Every college and university has one: a Board of Trustees. The community entrusts them with the power to establish policies on behalf of the college district and to represent the community in college affairs. A person runs for office to sit on the Board of Trustees and must go through an election process. Students may also run for a seat on the Board of Trustees, but must run through the college electoral process, in which the students vote for their representative.
One student may be a representative for a year, while Board members serve a four-year term. A trustee may choose to run again if he or she wishes.
This year the Yuba College Board of Trustees has its share of problems to solve and concerns to resolve.
A major issue facing Yuba College, according to Trustee President, Susan Nicoletti, is the budget. At the February 14 Board of Trustees meeting, Michael Dencavage, Vice President of Business Services, announced the district’s need to reconcile $3,485,575 of its budget. In other words, the district must find a way to reduce or finance over $3 million of its expenditures.
“Getting online with our finances is an issue,” said Nicoletti, “but we are working as a team. Everyone is putting in a big effort. Every department is watching its spending and doing what it can to save money.”
Vice-President of the Board of Trustees, Alan Flory, noted, “A lot depends on money we receive from the State.”
Trustee Leela Rai concurs that a big issue facing Yuba College is the escalating costs of doing business. “We are pretty much re-assessing our priorities, but still want to give a quality education for our students,” said Rai.
Yuba College’s mission, according to Rai, is to prepare students to meet the ever-changing jobs of the future and still be responsive to the community needs. “We are in an exciting time right now. The decisions we are making now are going to have a good effect,” said Rai. “We have to be strong enough to balance the needs of students, staff and community. I believe the Board is cognizant of that and interested in promoting a premiere college.”
Nicoletti emphasized the college’s positive role in the community: “Yuba is a golden pot in our community. It gives students a chance to reach out and make their wishes come true.”
As for the future of Yuba College, Nicoletti would like the college to keep up with technology and be attractive to the new jobs that are coming to the area. According to Nicoletti, the Woodland and Lake County campuses are growing. The community population and student population within the district is growing.
Paul Mendoza, Vice President of Student Services, confirmed Nicoletti’s assertion of district growth at the February 14 Board of Trustee’s meeting, noting that district enrollments are up 7 percent from fall 99/00 to fall 00/01. Currently, the district is up 3 percent for the spring semester, said Mendoza.Flory predicts tremendous growth and improvement at all campuses in the future, with Yuba providing classes for transfer and vocational students.
“I’m happy with the way things are. I think it’s going to get better,” said Flory. “Negativism isn’t there; everyone is on the same wavelength to get things done. Everything is on the go. Everybody is seeing what can be accomplished.”
Students can keep abreast of what is being accomplished by obtaining a one-page update flyer of the Board meetings from the Public Information Office, room 1330 in Collin’s Hall, or by speaking to their student representative, Donna Evans, at 749-2938.