RAP gives new funds

486k to be allocated

The Los Medanos College Governing Board recently approved additional funds to the college because of the Resource Allocation Process (RAP). As a result, $486,000 of new funds were allocated will go to various projects that will ultimately benefit students and faculty at Los Medanos College. The adoption budget was approved on Sept. 11 of this year.

Many of these new revenues have been made possible by the passing of Proposition 30 last November. Additionally, improvements in the states’ budget have also allowed for the District and College to incorporate new funds into the college budget.

According to LMC President Bob Kratochvil, this year’s Resource Allocation Process ended somewhat later than in previous years.

“Because of various uncertainties in the budget, many of which were not resolved until the summer, my objective was to allocate any additional dollars only when the College understood exactly the amount of funds available – upon completion and approval of the Adoption Budget,” said Kratochvil. “The Adoption Budget is the approved budget plan by the Governing Board. The Governing Board approved the budget at its September meeting.”

A meeting was held here at LMC to further discuss this subject on Monday Oct. 7, detailing in an overview how the State allocates funds to the District and the three colleges and the involvement at the campus level regarding the budget process. LMC’s Director of Business Services Ronke Olatunji was the main presenter for the meeting, while District Senior Dean of Research and Planning Greg Stoup was also in attendance, facilitating a working meeting with faculty, staff and students regarding the district’s strategic planning process.

The following are among the funds that were allocated to various departments: $102,467 has been approved to refurbish and update 40 Programmable Logic Controllers and Computers (PLCs). A total of $47, 144 has been approved for improvements to the Recording Arts department, including new power amplifiers, upgrading the sampling, video recording, and editing systems and new Avid Pro Tools System for Studio A. $36,000 has been approved for the automotive department for new alignment machines. $33,044 has been allocated to central services to increase copier maintenance agreements and for additional copier equipment. $18,978 has been allocated to custodial services for new cleaning equipment. $13,467 will be allocated to the Biological Sciences department for lab supplies and lab hours. $12,000 has been approved to the physical education department to replace non-slip flooring surfaces in PE facilities, with an additional $12,969 approved for the athletic department for new electrical stimulation, weight-training and volleyball equipment. In addition, $7,105 was approved for a new baseball field tarp. Additional hours to programs and new positions were also added, including a new Training and Development Coordinator, a Tutor Program Assistant, a Theater Staging Specialist for the Drama Program, an Adjunct Librarian, a Student Assistant for Business Services as well as increasing the counseling hours of the Umoja program.

Additionally, some of these funds will be set aside for both foreseen and unforeseen expenses that may or may not occur, including minimum sites reserves, bank and vacation liabilities, instructional service agreement payback and potential enrollment shortfalls. Although the District allocates dollars to the colleges, the colleges make their own decisions on how to use the funds.

“The District Office doesn’t really have much say in how these funds will be spent; that is a college decision,” said Contra Costa Community College District Director of Communications Tim Leong.

Kratochvil also noted that an important thing for readers to understand is that requests for funding are linked to needs identified in the Program Review process.

“This process is a deliberate review of programs and departments with plans for improvement and change in response to student needs,” said Kratochvil. “Specific budget requests can only be submitted if they are identified in the program review. RAP requests are submitted by respective departments, reviewed and approved by respective managers and presented to the Shared Governance Council (SGC). The SGC reviews each proposal, invites the respective manager to its meeting(s) to present the proposal and then SGC prioritizes and makes recommendations for funding (or not) to the President.”

Although this year’s budget has provided more clarity than in previous years, President Kratochvil warned that while these funds provide a safety net and short-term security for the college, long-term uncertainties still remain, necessitating a heedful approach going forward.

“There remain some uncertainties for which the campus needs to maintain significant reserves,” said Kratochvil. “It is important for our future financial health that we are prudent in making long-term permanent allocations of funds.”