Monthly Archives: August 2012

Budget discussions and program discontinuance/reduction possibilities

On Tuesday, August 28, the Program Effectiveness and Planning Committee to review the results of its special Spring process, which was designed to aid PBC (Planning and Budget Council) in addressing budget issues for upcoming years.  In particular, both committees are discussing and concerned with fiscal year ’13 (we’re in fiscal year ’12).

The Mayans had problems living within their means, too. I can relate to the look on this guy’s face.

Despite some hastily constructed procedures that ended up drawing criticism from both committee members and non-members, PEPC was able to address many of the criticisms at its meeting and to put forth its sense of our degree- and certificate-granting programs.  Remember, PEPC doesn’t review every program that appears in our line by line budget, it only reviews a subset of them.  One program, Engineering Tech, was designated for possible program discontinuance.  That program agrees with the assessment, it has outlived its usefulness.  We are grateful when programs honestly reduce themselves for good reasons.  Truthfully, though, there’s very little at Oxnard College that isn’t outstanding, absolutely necessary or both.  Indeed, just for starters, I can think of a whole lot of programs we should have and don’t – and can’t have, right now, because there are no funds.  The PEPC data, in its entirety has been put up on Sharepoint.  The actual reports are in the folder marked 2011-12, and the table of members’ responses to those reports is in the folder marked 2012-13.  

What PEPC did is come up with a 25 point rubric for all programs (that’s the main thing to look at – there’s a separate, accreditation-driven 11 point rubric for CTE programs which is also included on the above spreadsheet).  Each member of the committee scored individually (something we aren’t going to do again, I don’t believe).  So you can see which programs scored the highest and the lowest by going to the 2012-13 PEPC folder on sharepoint and opening the PEPRaverages spreadsheet.  This is the same data that was sent to PBC.

On Wednesday, August 29, PBC met to begin deliberations regarding the potential budget impacts on our school if Prop 30 does not pass.  It has to pass!  But if it doesn’t, we’re in a world of pain at Oxnard College – and everywhere else in the state.

Vice President Mike Bush shared program by program cost data for instructional programs, and will be sending the complete Excel workbook (with an amazing amount of detail) to all committee members – and to anyone else who requests it.  We are requested, by Dr. Durán, to come up with a plan for $1,600,000 in budget cuts from OC by Sept. 30, 2012, in keeping with the Board’s intention to have the cuts finalized (if needed) by January.  If Prop 30 passes, the plan that PBC is about to make will simply be put aside (although clearly, it could be used to inform any other needed cuts, so the work is extremely important).

PBC agreed that a central factor in cuts has to be cost per student (per FTES) per program and VP Mike has agreed to provide that data to the committee in the next couple of days.

PBC in no way agreed to or intends to cut or reduce programs simply because of costs per student, but there was general agreement that that’s a place to start.  Many other factors will be considered and ultimately reflected in the minutes and reported back to Senate (and blogged about here, where I can go on at length – as you can see).

What are PBC’s various options?  It can recommend elimination of a program for purely budgetary considerations and may have to.  This would be without reference to PEPC data at all and could include some strong programs, simply because they are expensive.  That’s where the budget is at.

PBC can also recommend reductions in programs, as opposed to eliminations.

PBC can also recommend which programs should be restored if funds are found.

In other words, PBC is engaging in shaping the future of OC in ways that we saw coming last year, and may or may not come to pass this year (all depends on the will of the people of California).

Last year, both PBC and PEPC struggled to create processes designed to downsize a college, and it was not easy.  Over the summer, I think all the individuals involved gave the processes a lot of thought.  We have a lot of returning committee members, and some new ones.  Together, people really attended to the task of improving the processes.  VP Mike provided excellent data without making people’s heads spin, and more data was requested and will be provided, including data on total cost of ownership, separate revenue streams, and current cost data (and budget targets for each program for 2012-13).

Not all the cuts will come from instruction.  The other areas are:  co-curricular programs, administrative costs and the student services area.  While in theory, “everything is on the table,” there are programs that are mandated by law (they’re not on the table).  I will also admit to having a personal bias, if you will, regarding further cuts to classified people.  We can’t cut any more classified.  I think a lot of people agree with me (so far, no one I’ve talked to has disagreed with me, and I’ve talked to a lot of people).

