Academic Senate looking to evade district problems
As Pierce College awaits its accreditation process in March, the Academic Senate vehemently discussed on Monday ways to evade the fate of other Los Angeles Community College District’s schools, which are under sanctions.
At the meeting in the in school’s College Services Conference Room, Senate President for Academic Policy, Tom Rosdahl explained that the three other schools in the Los Angeles Community College District—Harbor Community College, Southwest Community College, and West Los Angeles Community College (West L.A.)— asked the district for $750,000 to finance efforts to clear the sanctions.
“Harbor wants $249,000, and these,” Rosdahl stated. “They want $90,000 for half of a salary of an ALO, which is an accreditation liaison officer, for one year expense. They want $20,000 for stipends. I’m sure to pay faculty or classified people to do work. They want $135,000 dollars for reassigned time for faculty. That means they’ll take a faculty member out of the classroom. And they want $4,000 to pay the team to come back.”
He said Southwest requested $279,000, and West L.A. asked for $210,000.
Senate Vice President John Zayac stated that he was displeased with the procedure to allocate funds in the district.
“One of the big problems I have is that when looking at being in a district, a couple colleges always tend to be ahead of the curve, and they’re doing their job— they’re being fiscally conservative,” Zayac stated. “And then that money ends up being diverted to other colleges that aren’t doing as good of a job.”
Rosdahl stated that while he was not glad that the schools might receive money for issues Pierce College planned in advance for, he understood that the money was allocated out of necessity.
“These colleges have to fix it. It has to be done. It’s money that must be spent,” Rosdahl commented. “If you say, ‘No, we won’t give them the money,’ then they’re just going to go down the tube—and you can’t allow that…they’ll go down to the next level and they could eventually lose accreditation. And if they did, then we’d have bigger problems. “
While Zayac recognized the need for funds at other schools in the district, he still said it was unfair to Pierce College’s careful planning each semester.
“While I realize we’re a system, it’s frustrating for us to it here in every meeting to talk about accreditation, and then talk about the limits to what we can actually do to address the weaknesses we’ve identified ourselves,” Zayac said. “So that’s why we’re sending Tom to the district budget committee to argue to give us money ahead of time so we can address our own issues.”
Vice President of Academic Affairs, Ana Davies stated that while the college is suffering fiscally, the institution has prepared for any fiscal “worse case scenarios” and that it was unlikely that scheduling for the spring semester would be impacted.