Monday, July 4, 2016

Awkward: discussion of IVC's budget at the June 27 meeting

IVC's Davit Khachatryan
     At the board meeting, a budget crisis was announced/explained (—a crisis especially concerning future budgets; the current budget is OK, owing to various ad hoc fixes). It is caused, evidently, by increased costs plus increased spending on salaries/benefits. Trustee Lang was annoyed: did we understand that the salary/benefits upgrades that we approved would yield this situation? Why then did we take those actions? Here's the exchange, verbatim:

     Lang to Davit K: [Following up on one of Marcia’s points:] I’m also very concerned about the fact that you are basically reflecting a budget that shows no capital outlay, no reserve for economic uncertainty—and I’m just wondering how we got there.
     Davit: The reserve for economic uncertainty for IVC historically has been about $1 million dollars. That’s been our internal college’s approach and policy… This year, in order to balance the budget, we had to eliminate that reserve to be able to balance it. …The salaries and benefits and income [undecipherable] we got…We were able to balance it without the reserve for economic uncertainties. In addition to that, we had a smaller amount of capital outlay, which was about $160,000, that we needed to zero out as well to balance it. It’s been a struggle this year. It’s been kind of a difficult task to do that. If you look at the budget message, we had to take some steps, make some assumptions to be able to balance it. It’s probably been one of the most challenging budget times for me since I started in 2004, 2006 at IVC.
     Lang: are you anticipating that you are presenting to us, hopefully, a very conservative picture that will ultimately be better when we have final budget numbers?
     Davit: I would say that this is a realistic budget. There may be some things that do change between now and the final budget–we’ll have to see what the state … budget has for us—there may be hopefully some positive surprises. The information that we have right now makes me believe that this is the most realistic budget we have as of right now. And we had to, for example, make assumptions about some salary savings. It happens every year, year after year, so we built in about $300,000 in savings into the budget, which is kind of unusual for the district, but I know that the state, that is a regular practice….
     Lang: OK. I’m not trying to put you in the hot seat, Davit, because this also applies to Carol [Hilton] as well, I think, and that is, did we know this would be the result when we went into [contract] negotiations this year? Did we know that this was going to be what, where we are at now?
     Davit: we have a five-year budget projection model, every time there’s new information that comes up we do a projection for the next five years. We monitor the effects of, if different decisions or news coming from the state or locally and we discuss it locally and present it to the president, and I think that information has been communicated as well.
     Lang: OK, ‘cause, I don’t remember that conversation. Thank you.
     Fitzsimons: we provided fiscal team’s recommendations on financial trends and provided that to the board during negotiations. Multiple times. And I can provide those memos again if you like.

     (For streaming video of the June 27 board meeting, click here. Then scroll down to the "video" button for the June 27 meeting. Click that. Then, at left, you can "jump" to any place in the meeting, e.g., item 6.1 [Tentative budgets].)


Anonymous said...

Davit has told the IVC Academic Senate numerous times about the looming budget deficit, his request has always been, 'send us your ides'. I do not always agree with Davit but I have found him to be more forthright than the others at least while presenting in the Senate. I am not sure if any ideas have been sent but I am confident that even if it were a good idea, it would be ignored depending on whose idea it may be, (especially if it came from a non-administrator), that's how things appear to be done at IVC, not on merit but on the degree of satisfactory and recency of GR/CJ butt-smoochage.

We have been told about the college's plan to recruit more international students to plug the budget gap, of course with no understandable plan for doing so that most, if any, faculty are aware. I do not recall seeing any numerical data attached to any assumption of what that may bring to the college in terms of money. Transparency at IVC? LOL!!!!!
We are however holding back seats in classes for this coming fall semester that will be given only to international students - which means of course tax paying citizens and legal residents cannot get those seats. Shame on IVC.

We also recently received an email from CJ thanking the Deans et al... for their great work in scheduling so that we reached an enrollment milestone that is supposed to provide us with a $1.5million dollars in budget for next year (?), (of course with the caveat that we still needed to go to DRAC); has that money been figured into the budget assumptions?

DRAC?? Yeah, that bastion of Saddlebackcentrism and IVC screwage.
Uh news flash, IVC is currently the college of growth in the SOCCCD.

There is precious little faith at IVC amongst faculty and staff in the college's upper leadership to solve much of anything with any sophistication, perhaps because of how mangled, unresponsive and sloooooooow the 'much vaunted' strategic planning processes and always late budget allocations occurs at IVC. Our processes are so suffocated & micro-managed and slow, slow, slow.

'Much vaunted' is incorrect, it is a system in which most faculty and staff have no respect regardless how this administrative crew will 'spin it' for accreditation.

Promoting the Publications Director as well as promoting the Senior Admin(?) in that area so that a relatively junior member of the classified staff may now be making more money than veteran seasoned Senior Admins - DOES NOT HELP! Even if the promotions may be justifiable.

Facts matter but so does perception and morale. Morale at IVC? In the stinking gutter!

Anonymous said...

We can likely save millions of dollars in light of recent contracts, increases in the employer (SOCCCD) contributions to STRS and PERS and estimated but certain structural deficits with a golden handshake.

This district has always offered this in times of financial strife or uncertainty, its time for another, I can recall three in my time in the SOCCCD.

Besides many of the administrations perceived 'elder faculty annoyers' could be retired-out.

Save money, get rid of some of your irritants, seems like a good deal to this observer.

Of course let's not forget, I am told that the SOCCCD is sitting on about $500,000,000 in collected basic and dollars??? If true, we can finish building both campuses, plug budget gaps, offer a golden handshake and still hundreds of millions left in the bank.

Anonymous said...

The budget is balanced for this year, it's the future trends they were communicating. This is no surprise, the raises were approved with this information.

Anonymous said...

The IVC plan to "plug the gap" with the fees of international students (on limited visas) without also offering real support for their success (What happens when they fail to transfer within their visa time? Who care as long as we get their $$$!) is indefensible. Also, what happens to other students who are displaced because of the seats saved for the higher-paying international students a portion of whom will either drop out or fail? Where do our homegrown students go? Not to IVC where they cannot transfer within two years. Also indefensible.

Roy Bauer said...

10:29, this problem—that Int'l students often fail to finish their degrees—has been much discussed in Academic Senate. The problem seems to be that many students' English is poor and that they therefore fail courses or are compelled to take basic English, etc. I quite agree—and have represented this position in senate—that it is unacceptable to take these students' money if their prospects are as bad as they seem to be. At the very least, students need to be made aware of the problem before they start at the college.

Anonymous said...

IF the college accepts them doesn't the college have an ethical responsibility to help them be successful?

Anonymous said...

Won't Trump's plan to ban Muslims from entering the country affect IVC's plan to balance the budget on the the backs of international students?

Anonymous said...

12:17: you're assuming that the Trumpster will win the Presidency. Not likely. The Hillary seems to have her ducks in a row as of today.

Anonymous said...

A couple years ago the IVC budget was presented to the board and there was a similar problem of running out of reserves. Glenn lied to the board and said, oh no it is just a one time deal.

And by the way, our new assistant VPI position was not included in that budget - there goes another $250k+ from it...

Anonymous said...

4:02 get your fact straight.
IVC enrollment is down despite adding sections.
Check inForm next time.