I have worked at Santa Barbara City College for 20 years under three different superintendent/presidents and have served as staff union president for more than 15 years. During my employment, I have witnessed both good and bad economic times at the college, and this is the worst I have ever seen.
As a state-funded institution, SBCC has received significant cuts in the past two years. The impact has been felt everywhere on campus, both on the credit and the non-credit sides. Effective leadership, particularly in such uncertain times, requires hard decisions.
Our current Board of Trustees and administration have seen the need for sound financial responsibility and are willing to make the difficult choices.
Through careful savings and sacrifices by all college departments, SBCC is maintaining healthy reserves as a cushion for periods when the state may be delayed in making payments, or for funding important programs that have received permanent cuts. This has happened in the past, and we have been warned that it will most likely happen again.
Without reserves, permanent employees getting furloughed or laid off are strong possibilities. We have certainly seen that happen at other community colleges that are not in as good financial shape. I very much appreciate what the SBCC board and administration are doing to keep regular classified staff employed. With such economic uncertainty, it’s reassuring to know that the college is fully committed to its permanent staff.—Liz Auchincloss, S.B.