A 15 percent budget cut in the Pierce College budget is inevitable, according to an announcement delivered to members of the Academic Senate by Vice President of Academic Affairs Anna Davies.
“It will be a difficult time for us,” Davies said.
However, they are still deciding what that means for both adjunct and full time teachers, incoming freshmen, as well as the student schedule.
If the 15 percent cut is implemented, then the first thing to be reduced is “people and utilities,” according to Davies. She emphasized that the last thing she wants to see is a reduction in the schedule.
Members of the senate argued over the news and asked if it was possible for the school to close during the summer to reduce the cost of utilities, some argued it might be a better idea to try for a cheaper utility plan, saving the college money in the long run, this would easily be achievable considering the option of cheaper packages for Business Utilities.
“I am not recommending to cut summer,” Davies said.
However, if Pierce does implement a 15 percent cut, not only will teachers be laid off, but over 6,000 students will be turned away from an education. A reduction of 6,000 students is almost a third of our school, according to Davies.
“Our picture of what college looks like is going to change,” Davies said.
The problem that arises when Pierce has to reduce students and slim down classes is the question of who should get priority registration, freshman or soon-to-be graduates.
David Schutzer, treasurer for the Academic Senate and instructor of anthropology, argued in favor of the pending graduates and said they should continue to get priority registration.
Grace Yung, a 20-year-old English major, stressed that she is ready to graduate, however, cuts to classes are limiting her options to go beyond Pierce College.
“I am at a loss; I worked hard to get these units, but what do I have to show for it?” Yung said.
Schutzer argues that a student who has 40 units and is almost ready to graduate should be able to choose a higher level class that will help them graduate versus an incoming freshman who has many more class options.
“What are they [pending transfers] going to do?” Schutzer asked.