Last week's college forums mentioned looming fiscal issues—but apparently soft-pedaled them

     Some of our readers have complained that IVC college administration has failed to communicate the serious financial situation our college (IVC) faces—a matter that we reported yesterday based on information provided at Thursday’s academic senate meeting.
     It appears, however, that, at least to some degree, this information was provided by administration at last week’s college forums. That is, the grim fiscal "projections"—discussed at the senate—were mentioned during the Q & A portion of one of the forum sessions, though their seriousness was evidently not emphasized. (See below.)

     COLLEGE FORUMS. As one of our readers notes, four days ago, denizens of IVC received an email* from college president Glenn Roquemore about two recent college “forums.” They were held last week on Wednesday, Sept. 26 (9:00 a.m.), and Thursday, Sept. 27 (3:00 p.m.).
     No doubt these forums were scheduled at different days and times in order to allow as many 'Viners as possible to attend.
     According to the email, “Both forums provided the audience the opportunity to participate in a Q&A and open dialogue.”
     The forums' content was summarized:
What about 'em?
     President Roquemore thanked everyone for attending and began by calling for greater communication. He offered an update of our survey results and the district-wide civility project. His opening remarks included a snapshot of where IVC is financially compared to our counterparts within the region, the state, and the nation. He briefly touched on the potential loss of accreditation for the College of San Francisco, the largest college in our community college system and the dire circumstances their students face.
     His remarks included the staggering state deficit, heavily debated elections, 13% cuts to Community Colleges in the last four years, and the call for educational reform at the state and federal level, including the National Completion Agenda and the California Student Success Task Force Recommendations....
     President Roquemore expressed his feelings of optimism for the college and the district. He praised the leadership of our Chancellor, board and governance groups, particularly in two key areas: meeting accreditation recommendations and the district and college strategic planning.
     The IVC Classified Senate was specifically recognized at both forums….
     At the Thursday forum, President Roquemore provided an update on the construction of IVC’s School of Life Sciences and Technology building. The new building is just under 50% completion….
     Progress on the Barranca entrance was also reviewed….
     President Roquemore also spoke about positive efforts being made to move ATEP forward and new relationships with business and industry partnerships that are on the horizon….
     Dr. Linda Fontanilla added an update on the progress of the bookstore relocation. The Follett Higher Education Group … hopes to open its new location in B100 for students by November 1, 2012.
     At both forums, President Roquemore closed his remarks with an update on the reforming of the IVC College Foundation and the important role the Foundation will play in the future financial needs of the College….
     The email included “audience discussion items”: “Proposition 30,” “enrollment priorities,” “international students,” and “long-term budget projections.” Presumably, these were initiated by audience questions or comments.
     The last item was described thus:
     During Thursday’s discussion, as the potential long-term budget projections and planning for solution scenarios were discussed at the College Council, the best and worst case scenarios were shared with the audience. The best case scenario of $230 thousand in cuts for 2013-2014 was presented as scenario one and $1.9 million in cuts for 2013-2014 was presented as the worst case scenario. President Roquemore indicated that these projections and scenarios would be thoroughly discussed in college committees, such as SPOBDC and by governance groups in the coming weeks.
     DtB is impressed by the range of topics discussed at last week's forum(s). It appears that IVC administration is making a real effort to improve in the "communication" department. No doubt the alarming results of IVC's employee survey helped inspire action, belated though it may be. (See also Accreditation recommendations.)
     With regard to the times and days on which these forums were scheduled, I think that administration was wise to schedule the forum at widely different times on two consecutive days (as they have done previously). Many of us teach during the morning session, and, for many of us, the late afternoon session is inconvenient, but I suppose that sort of thing is unavoidable. So, again, administration, I think, should be praised for its efforts to find times that all can attend. (I do wish I had attended the Thursday forum!)

     "PROJECTIONS" DOWNPLAYED? Based on the above email, however, it appears that "long-term budget projections" were not discussed at both sessions. According to the email, they were discussed only as part of "audience discussion" and only during the Thursday session. (That is, evidently, these projections came up because of an audience-member question or comment at Thursday's forum.)
     Why were they not mentioned in Roquemore's remarks for both sessions?

     DIRE OR NOT? Further, it is not clear that the discussion that occurred (see highlighted verbiage above) conveyed the seriousness of those projections. The information presented at the senate meeting two days ago suggested that our fiscal situation is dire. But the above description of the "long-term budget projections" discussion does not communicate any such level of gravity or seriousness. Again, as the matter was explained at the academic senate meeting, as things now stand, unless we take steps, IVC faces deficit spending next year—and the situation worsens with each subsequent year.
     Is the situation dire or not?
     If so, why didn't Roquemore say so during last week's forums?
     Could it be that we are staring down the barrel of yet another massive "communication" failure?
     Perhaps readers who attended one or both of the forums could report just what was communicated about these projections.

*A long-standing complaint about IVC President Roquemore's numerous email communications is that they fail to discriminate between the important and the trivial, thereby inspiring the conviction, among many of their long-suffering recipients, that they are generally not worth opening. This is unfortunate, for the email discussed here was important. 

I'm not goin' back
to Woodstock for a while,
Though I long to hear
that lonesome hippie smile.
I'm a million miles away
from that helicopter day
No, I don't believe
I'll be goin' back that way.


Anonymous said…
All the fault of the VPI. Scheduled too many sections.
Anonymous said…
Saddleback has received less information than IVC regarding budget issues though I think you are over scheduled.
Anonymous said…
We got some but no details. And we did not over schedule.
Anonymous said…
That is a good one - "a failure to discriminate between the important and the trivial" - that is it exactly. PLUS a history of not being straight with us and hiding in his office. PLUS the good face he puts on everything even when it is crap.
Anonymous said…
I heard the College is throwing a big "GALA" on campus next Saturday. Who is paying for that? Is that coming out of our campus budget or does Glen have some $$$ hidden away?
Anonymous said…
I saw a Gala invite package, but it was confusing as to exactly what was going on. I thought it was for our campus, but it looked like a marketing piece for OC high rollers (asking for $15,000 donations)under the guise of helping veterans. There was no mention of any of our IVC vets by the way.
Anonymous said…
Gala? Next Saturday? I haven't seen a flyer or poster anywhere.
Who got the invitations?????
Anonymous said…
There is 1 poster on is outside Richard Morley's office, which is a very unusual place for an announcement poster as people try to avoid Richard at all costs.
Anonymous said…
Complain, complain, complain! First they don't tell you enough. Now they tell you but they don't provide enough emphasize of the situation to your level of liking. Do any of you actually think on your own? You're not that special, people! This world and IVC can exist without you. Believe it! Grow up!
Anonymous said…
Did faculty get invited to the gala? I didn't receive an invite.
Anonymous said…
I think all staff got an email invite about a week ago. Check your email. They are still taking reservations.
Anonymous said…
Gensler is hosting a cocktail party at his house after the Gala.
Anonymous said…
Why would anyone invite IVC faculty to anything?
Anonymous said…
As long as sections are managed well, no budget problem. And someone REALLY needs to question all the college budget going to the foundation, which is supposed to be self supporting AND providing funding to the college not draining the college.
Anonymous said…
It will be interesting to see how much money this "gala" raises. Last year Chapman managed to raise $2 million dollars for scholarships. Of course, we are no Chapman.

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