Budget main topic at PCC meeting

Budget concerns and supply shortfalls dominated the Pierce College Council (PCC) meeting today in the conference room of the College Services Building in Woodland Hills, Calif.


Also on the agenda for Thursday, July 26, 2012 were reports on the progress of buildings around the campus, and a proposal for the possible suspension of the PCC’s Shared Income Policy.


Anna Davies, vice president of Academic Affairs, was on hand to help council members understand exactly where the college was in the budgetary process.


“We’re sitting between the tentative and final budget right now,” Davies said. “We’ve managed to reduce our overall budget by 4.3 percent from the 2010-11 fiscal year to the 2012-13 fiscal year.”


The Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD) set a goal of 6 percent.


Although Pierce College may fall short of that goal, Davies stated the 4.3 percent decrease reflects the sweeping reductions being made in order to meet the tough financial demands made by the district.


“We are facing a dire year,” Davies said. “We are being as fiscally responsible as we can possibly be already, but we still have difficult decisions to make in order to be in the best position we can be.”


The budget, over $53 million last year, will not be easy to balance, and departments across the campus are searching for new ways to cut costs.


It hasn’t been easy to continue streamlining departmental budgets, according to Budget Committee Resource Associate Bruce Rosky.


“There’s no low-hanging fruit left,” Rosky said, referring to earlier, less-intrusive budget cuts. “It’s all up in the branches now.”


Money for supplies such as paper and toner cartridges is not there, and it presents an opportunity for a greener solution.


As it stands, instructors may be going “paperless” much sooner than they expect, according to Davies.


“Moodle is in place,” Davies said, referring to the online course management system already widely used at Pierce. “The information is there; now we are aiming to remove the hard copies.”


Although the purse strings will continue to be tightened for the foreseeable future, Davies pointed out what she considered two positive outcomes.


First, she reported to the council that Pierce College’s share of the proceeds from the California State Lottery had been increased in response to the college’s budget cuts.


Davies then added that there would be no academic interruptions to the students in either the Fall 2012 or Spring 2013 semesters.


“We’ve planned in such a way to balance the fall and spring semesters,” Davies said. “We had to, or the affect on our students and faculty would be overwhelming. Luckily, we planned for these cuts.”


The PCC meets again on July 26, 2012 in the conference room of the College Services Building at 2 p.m.


For more on this and other budget stories, visit www.roundupnews.com