Whether or not Prop 30 passes, we still have to balance our budget in the usual ways, and it is a smaller budget for next year, by about $880,000.  We have to meet increased costs within that smaller budget, so there will be some cuts/readjustments in any case.  District-wide, Administrative Services is looking at such issues as:  no local registrar for any campus, only asst. registrars with one registrar for the whole district; closing bookstores; reorganization of the work week; reorganization of management.  Locally, on campus, we are looking at every cost (and I should say that VP Mike Bush has a very keen eye for these things), including paint.   Unfortunately, some funds are designated for physical upkeep and can’t be used in any other way – come to some of these budget meetings for the fun of figuring out those kinds of things.

Lastly, I want to acknowledge and thank Vice Chancellor Sue Johnson.  We were extremely lucky to have her as co-chair of PBC last Spring, and she graciously showed up at our most recent meeting to transition us to the new year.  She is a veritable fount of budget (and political) knowledge, her job is to watch the State of California like a hawk and attempt to understand its vicissitudes, which frankly are chaotic these days and sometimes border on incomprehensible (I want to use the vernacular and just say the budget issues are crazy).   She also spent a lot of time with me, schooling me on the specific areas of the budget that impact OC the most (like how the allocation model works, the importance of FTES, the complete failure of making cuts completely proportional at this point in time and so much more).   She has responded to every concern or question I’ve had – and if our Senate has more concerns or questions, she will continue to respond.

The mental image that comes to me when I think about Sue Johnson trying to work with state and local economics and politics (and everything else she has to do). William Saturno is the photographer; National Geographic dot com, which holds the copyright to this image.

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Posted by on August 31, 2012 in PGM Committees


SPI: The Case of the Dark Shadow

We read aloud at our house a lot, and yes, we do read children’s books when we want to calm down and stop worry about shared governance and the budget.  We’ve read Little Women and Little Men, Jo’s Boys, Anne of Green Gables (which I read first when I was about 11) and of course, Alice in Wonderland (which my daughters read first when they were about 10).  Does that make me a lifelong tween?  I hope so.

Anyway, I’ve already ordered my copy – have you?  Because we have our very own Teresa Bonham, who yesterday became a published novelist.  

Isn’t the cover cute?  It’s also very up-to-date and cool.  In other words, it’s a lot like Teresa.  Teresa Bonham is a Ventura County native.  Her father, a lawyer at the venerable law firm of Benton, Orr, Duval & Buckingham, has read the book and he likes it.  I hope he remembers to review it on Amazon.  Teresa reports that it is doing very well in its genre category!!  I know some of you have ordered it, so when you do get it and read it, please review it on Amazon – I just know you’re going to like it.


August 27, 2012 Meeting of the Academic Senate

Oxnard College Academic Senate- Meeting Agenda –Monday, August 27, 2012 – 2:30 p.m. LLRC-101

I.      Call to Order/Changes to Agenda

II.  Public Comment/Announcements

III.  State of the Senate        

            -Budget; PEPC & PBC process;

            -SB1440, C-ID’s

            -Board goals and objectives

            -Accreditation issues, District PGM

            -Minutes for meetings; Communication

IV.  Seating of New Senators (if needed, action)

IV.   Ongoing/Old Business

            -Committee Representation

                        (PBC, PEPC, DCAA)(action)

-Proposed Changes to Participatory

              Governance Manual (action)

–   Response to Accreditation (Letter

               written by DCAP) – draft for

               comment  (see attachment)(action)

–   Budget AP’s and BP’s (see


V.          New Business  (none at this time)

VI.           Treasurer’s Report

  1. VII.         Approval of the Minutes
  2. VIII.       For the good of the order

                 -Committee Reports

  1. IX.           Self-Appraisal
  2. X.             Adjournment
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Posted by on August 31, 2012 in Senate Agendae


All College Day (aka Mandatory Flex Day)

The Big Five Awards:

Mark Dever Award for Excellence in Teaching by a Full Time Faculty Member:

Christine Mainzer, Professor of Geography

Joe Escobar Award for Excellence in Teaching by an Adjunct Faculty Member

Kitty Merrill, Adjunct Professor, Television Production

Teresa Archuleta Award for Excellence in Service by Non-Teaching Academic Staff

Everardo Rivera, Counseling, CARE Co-ordinator

William Simpson Award for Excellence in Service to Oxnard College

Dr. Carolyn Inouye, Dean of Math, Science, Health, P.E. & Athletics

John Milton Award for Excellence in Service by a Classified Employee

Dr. Bola King-Rushing, Information Technology

The day was filled with many activities, including a drawing for prizes sponsored by the Ventura County Schools Federal Credit Union, so special thanks are owed to Su-lin Rubalcava, as well as to our own Connie Owens (Oxnard College Foundation) for arranging prizes for our Flex Days.

