Budget meeting informs faculty

Prop 30 helps campus finances

Los Medanos College held a college assembly Oct. 7 to present the budget development overview and the 2013-2014 adoption budget. Director of Business Services Ronke Olatunji led the presentation. It gave faculty members a visual reference to see how LMC’s budgeting cycle works with different departments and what the process consists of.

Olatunji presented a flowchart that connected different departments to the school’s budgeting cycle to show how they work together. There were four different colored boxes to represent different processes and offices. These boxes included the district office/board process/board, LMC’s community processes, the President’s process and the Business Office Director’s processes. To see the budget cycle for LMC, go to http://losmedanos.edu/sg/default.asp

After the flowchart introduced how the budget process is tied with different departments, Olatunji presented financial data on this year’s budget plans compared to the previous year. Faculty members were concerned about last year’s budget and wanted to know what would be different this time.

Last year the school did not make their net target and had to go on “stability”. LMC’s President Bob Kratochvil answered faculty member’s questions in depth about “stability.”

“One of the things happening through this whole process, especially this year is the Union negotiations were still going on well into June. There were a lot discussions at the Chancellors cabinet level about enrollment and whether we will go on ‘stability’,” said Kratochvil adding, “We turned out to be on ‘stability,’ which means we didn’t make our target last year as a district. Consequently the state Chancellor’s office gives the district up to a period of a year to catch up and make that growth or enrollment target without penalized. Otherwise we would have to have given money back to the district.”

Kratochvil added, “In addition there was growth money that two colleges accepted, we, DVC and CCC declined because they were so far from meeting their target last year they knew there was no chance for them to take on any additional FTES. My point to all of this is there is a lot of discussion, all of which impacts the dollars we are dealing with as far as how many classes we can put on the schedule and part-time faculty. There are a lot of things that are going on well into the summer months.”

Many people were hit by the recession and the economy, including the school district. Because the school had financial difficulties last year, some faculty members were concerned that there would be limited resources this year. Olatunji ensured the staff that the school has included resources and faculty members in the budget.

Kratochvil is feeling hopeful about this year’s budget because of Proposition 30 and how it has helped the school district.

“Regarding the budget this year versus previous years, the district and specifically the campus is better off financially mostly as a result of passage of Proposition 30.  This provides some temporary fiscal relief because the tax revenue resulting from that measure will only be available for a few more years,” said Kratochvil adding, “In prior years, before passage of Proposition 30, the economy created serious difficulties for the colleges affecting faculty and staff hires and class reductions, as an example.  With the new revenue sources, we were able to provide some additional funding this year through what is called our Request for Allocation Process.”

The school district and LMC are hoping this year’s budget along with Proposition 30 will be a move in the right direction.