From the Boardroom
Norma L. Hernandez
Governing Board President
Friends of Southwestern College,
The Southwestern College Governing Board continues its steady progress in addressing the financial impact of reduced state funding. With the support of faculty and staff in accepting a 5% pay reduction college-wide, using $1 million from the college’s reserves and additional cost savings, the board unanimously approved a balanced budget of $87.9 million at the June 20 meeting.
These continue to be difficult economic times for education. The Governing Board is increasing its advocacy with state legislators to protect the interests of community colleges in general, and Southwestern College in particular. This month, we joined community colleges throughout California to ask that we not be penalized for the changes in funding from redevelopment agencies.
Without a change to the budget act, community colleges would have been responsible for bridging the funding gap until redevelopment agency funds were released to education—a delay of up to two years. Thankfully we were successful in getting the change approved. As we move closer to November, we will also be closely monitoring the Governor’s tax initiative, for its passage or failure will have a large impact on our budget.
The Governing Board has also embarked on a thoughtful process for beginning negotiations for a Community Benefit Agreement, more commonly known as a Project Labor Agreement. It is our intent that union and non-union contractors have equal access to the remaining Proposition R projects.
Norma L. Hernandez, Governing Board President