From the Superintendent/President of MSJC
This isn’t typically the sort of message I’d like to leave you with so close to the holidays, but it’s important that we continue to update you on the ongoing state budget crisis and what it means to all of us at Mt. San Jacinto College.
On Dec. 14, 2011, California Governor Jerry Brown announced his mid-year budget cut scenario for the current year and higher education will be taking another big hit. The state’s community colleges will take a $102 million mid-year cut, effective January. The state has also decided to raise the community college per-unit credit fee another $10 to $46, effective summer 2012.
The state will treat $30 million as a one-time deficit. Another $72 million will be permanently reduced and spread across each district's apportionment as another workload reduction.
For Mt. San Jacinto College, the total mid-year cut is approximately $1 million. The share of the $30 million one-time deficit is approximately $300,000, which is equivalent to more than 62 FTES. The $72 million permanent reduction means about another $700,000 cut to MSJC, which is equivalent to over 150 FTES.
And that’s not all: It is expected that we will be hit with even more reductions because there is a projected property tax shortfall as a result of declining property tax collections.
As a state, we are in for some continued tough times. And we at MSJC will have to really tighten our purse strings so we can preserve education for our students and continue with our stable workforce.
As I’ve shared with you before, we have had sound direction from our Board of Trustees, executive leadership and our shared-governance budget committee. The state developed three “tiers” of budget cuts, depending on what revenues would be realized for this 2011-12 fiscal year. At MSJC, we built the Tier 1 reductions into our budget in anticipation of lower state revenues. Tier 1 reductions to MSJC were calculated at about $300,000. But, as I laid out previously, we are looking at much deeper cuts.
We will be looking at different options to deal with these cuts and will bring them to the Board of Trustees. Our first priority through this process is to remember that we must have the money to provide the education and services our students need. And we need you, our MSJC family, to deliver that education and those services. So we all need to work on this together. Look for ways you and your office can save money. Don’t order supplies you really don’t need. Turn off lights and computers.
I encourage you to keep yourselves updated on the state budget development. There are many resources, from the state Chancellor’s office and the Community College League to local newspapers and broadcast reports. You can find a list of resources on the Budget Watch page at: http://www.msjc.edu/BudgetWatch/Pages/State-Resources.aspx
If we all educate ourselves on the state budget, we can make more sound decisions on our budget, both here at the college and at home.
We continue to solicit your input during this state fiscal crisis. Submit your ideas to trim costs to the Budget Watch page: www.msjc.edu/BudgetWatch.
Although times are tough, our MSJC team continues to work miracles and change lives for the better. Even with these large cuts, we still will have that capacity to make wonderful things happen for our students and the communities we serve.
As we head into the holidays, I do wish everyone a very safe and happy holiday and new year.
Roger W. Schultz, Ph.D.