have become professional?” as a comparison to the retention rate of his program compared to the success of the sports programs that aren’t targeted for discontinuance.

After the meeting, President Eloy Oakley shed some light on how the information he received would affect the final decision.

While the comments from Lamm would not a determining factor, the proposals that each programs made would be.

Oakley said, “We decide which programs have a higher chance of being discontinued by making a list and seeing which programs fit certain criteria for being discontinued. Programs that do not fit the criteria get placed on the bottom of the list. Programs that do meet criteria are on placed toward the top.”

When talking about how many programs will be cut, Oakley said, “We’ll have to wait to hear from Sacramento to see what our budget looks like. We’ll make our decision from there.”

He then said that if there is money for only six programs, the six programs that meet less of the criteria to be cut, will be kept. The final decision to cut will not be made until January.