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Budget Update - May 27, 2010 

Dear members of the Cabrillo Family,

More than fifty members of our faculty, staff and administration took part in the Town Hall Budget and Benefits meeting yesterday at the Sesnon House. Vice President of Administrative Services Victoria Lewis did an excellent job presenting the challenging news from Sacramento in a clear, understandable way. At the end of the meeting, I asked those in attendance for their help in summarizing the key points from the dialog to share with those who were unable to attend. I really appreciate the insights from our colleagues, and will attempt to share them with you concisely. The written materials presented at the Town Hall Meeting are posted here.

First of all, it was clear to those in attendance that the budget challenges will be with us for several more years. As much as we would all like to close the chapter on budget reductions, the state budget crisis is almost certain to continue for two or three years or more with little or no new revenue from Sacramento. No one likes having to share such difficult news, but everyone agreed transparency must remain a paramount goal, especially when the news is bad.

While revenues from Sacramento will be flat at best for the foreseeable future, expenses at Cabrillo continue to rise. In a nutshell, we project that, absent significant unexpected increases in revenues or substantial reductions in expenses, we will have a budget deficit for 2011-2012 in excess of $4 million that will grow to almost $6 million for 2012-2013. With about 87% of our total budget going to compensation and benefits, the lion's share of the increases in expenses are a result of significant  cost increases in heath and dental insurance as well as other increases in compensation costs. We have cut millions of dollar from our budget since 2008, but the increases in expenses continue to outpace the cuts we have made.

One of the great questions at the Town Hall Meeting was, "What do we do next?" None of the options available to us is good. Given the scope of the deficits we face and the slim likelihood of increased state funding, we will have to make difficult choices together in the coming months. Because planning must continue during the summer months, the attendees at the Town Hall Meeting emphasized that everyone needs stay in touch during the summer. We will do everything possible to continue and expand our communications efforts, so please check email during the summer months even if you would not normally do so.

In the midst of the ongoing distraction of the budget, our focus at Cabrillo has always remained on helping our students be successful. One of our highlights every year is graduation, and this year will be no exception.

I hope to see you at our annual graduation on Friday, June 4th. It is wonderful to have a celebration that reminds us so powerfully of our mission and passion.

Thanks for your continued good work for our students and our community.


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