Governing Board President
It’s going to be a busy summer at Southwestern College.
Southwestern College is the only local college offering a comprehensive summer session. In spite of budget constraints, we are honoring our original plan to provide summer courses to our students who need them for graduation. We realize that obtaining courses will be challenging: our applications are up 70 percent and wait lists are long. But we must do our part to make courses available for students looking to complete their degrees, transfer or move into the workforce.
We also need a strong summer session to meet our full-time student enrollment targets, which impacts our state funding. Our funding is contingent upon our meeting those targets and, in these lean budget times, we must capture as much state funding as we can.
At the same time, we need to make some critical decisions about our budget. On Tuesday, May 10, Interim Superintendent/President Whittaker held a budget forum on the College District’s main campus (view the presentation here). Summarizing the hard work of the constituent-based Budget Committee, she outlined our reality: we must plan for an $8 – $12 million reduction in state funding, an increase in student fees in fall 2011 (from $26 to $36/unit) and the possibility of less Federal Pell or State aid for students.
Faced with these facts, our job is to plan years ahead so we are positioned to proactively respond to the State’s changing budget demands. The Budget Committee is exploring several options including, but not limited to:
- Cancellation of classes for Summer 2012
- State-mandated workload reduction between three and fourteen percent
- Using resources from the College District’s fund balance (one-time monies)
- An Early Retirement Incentive Plan (with an intentional commitment of non-replacement for most positions)
- Less spending on supplies, travel, contracts and equipment
- Reduce overtime and hourly expenditures
- Voluntary Contract Reduction (e.g.: 12- to 11-month)
None of these are easy choices – and not the end of the choices we must make. But for the long-term viability of Southwestern College we must keep focused on our mission: serving a diverse community of students by providing a wide range of dynamic and high quality educational programs and comprehensive student services.
We have been serving the South Bay community for 50 years and been accredited since 1964. It’s only through strong fiscal leadership and discipline, and collaborative decision-making, that we will continue that tradition of service and success.
Make History, Celebrate 50 Years
This is our season of celebrations, from award and scholarship ceremonies to individual program graduations. We encourage you to participate.
Join us for the College District’s 50th annual commencement ceremony on Friday, May 20 at 4 p.m. in DeVore Stadium. Since 1961, Southwestern College has served more than 500,000 students. However they arrived here – as a high school graduate or long-time working professional, the son or daughter of immigrants or fifth-generation Americans, or a veteran who proudly served our country – graduation today is key to our graduates’ academic career and life. Please join us to celebrate this milestone in the life of our new alumni.
Governing Board President