California Watch - Higher Ed http://californiawatch.org/topic/higher-ed en State attorneys general investigating for-profit colleges http://californiawatch.org/data/state-attorneys-general-investigating-profit-colleges <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/data/state-attorneys-general-investigating-profit-colleges" class="imagecache imagecache-image-small imagecache-linked imagecache-image-small_linked"><img src="http://californiawatch.org/files/imagecache/image-small/Gavel flickr photo by Brian Turner.jpg" alt="California Watch" title="California Watch" class="imagecache imagecache-image-small" width="176" height="96" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p> California's attorney general has joined the U.S. Department of Justice and several other states in a whistleblower lawsuit against for-profit educational firm Education Management Corp. See which attorneys general in other states have launched investigations of for-profit colleges. </p> </div> </div> </div> Higher Ed for-profit colleges Graph Fri, 03 May 2013 07:00:00 +0000 12560 at http://californiawatch.org What's at stake as community colleges face budget cuts? http://californiawatch.org/dailyreport/whats-stake-community-colleges-face-budget-cuts-18847 <div class="field field-type-userreference field-field-authors"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="author vcard"><a href="/user/kelly-chen" title="View user profile." class="fn">Kelly Chen</a></span> </div> </div> </div> <p class="image-insert" style="width: 304px;"><img alt="" class="imagecache-image-insert" src="/files/imagecache/image-insert/PPIC_fees1.png" title="Fee increase at California community colleges over time" /> <span class="image-insert-photo-credit"><a class="image-insert-photo-credit-url" href="http://www.ppic.org/main/publication.asp?i=1048" target="_blank">Public Policy Institute of California </a></span> <span class="image-insert-description"> Fee increase at California community colleges over time </span></p> <p>A new report by the Public Policy Institute of California examines how nearly $1.5 billion in budget cuts in recent years has limited access to the state&rsquo;s community college system.</p> <p>I asked California Watch&rsquo;s higher education reporter, Erica Perez, to help break down what the changes mean for the 2.4 million students who attend community colleges. Below are excerpts of our conversation.</p> <p><strong>California community colleges have experienced a cut of nearly $1.5 billion between 2007-08 and 2011-12. </strong></p> <p>The <a href="http://www.ppic.org/main/publication.asp?i=1048" target="_blank">Public Policy Institute of California report</a> states: &ldquo;Student enrollment rates in California&rsquo;s community colleges have dropped to a 20-year low in the wake of unprecedented cuts in state funding. Colleges have reduced staff, cut courses, and increased class sizes &ndash; all of which have led to declines in student access.&rdquo;</p> <p>According to a recent <a href="http://californiawatch.org/higher-ed/state-s-community-colleges-spend-millions-duplicative-administrators-18830" target="_blank">California Watch report</a>, fees have risen 130 percent in the past five years, and students are unable to get into the classes they need.</p> <p class="image-insert-right-align" style="width: 304px;"><img alt="" class="imagecache-image-insert-right-align" src="/files/imagecache/image-insert-right-align/PPIC_enrollment.png" title="Changes in student enrollment at California community colleges over time" /> <span class="image-insert-photo-credit"><a class="image-insert-photo-credit-url" href="http://www.ppic.org/main/publication.asp?i=1048" target="_blank">Public Policy Institute of California </a></span> <span class="image-insert-description"> Changes in student enrollment at California community colleges over time </span></p> <p><strong>Community college enrollment rates in California are at an all-time low. </strong></p> <p>Community colleges have cut classes, instructors and other resources, meaning fewer students are able to enroll.</p> <p><strong>Despite budget cuts, more community college students are transferring to four-year colleges. </strong></p> <p>&ldquo;The increases are modest (only a percentage or two), but they suggest that budget cuts have not hurt student transfer rates,&rdquo; the report says.</p> <p><strong>The mission of community colleges has changed. </strong></p> <p>The traditional mission of community colleges is providing access to state residents who have a high school diploma or have shown an ability to benefit from education. The reality now is not everyone who wants to take a class at a community college can.</p> <p><strong>Are community colleges &ldquo;rationing&rdquo; education? </strong></p> <p>Perez explained that some community college leaders describe it this way: &ldquo;If we only have a limited amount of spots, then we should give it to the people who benefit the most.&rdquo;</p> <p>The community college mission is increasingly focused on students who want to transfer to four-year colleges or who want to get associate degrees and certificates as opposed to those who want to take classes for enrichment or who don&rsquo;t have as firm an academic plan.</p> <p><strong>Who are the changes hurting most? Who is getting shut out?</strong></p> <p>Several types of students are getting pushed out: those looking to enrich themselves by taking an aerobics or music class, first-time students, those who are fresh out of high school and those trying to return later in life to get an education.</p> <p><strong>Community colleges have fewer resources to help students navigate the system. </strong></p> <p>As resources have been cut, community colleges have less capacity to help students who have not established an academic plan. Community colleges now have fewer counselors and less flexibility to spend one-on-one time helping students through the system.