By Tonia Ciancanelli
The LBCC Board of Trustees for the District voted 4-1 in favor of keeping all 11 programs on the discontinued list Tuesday, Feb 26.
Trustees Roberto Uranga, Doug Otto, Jeff Kellogg and Tom Clark voted in favor, while Mark Bowen voted against not reconsidering the discontinuance. Student Trustee Jason Troia’s advisory vote was also against the cuts.
Immediately following the vote, in front of about 100 people, Board President Uranga said about Troia, “It is easy to vote no, but it’s difficult to come up with alternatives.”
He added that if anyone had suggestions to rectify the budget crisis, he was interested in hearing them.
Troia raised his hand implying he had additional comments, but Uranga reminded him how annotations after the discussion and voting are closed are not permitted.
Troia said to Uranga, “Please quit gunning for me, it’s unbecoming.”
Uranga continued and said, “It makes no difference if we cut 11 programs or one. It’s going to hurt and it’s going to hurt the students. It’s also going to hurt the staff.”
During the public comments on non-agenda items toward the end of the meeting, student-representatives from the Student Senate of California Community Colleges (SSCCC) spoke not only in the defense of Troia, but the defense of the entire student body.
Rich Copenhagen, president of SSCCC, said, “According to the Board of Governors, when a college is going through program discontinuance students must be involved in that process.”
Kevin Feliciano, past president of SSCCC, said, “How can the student trustee provide their advice and suggestions to the Board during the vote if the vote is taken after the public members of the Board? I urge you to look at your policies and procedures to re-evaluate and revise the levels students are involved in the governance of the college and district.”
The Board voted 4-1 in favor of eliminating the seven classified staff positions directly related to the 11 discontinued programs. Again, Bowen and Troia voted against it.
LBCC Vice President of Student Services Greg Peterson presented information about the 1,661 students currently enrolled in the discontinued programs.
Peterson said 498 of the students can complete a degree or certificate by taking Summer courses.
Counselors are compiling a list of courses that impacted students need to take, ensuring no two classes interfere with one another. An additional 100 students can complete a certificate or degree through credit by examination, course substitution and petitioning to enroll in more than 18 units (21 maximum units).
Program-specific group counseling, reserved appointment times and discontinuance workshops are offered to impacted students.
As for the future of the PCC buildings, Uranga said they are looking at public-private partnerships to offer Federal Aviation Administration certifications.
Ann-Marie Gabel, vice president of administrative services, presented the mid-year budget performance report. Gabel said all Community College districts will be affected by the 6.7 percent statewide deficit factor. The deficit is made up of state apportionment, local property taxes and student enrollment fees.
The data Gabel presented predicts about $4.6 million in decreased revenue.
The next BOT meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, March 12 at 5 p.m. in T1100.