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Budget Update - February 28, 2010

Dear members of the Cabrillo Family,

The Cabrillo Governing Board will meet Monday night, March 1st, to review the latest round of budget reductions necessitated by the continuing fiscal crisis in Sacramento. As we all know too well, the past few years have been very challenging for Cabrillo and every one of California’s 112 community colleges. Unlike many organizations around the state, Cabrillo has maintained thoughtful, collegial dialog even during these times of unprecedented difficulty. While this has been possible because of excellent leadership across the College and our commitment to shared governance, the caring, compassionate leadership of Pegi Ard deserves special mention. It is hard to believe that Pegi is now in her final month as Vice President of Business Services. It is reassuring to know that even after her retirement at the end of March, Pegi will still be in Santa Cruz County and only a phone call away.

The recommendations before the Board Monday night are unfortunately only the latest round of reductions:

Last year, Cabrillo responded to an almost 8% reduction in total state funding for the current fiscal year (2009-2010) by identifying $3.2 million in budget reductions. At a time when the dismal performance of the state and national economy has prompted record numbers of students to come to Cabrillo, the reductions in state funding have forced us to significantly reduce course offerings and other programs and services. The impact on our students--as well as the men and women who would have taught the courses that were eliminated or provided needed services that have been reduced or eliminated--has been devastating.

In spite of the difficult work necessary to reduce our current 2009-2010 budget by $3.2 million, we still project that without further budget reductions we would begin the next fiscal year on July 1, 2010 with a "structural" deficit. That means that declining state revenues will be less than our projected expenses for 2010-2011. We have been working hard to be as ready for next year as possible, moving forward with an additional $1.3 million in budget reductions for 2010-11 including the suspension of the 2011 winter session. Every single one of the reductions proposed for next year is unpleasant and painful. Our Governing Board Budget Committee (Board Chair Gary Reece, Board Member Rachael Spence, and Board Member Susan True) have met regularly with the Administrative Council and our Constituent Leaders (Paul Harvell, CCFT President, Stephanie Stainback, CCEU President, and Steve Hodges, Faculty Senate President) to review and revise the budget reduction recommendations. Our College Planning Council has also played a vital role in developing impossibly difficult recommendations. I am tremendously grateful for the leadership displayed by everyone involved in the budget process, and encourage you to thank those who have been involved for what is frequently a thankless task.

In addition to the draconian cuts described above, Cabrillo has also been forced to address unexpected, severe reductions in State support for specific programs (32%-62%), totaling $2.5 million in additional cuts for Cabrillo College. The reductions to Categorical Programs (including EOPS/CARE, DSPS, and Matriculation) came at the very end of the last legislative session last year and without warning. To address these reductions in 2009-10, the College used one-time Federal Stimulus funds and college resources to provide appropriate planning time to assess the impact of these reductions on student programs and services. As a result of a spending freeze, the Managed Hiring process and careful fiscal planning, the ending balance for Cabrillo at the end of last year provided an opportunity to backfill the Categorical cuts for the current year. With additional cuts coming from Sacramento, we will not be able to backfill the cuts to Categorical Programs in 2010-2011.

While Cabrillo was able to delay the cuts to Categorical Programs in the current year because of prudent fiscal planning, faculty and staff will be directly impacted by the funding cuts in several of the specific programs and services for 2010-2011, including: Extended Opportunity Programs and Services (EOPS)/Cooperative Agencies Resources for Education (CARE), DSPS (including the Stroke Center), Matriculation and Basic Skills.

  • Reductions in these program areas will reduce or eliminate some faculty and classified staff positions.
  • Cabrillo has intentionally held vacant positions open whenever possible to provide displaced employees with potential opportunities for other employment

As I have shared with you many times in the last few years, I am hopeful that this latest round of budget reductions may be the last round. Unfortunately, we recognize that the continued inability of the legislature to effectively address a state budget deficit estimated at more than $21 billion makes complacency a luxury we cannot afford. We will continue to hope for the best while planning for a reality that could be even more grim. Through it all, I continue to be so proud to be a part of a college that remains focused on serving our students and community in the midst of crisis and chaos. Our students need Cabrillo now more than ever before. Thanks for your continued efforts to do everything within your power to help our students achieve their goals and dreams.

Brian

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