Those messages, among others, were presented Thursday as IVC officials came together to dispel rumors and spread information to students. The college held a student informational forum to answer questions and get information out about the pending budget cuts.
Some assumptions have been floating around that because of the fiscal crisis the college is facing, units won’t transfer to other colleges, said interim President Victor Jaime. However, that’s not the case.
Though there will be cuts that go into place at the area’s community college, it won’t affect whether students can transfer, and officials are working to make sure those cuts have the smallest possible impact on students, he said.
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The school is having to restructure its finances as it has been taking in more students than what the state has funded for, said Vice President of Business Services John Lau. If the school didn’t, it would go millions in the red. The school will have to reduce enrollment to deal with the reduced revenue.
The school has to cut $3.8 million from its $32.9 million budget in order to keep appropriate reserves in place, he said.
That reduction will lead to a change in the level of service as some of the people retiring won’t be replaced, said Janis Magno, dean of enrollment services. Through the past five years, the college has rolled out less face-to-face interaction and more online work, like no paper applications and online registration. There could be fewer counselors available, which would affect how easy it is to access them.
“It doesn’t mean it’s not going to be there,” she said. “It means you may have to get that done a month ahead of time instead of a week or two.”
Students need to be proactive about their education, she said. Officials are still making those decisions on what restructuring needs to be done.
While some cuts are still being talked about the school will still hold summer classes, said Kathy Berry, vice president of academic services. Classes will be longer because of the shorter session, lasting only from May 21 to June 21.
In the fall, courses will be focused on the college’s core mission: transfer, career technical education and basic skills, she said. Core classes shouldn’t be impacted, but that doesn’t mean they won’t fill quickly. What probably will be cut are specialty courses not needed for transfers.
Students expressed concerns about cutting classes, majors and sports. Silvia Gomez, 21, of Calexico asked about whether the sign language classes were being cut.
For now majors appear to be safe, she said.
She’s heard rumors from friends and teachers about the budget and classes being cut. However, the information has always changed and she couldn’t rely on it. It’s nice to get the official word.
A recording of the meeting is set to be posted online at the college’s Web site.
Staff Writer Elizabeth Varin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 760-337-3441.