Where to Cut
Academic, classified, and other non-academic salaries are the largest areas of expenditures at SBCC and possible reductions should be considered in their budget discussions.
Otherwise you risk people asking why are we not talking about this as an option. No one knows what will happen in November. What is known is the time frame for planning classes and programs.
This possibility would be far less disruptive and complicated than layoffs and furloughs. It could be presented as a temporary emergency solution possibly for a one-year period. Should the governor’s measure supporting community colleges pass in November’s election, it could be revoked at that time.
With the current burn rate they cannot continue to draw-down reserves; this is not sustainable. Deferrals from the state, which is money already owed to the college, could go up to $20 million.
I know many teachers and they prefer this to the butchering of programs and the loss of teachers and support staff’s jobs. In the big picture, this would protect teachers. Most importantly, you protect the institution and the students it serves. You would be surprised, outside of management, how popular this idea is becoming with people asking, “Why not?”
This is an environment never seen before and requires new ways of operating to successfully survive or excel. Passing on the increase in health insurance costs to employees is not saving the college anything, just keeping costs from rising further. Systemic operational savings are needed.
Teachers have told me what it is like to loose support staff and the negative effects it has on the quality of classroom instruction when they do not have proper support staff or assistants, and have to absorb these duties in addition to delivering their lesson plans.
Students understand having to pay more to get more. However when you ask students to pay more for their tuition and parking and then cut back on class offerings and numbers of students allowed to register for classes, something is wrong with that equation.
SBCC could take a lesson from UCSB. When they were faced with the severe fiscal problems they had, they got ten bargaining units together to move the university forward.