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SBCC Officials Outline Improving Financial Picture

Santa Barbara City College officials offered an optimistic budgetary outlook Thursday during the first Board of Trustees meeting of 2013.

Among the bright spots reported: The college stands to gain $2.5 million from the approval of Proposition 30 in the November statewide election; staffing levels are expected to remain stable; and no increases in student fees are expected to occur this year.

After spending winter break preparing, trustees and administrators met Thursday to review this year’s budget situation.

“It’s been a remarkable several days,” SBCC President Lori Gaskin said.

Students can breath a sigh of relief as the California Community College System budget calls for no increases in student fees. In-state tuition will stay at $46 per unit, while non-resident tuition will decrease a dollar to $211 per unit.

No decrease was considered for California residents because many receive the board of governors fee waiver, according to Joe Sullivan, vice president of business services at SBCC.

However, the waiver that formerly was easily attained will now only be granted to students who also qualify for FAFSA, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, which is known to be better controlled and supervised by the state.

The college also was awarded a $150,000 grant from the Santa Barbara Foundation to support Get Focused, Stay Focused, a career-planning program for students.

The staff and faculty force has been kept stable, according to administrators.

Gaskin noted that all but one out of eight classified staff positions within adult education that were to be eliminated because of the recent reorganization have been placed in other areas within the institution.

“Personnel that were to be laid off now have been replaced,” reported Liz Auchincloss, president of the Classified Staff Employees’ Association.

Gaskin said the college will start to employ more full-time faculty “very soon,” once the current freeze ceases. This will result in a “large” employment rate, and serve as an investment in the City College population, she said.

Noozhawk intern Gabriella Slabiak can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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