Santa Barbara City College will have a summer session this year but will consider eliminating it next year, Acting Superintendent/President Jack Friedlander said at a special meeting Monday afternoon.
He had proposed axing the 2012 summer classes to help balance the budget but then learned that 4,000 students were already enrolled, he said.
“I’m proposing we look at that for next summer so we start out with our lessons learned, so people can plan properly,” Friedlander said. “It’s a more orderly way of making that dramatic change.”
Joe Sullivan, vice president of business services, said eliminating the summer session was proposed because it was the only way to significantly reduce operating expenses for 2012-13 immediately.
The Board of Trustees will be considering other program cuts in the effort to balance the budget, which has to be fleshed out by June and adopted in September.
Friedlander and Sullivan will host three budget forums for the campus community this week to talk about options for closing the gap:
» 2:30 to 4 p.m. Tuesday in Administration Building Room A211 on SBCC’s East Campus, 721 Cliff Drive
» 5:30 to 7 p.m. Tuesday at Continuing Education’s Wake Center Auditorium, 300 N. Turnpike Road
» 1 to 2:30 p.m. Friday in the Humanities Building Room 111 on SBCC’s East Campus, 721 Cliff Drive
SBCC will have to cut millions of dollars in expenses, but it’s a wide range of $5.6 million to $14.6 million depending on Gov. Jerry Brown’s budget and whether his tax initiative passes in fall, Sullivan said.
Eliminating summer school got a strong reaction from the campus and was thrown out of consideration for this year, but there could be serious cuts to year-round credit and noncredit programs.
One proposal involves making more noncredit classes fee-based, so students will have to pay for classes that used to be free. Even then, many of the classes could be cancelled because of low enrollments, according to board documents.
Other ideas include reorganizing Continuing Education for a $1.4 million savings, charging more for student parking permits, enforcing parking rules more aggressively, and entering salary and benefit negotiations with the college’s bargaining units.
In Sullivan’s budget presentation Monday, one expense reduction was a one-time, $418,000 payout to the superintendent/president position that he said won’t need to be budgeted again for the 2012-13 year.
A big expense over the last year has been paying the salary of former President Andreea Serban, who was put on paid administrative leave until June 30, 2012, at her annual $215,000 salary. She has been working as an interim chancellor of educational services and technology for the Coast Community College District in Orange County since October, so SBCC has been compensating her for the difference between the two annual salaries.
Meanwhile, Friedlander has been acting president while the board finishes interviewing and selecting a replacement. All four candidates attended on-campus forums last week.