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Town Hall Meeting > Nov. 19, 2008

Summary of Budget Crisis Town Hall Meeting held Wed., Nov. 19 at 3:00 p.m. in Room 456

Dear members of the Cabrillo Family,

More than 110 of our colleagues took part in the Budget Crisis Town Hall Meeting this afternoon. We were also joined by board members Claudine Wildman, Gary Reece, Katy Stonebloom, and Susan True, who will join the board December 8th. Thanks to everyone who was able to attend, and for the thoughtful nature of the dialog during our hour together.

We discussed the two-part challenge before us in response to the state shortfall now estimated at $27 billion over the next eighteen months: (1) Reduce our current 2008-2009 budget by $4 million and; (2) Reduce next year's 2009-2010 operating budget by $5 million, or between 5% and 7%. In response to the crisis, we have already moved to reduce course sections, implemented a hiring freeze and a spending freeze, and tasked our management leaders to reduce current operating budgets by 5%. We understand that our current strategies are based on the most current information, and that the situation in Sacramento remains very fluid and could get worse or possibly improve. We will remain very nimble and responsive as new information becomes available. We also recognize that course reductions are not just a budgetary abstraction, but have a direct impact on the students who would have enrolled and the faculty who would have taught them.

The College Planning Council (CPC) met immediately before today's Town Hall Meeting and reviewed draft criteria for reductions, draft strategies and a draft time line for implementation. Transparency is a core value at Cabrillo. In our continuing efforts to make the budget reduction process transparent, we will make these draft documents available on a link on the home page of the Cabrillo web site. The time line is very tight. I will need to bring exceedingly difficult recommendations to the Governing Board no later than the March 2, 2009 Board Meeting. CPC agreed we will make the mid-year cuts as quickly as possible so we can focus on the very significant operating budget reductions for 2009-2010. CPC will continue our discussion of the draft documents at our next meeting on December 3rd. With the input and review of CPC, we will present criteria, strategies, and the time line to the Governing Board at the December 8th meeting.

As I shared with those able to attend the Town Hall Meeting today, I encourage you to contact me directly with any questions or suggestions you may have as we move forward. In addition, I want to acknowledge our outstanding team of leaders on the College Planning Council: Pegi Ard, May Chen, Jill Gallo, Diane Goody, Paul Harvell, Steve Hodges, Renee Kilmer, Victoria Lewis, Rory O'Brien, Dan Rothwell, Barbara Schultz-Perez, Stephanie Stainback, Rebecca Villafana, and Kathie Welch. The leaders of CPC are an excellent source of information, as each of them has become a budget expert in recent months.

The evolving budget challenges we are facing together may become the most significant crisis in Cabrillo's fifty-year history. In spite of the overwhelming nature of the budget cuts we face, I am very confident we will continue to work together to provide excellent programs and services for our students and community as we prepare for Cabrillo's next fifty years.



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