On Friday April 26th, Yuba College was pleased to be in attendance for an audience with Chancellor Douglas Houston. The topics of discussion were as follows: Accreditation, Short term goals and strategic planning, Phase 2 reorganization, Fiscal budget year 2012-2013 budget updates. Chancellor Houston discussed many issues, most of them having to do with budget allocations. There were many faculty members present asking questions ranging from concerns about budget resources to student welfare and facility renovations. Houston also met head on these questions and concerns.
Concerns were also expressed by some faculty about renovations of the 500 building on the Yuba campus facility and the proposed move of the Yuba College District offices. The Chancellor also discussed the deferred payments of Measure J which has caused some cash flow problems for other areas of fiscal responsibility at Yuba College and the Sutter Campus facility.
Chancellor Houston said, “Last year 20% or about $4.5 million of Measure J bonds were deferred. This year another 6 million in fall and $12 million in spring have created a cash flow problems.” He went on to say that almost all of the new technology at the Sutter campus was bought with general bonds which are now becoming unavailable because of the high cost of repayment on the capital appreciation portion of Measure J. It will be interesting to see how the financial structure of bond deferments affects the necessary improvements of the online learning environment and the further construction of the library at the Yuba College campus.
The library was financed with funds allocated by Measure J and the recent Accreditation sanctions have called for improvement in the technology of online resources to improve Student Learning Outcomes (SLO’s). These new improvements will require money as well.
There was much talk about the Building 500 renovations at this strategic planning meeting. The benefits to students, which are many, were stressed by faculty and concerns were expressed about Chancellor Houston’s inability to address these concerns at this time.
The 500 Building is home to the beginning computer applications, typing, and mathematics tutoring areas of Yuba College. The technology in these departments could definitely stand to be updated at least to the quality of that on the Sutter Campus. Also the building standards themselves could use some upgrades, especially in the air ventilation and cooling systems; however, the renovations planned have been dependent upon money that has not been available for quite sometime now. Renovations were not contingent on Measure J money or funding by Prop 30.
Houston also discussed some of the benefits, costs ,and savings comprised in the district budget allocations. Further topic for discussion was the need for students to take personal responsibility for their own success, in particularly when it comes to financial aid. There are some changes to the financial aid structure pending in the state legislature which should interest students currently receiving or intending to receive financial aid.
When Proposition 30 passed, “trigger cuts“ were avoided, repayment of money already borrowed against the budget, helping the college out of a severe money crunch. Had Proposition 30 not passed, over $2 million would have become due and payable at that time. It is important to become aware that Yuba College will not see any help from Proposition 30 funds until at least July 15th, 2013 at the earliest, when these funds are slated to become available. I believe Prop 30 will provide some financial help and budget cuts for the district budget will also help.
One of the main focal points of the session was the possibility of the relocation of the division office. Yuba college carries the Beale, Woodland and Clear Lake and (Sierra) and Sutter campuses as part of its system. The Prospector will be detailing some factual information which may help answer some of these very serious and important issues questions about the district office move and the fiscal resources needed to complete some projects long overdue when we take a look at the 2013-14 Revenue and Expenditure Projections. Stay tuned to the Prospector for all your news and sports!