City College President Jack Friedlander was met with swift and vehement blowback when he floated the idea of canceling this year’s summer session over the weekend and summarily told the Board of Trustees that he is withdrawing the proposal. A public forum on the idea Monday — which was the first day of registration for summer classes — was also withdrawn.
“The more I learned about the ramifications, I realized it would not be a smart proposal,” said Friedlander. The ramifications were that about 4,000 students had already registered for summer session courses. The loss of classes would have thrown a wrench in their time-to-degree schedule, transfer plans, and summer accommodations. Instructors would also have been affected. Friedlander acknowledged that he should have proposed the idea much earlier.
Friedlander said he was quite serious, though. SBCC must plan for a worst-case-scenario budget that entails $14 million in cuts. “It makes me sad,” said Board President Peter Haslund, “because the state is saying we are abdicating our responsibility to educating the next generation.”
The cancellation of summer session would have saved $3.5 million. SBCC’s budget — as well as those of many educational institutions — hangs in the balance of both the state budget and the success of Governor Jerry Brown’s November tax-increase measure. Registration runs until May 17. Summer session runs from June 18 to July 28.