Academic Senate discusses student and faculty input on budget

Academic Senate discusses student and faculty input on budget

Associated Student Organization (ASO), athletic programs and learning outcomes were among the topics discussed during the May 6 Academic Senate meeting in Building 600. But the leading issue was next school year’s budget shortfall. 

Interim President Ara Aguiar announced an estimated $10-19 million deficit for the college.

“We’re going to do everything possible to close this gap, we won’t be able to close the gap, even if we went perfect on everything,” Aguiar said. “Pierce alone would be between $10 and $19 million. I’m hoping we can close that $10 million.”

Academic Senate Secretary Jennifer Moses explained some challenges and obstacles that may come with the deficit. 

“There’s going to be less money now as a college and it’s not like they’re going to shut our doors because we’re not a for-profit business,” Moses said. “Whenever there’s physical concerns, it impacts the amount of people on campus because fewer initiatives get funded and all the benefits, particularly to student services, will have less money.”

Moses also explained how the students and faculty will be involved in the decision-making process.

“The faculty certainly have a voice in consultation,” Moses said. “And then students have a voice with every senate committee with an ASO member who is invited to attend to be a voting member.”

Senator Dale Fields brought up the challenges proposed at the meeting.

“Part of it is to make sure that people who didn’t see the right ways of measuring success before may be still concerned that they’re going to be disadvantaged in the future, as well,” Fields said. “So showing that their questions were heard, worries were considered, they tried to create a fair system to demonstrate that we’re acting in our best interest on campus.”

The last Academic Senate of the semester will be on Monday, May 20 at 2:15 p.m. in Building 600.

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