Messages from the President

Waypoint: Short Takes!

October 10, 2016

Rather than a Waypoint on a specific topic, today I want to provide you with updates on several important subjects.  As you will see, although we have things to work on, which I will always tell you about in an honest way, it is exciting to see SBCC moving together forward on a number of positive fronts.

Five-Year Financial Projections.  I have been open about the fact that the College’s finances are my greatest challenge at SBCC.  As presented at the “All Campus Kickoff,” revenues (represented by state enrollment apportionment) have been declining dramatically since 2009-10.  On the other hand, expenditures (represented primarily (87%) by salaries and benefits) have been ticking upwards.  Given this, we have been working diligently to determine five-year fiscal projections and plans.  While expenditures are relatively fixed and predictable, revenues (i.e., enrollments) are more fickle and unpredictable.  We were all surprised to learn that enrollments were down even further than expected this fall.  As Paul Jarrell, Jack Friedlander, Robert Else, et al., would attest, there are a number of reasons for this.  The bottom line is that the projections show that doing nothing is no longer an option.  We must deal with the imbalance as soon as possible, as the time frame of opportunity is brief.  In doing this, as we work together as a team to find solutions, we will not be laying off employees!  This is an important commitment!  I have scheduled two CPC+ meetings this week, bringing together the College’s governance leadership, to begin discussions and help determine solutions. 

NY Philharmonic Orchestra.  On a much happier note, Geoff Green, CEO of the SBCC Foundation, and I have been in discussions with Scott Reed, CEO of the Music Academy of the West to bring the New York Philharmonic Orchestra to SBCC's La Playa stadium!  The date is Monday, July 31, 2017.  Discussions thus far have been that, in return for our “hosting” the event, tickets would be free of charge for SBCC faculty, students, and staff!  For community members, there will probably be a minimal charge of only $10 per person.  This will be a worldwide event, as it is the final concert with the NY Phil for Conductor Alan Gilbert.  Very exciting!

Two Summers.  A “Decision Memo” is a document that captures positions (pro or con) of various constituency groups on a particular decision we are contemplating.  Recently, we pulled together a Decision Memo on whether or not SBCC should offer two summer sessions next summer.  There were many deliberations and good arguments presented; however, in the end, all constituency groups supported the idea of two summer sessions.  Having said this, I also want to note that there were several issues and concerns that need to be addressed.  I believe the Academic Senate's recommendations (from its October 5, 2016 resolution) captured the essence of the major concerns, which the Administration will use as an outline for our work, as follows: 

  • The Administration will establish, as an immediate priority, additional resources for the Admissions and Financial Aid offices and other heavily impacted areas as identified through consultation with area directors, faculty, and staff.
  • The Administration will convene a workgroup to begin in spring semester, composed of all constituent groups, to explore alternative calendars for Summer 2018 and beyond, such as a calendar that allows for one week between spring and summer, and/or one longer summer session with the possibility of variable length sessions within that time period.
  • Beginning in 2017, future calendars will be planned two years in advance to give students and departments time to adjust to any changes.
  • The Administration and faculty will improve collaboration to offer summer courses that best meet student needs as well as resources required to offer these courses.
  • The Administration will fully implement procedures to enforce faculty meeting final grade submission deadlines.
  • A Senate workgroup will be created to study the quality and rigor of Summer courses including the potential consequences of offering two summer sessions compared with one.

SNAP (Student Neighborhood Assistance Program).  Finally, we have the SNAP program funding and elements in place with Santa Barbara Police Department.  Here's a nice article on the SNAP program – click here.  The SBPD is currently recruiting for a SNAP Officer.

Transgender Students.  There is a lot happening around the country related to transgender students.  The Santa Barbara Transgender Advocacy Network (SBTAN) is a good local resource and has put on a couple of workshops for us at SBCC.  Its web page is also a great resource – click here.  You may have seen that Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill (AB) 1732 – The “All-Gender” Restroom Bill – click here.  This requires all single stall bathrooms to be converted to all-gender restrooms.  We only have a couple of these restrooms on campus, and we are converting them (changing the signage on the door) to comply with the law.

Vision Statement.  We had an excellent email discussion related to the College Vision statement.  As I’ve said all along, my ideas are but a contribution to the pot of vision ideas.  The Vision statement must come from the College community to be meaningful.  A big tip of the hat to Dr. Priscilla Butler, Academic Senate President, for presenting at CPC an excellent process for the development of our College Vision.  This process will provide an opportunity to hear everyone’s voice.  I hope you will participate in defining our future.  This is important, and I support the process – click here.

SBCC Receives Design Award for Humanities Building Modernization.  Santa Barbara City College may now add the description “award winning” to its newly modernized Humanities building on the east end of campus.  SBCC and architects DLR Group will receive the Award of Excellence in the Modernization category by the Community College Facility Coalition (CCFC) for renovation/modernization of the structure that houses classes in fine arts, computer programming, and film and television production. The award will be presented November 15th at the CCFC’s 23rd Annual Conference/Professional Design Awards ceremony in Sacramento.


Together forward,

Dr. Anthony E. Beebe


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