Friday, October 2, 2009

5. Academic Senate Resolution: Budget Crisis, December 2008


Date Approved by Senate: December 9, 2008

Authored by: The Southwestern College Academic Senate



WHEREAS, the State of California is currently facing a $11.2 billion current year revenue shortfall, and

WHEREAS, The Governor of California has stated that all must be diligent in maximizing their budgets in order for our state to survive this period of history, and

WHEREAS, The Southwestern College Governing Board and the Superintendent/President have a fiduciary responsibility to all of District employees, constituents and students, and

WHEREAS, Southwestern College employees have been asked to cut expenses to assist the District to keep within this year’s budget and to plan for next year, and

WHEREAS, The Superintendent/President announced a deficit of approximately $4 million dollars in our District at the last Budget Task Force meeting, and

WHEREAS, Despite warnings from the Academic Senate and the SCEA , the District reported being in compliance with the FTO by being +9.0 when in reality it has now been determined to be -8.7, exposing the District to a probable $300,000 penalty from the Chancellor’s Office, and

WHEREAS, Our District now faces the very real probability of falling below cap due to excessive instructional cuts over the past two years, again in spite of caution expressed by both the Academic Senate and the SCEA, and

WHEREAS, The Superintendent/President has called for a further 5% cut in instructional offerings for the 2009-2010 academic year, which would expose the District to a second year of falling below cap, and lower the District’s base budget, and

WHEREAS, As part of the 10 + one agreements under mutual agreement, The Academic Senate and the District have agreed that Institutional planning and budget development are part of the aforementioned 10 + one areas, and

WHEREAS, The Academic Senate and the District, under policy #2510, support faculty rights to take risks, disagree, and voice unpopular opinions during collegial consultation in both public and private including but not limited to Board meetings, and

WHEREAS, The Southwestern College Governing Board and Superintendent/President have agreed to a 7.9% pay increase for the Superintendent/President despite the fiscally restrictive climate, and

WHEREAS, A Benchmark Comparison Study of Single College District salary reveals that Dr. Chopra’s salary and benefits are commensurate with other Single College District CEO’s salaries, and

WHEREAS, All of the aforementioned actions affect student access to an environment that is committed to meeting their educational goals, promoting intellectual growth and developing human potential, therefore,

BE IT RESOLVED, that the Academic Senate strongly recommends that no further cuts be made to the class schedule, that a data-based plan for enrollment guide the budget development process, and that the District continue to meet student needs by working collaboratively with faculty in optimizing the District’s base budget, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Academic Senate strongly recommends the hiring of at least 5 full-time tenure track instructors to prevent further penalties for falling below FTO guidelines, and

BE IT EVEN FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Academic Senate strongly urges that the Governing Board rescind the recently approved 7.9% salary increase for the Superintendent/President, and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the Academic Senate strongly exhorts the Superintendent/President decline the increase.

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