The annual slow pitch softball game took place as scheduled on our baseball diamond.  It was quite an event.  First, we had the national anthem, sung by Amy Edwards:

Amy Fara Edwards sings our national anthem.

Amy is also our hard-working AS Secretary, our only full time Communications professor and the tireless organizer of our Speech Tournaments.

The game is traditionally played between Faculty and Staff.  This marks the third year in which Faculty have won.  To make things more even, I might play next year.  Here are the two teams, after the 12-2 final score:

Staff in blue, Faculty in green.

Those T-shirts were provided by the Ventura County Schools Federal Credit Union, too, so thanks again.  Here’s the winning team, feeling exuberant:

The Green Team celebrates.

These games just would not be the same without an announcer and color commentary.  Both are ably provided by the Chairman of our Board of Trustees, Steve Blum.  It is difficult to say whether his color commentary is edgy or folksy or somewhere in between, but not only does he explain what’s happening to people who don’t understand softball, he makes everyone laugh.  And wince.  Here he is, with the winner of the Softball $50 gift certificate (the Credit Union, again), which was won by Larry Kennedy (Adjunct Business Professor):

Larry with his gift card, and Steve carefully displaying neutral colors.

Needless to say, the whole day took a lot of organizing, and here’s a special shout-out to Dean Carmen Guerrero, PDC Co-Chair and outgoing AS President Robert Cabral, Classified Senate President Karla Banks and OC Foundation’s Connie Owens for going above and beyond the call of duty.  

Please contact me at if you have corrections to this page.


Posted by on August 18, 2012 in Fun Stuff, Outstanding!


Many of you will recognize Veronica

I don’t know how many of you have seen Veronica Pantoja’s art on exhibit.  She is a student at Oxnard College, studying anthropology and television.  The process by which she makes her art is so intriguing, this newspaper article doesn’t describe that.

But, the VC Star did cover the distribution of $200,000 in Art grants – and Veronica got a grant!

Oxnard College’s own: Veronica Pantoja moves ahead in her career as an artist.

(Challenge:  let’s see some more blogs about our students…)

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Posted by on August 17, 2012 in Our Students!, Uncategorized




Tom Stough is offering a tour of the library right before our first Senate meeting – at 2:15 near the main circulation desk.  If you haven’t seen it yet, the the deluxe way is to have the Tour!

If faculty want to check out a library book from our beautiful new library, they may use their ID (if they have one) or apply at the central desk for a regular library card with faculty privileges.

Exec team is attempting to set up an alliance with ASG so that faculty can get regular photo ID cards, as has happened in the past.

Teresa Bonham is a published author!  Watch this space for further information on how you can order her book – it’s going to make a great Holiday gift.

If you have published something you’d like me to mention – just email me and I’ll put it up here.

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Posted by on August 17, 2012 in Announcements


Welcome back – Get ready for our first Senate Meeting – August 27th

I’m doing my best to keep an up to date calendar on this blog page (see the Calendar link way up at the top right of the page).

We have our first Senate meeting on August 27, at 2:30 pm, at the LLRC-101 – our beautiful new library’s Orientation Room.  Diva Ward and Tom Stough have been gracious enough to allow us to schedule our Senate meetings in their room, near the entrance.

Tom Stough is offering a tour of the new library facility at 2:15, right before that first Senate meeting.

There will be snacks!

The agenda isn’t set yet, but here is a running list of issues that we must agendize, prioritize and, perhaps, act upon:

General Announcements

State of the Senate Address

New Business:  Items regarding policy and procedure coming from the Board of Trustees

Changes to PGM (some minor, some of moderate importance)

Old/Ongoing Business:

Committee Representation needed:

We need to seat 9 faculty for PBC; we need 2 at large members for PEPC; we need two at large faculty for a district committee (new committee, DCAA – District Council on Academic Affairs); Confirm Diane Eberhardy as co-chair of CUDS; Confirm Robert Cabral as co-chair of PDC; 


Amendments to the By-laws

I will be updating this page with details about the Budget as I learn them by adding posts with the clever tag “Budget.”

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Posted by on August 17, 2012 in Announcements, Senate Meetings