</p> <p class="image-insert" style="width: 304px;"><img alt="" class="imagecache-image-insert" src="/files/imagecache/image-insert/PPIC_CW_info.png" title="" /> <span class="image-insert-photo-credit"><a class="image-insert-photo-credit-url" href="http://californiawatch.org/higher-ed/infographic-look-administrative-costs-across-community-colleges-18837" target="_blank">Lauren Rabaino/California Watch</a></span> <span class="image-insert-description"> </span></p> <p><strong>Consolidating community colleges could help cut costs, but that entails a complicated political process. </strong></p> <p>A recent <a href="http://californiawatch.org/higher-ed/state-s-community-colleges-spend-millions-duplicative-administrators-18830">California Watch investigation</a> found that community colleges could save millions of dollars if they got rid of duplicative administrative costs. But doing so requires a political process that needs to be approved by the local boards of trustees &ndash; a move that could put some of those board members out of a job. Even after rounds of approval, it would take two years to lay off administrators, which means the cost savings would not be immediate.</p> <p>This <a href="http://californiawatch.org/higher-ed/infographic-look-administrative-costs-across-community-colleges-18837" target="_blank">California Watch infographic</a> explains the costs and complications.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Wasn&rsquo;t Proposition 30 supposed to fix budget problems for community colleges? </strong></p> <p>Prop. 30 provided additional funding, but it didn&rsquo;t make up for the budget shortfall. Some districts were worried that they&rsquo;d face financial ruin if Prop. 30 didn&rsquo;t pass. For other districts in better shape, Prop. 30 helped but didn&rsquo;t make up the gap in funding.</p> <p><strong>What are other solutions?</strong></p> <p>Several studies show community colleges are missing out on millions of dollars of federal funding. Students eligible for a waiver of the $46-per-unit fee at community colleges could in theory qualify for federal financial aid. By changing these requirements, they could bring in federal dollars and spend them at community colleges, which would mean that instead of the state paying, the federal government would pay.</p> <p><strong>More students are attending for-profit colleges. </strong></p> <p>Although difficult to track, some students who can&rsquo;t get into community colleges go to for-profit colleges, which are adept at attracting them via online marketing. Despite much higher tuition, students usually are eligible for federal financial aid, loans and grants. However, once they leave the school, they are saddled with tens of thousands of dollars in debt.</p> <p>How should California&rsquo;s community colleges handle future enrollment? Share your views below:</p> <p><iframe frameborder="0" height="532" src="http://www.proconit.com/widget/should-california-community-colleges-rationalize-limited-spaces-for-students-on-the-transfer-path" title="Should community colleges give priority to students planning to transfer to four-year colleges? - Yes and here's why - No and here's why not" width="454"></iframe></p> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-explore"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/higher-ed/infographic-look-administrative-costs-across-community-colleges-18837">Infographic: A look at administrative costs across community colleges</a> </div> </div> </div> Higher Ed Daily Report california community colleges community colleges Wed, 27 Mar 2013 13:05:03 +0000 Kelly Chen 18847 at http://californiawatch.org Map: Price of proximity http://californiawatch.org/data/map-price-proximity <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/data/map-price-proximity" class="imagecache imagecache-image-small imagecache-linked imagecache-image-small_linked"><img src="http://californiawatch.org/files/imagecache/image-small/CommC_Copper_00781-1000px_0.jpg" alt="California Watch" title="California Watch" class="imagecache imagecache-image-small" width="176" height="96" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p> Dozens of community college districts in California – no more than 20 miles apart – spend millions on similar administrative costs. Find out how much money is being spent in our interactive. </p> </div> </div> </div> Higher Ed budget cuts California schools community colleges school administration Interactive Map Mon, 18 Mar 2013 07:05:03 +0000 18839 at http://californiawatch.org State’s community colleges spend millions on duplicative administrators http://californiawatch.org/higher-ed/state-s-community-colleges-spend-millions-duplicative-administrators-18830 <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-credits"><div class="field field-type-userreference field-field-authors"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="author vcard"><a href="/user/erica-perez" title="View user profile." class="fn">Erica Perez</a></span> and <span class="author vcard"><a href="/user/agustin-armendariz" title="View user profile." class="fn">Agustin Armendariz</a></span> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-extra-credits"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p> California Watch reporter Kendall Taggart contributed to this story. This story was edited by Mark Katches. It was copy edited by Nikki Frick and Christine Lee. </p> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p class="image-full-width" style="width: 640px;"><img alt="" class="imagecache-image-full-width" src="/files/CommC_Copper_00666-1000px.jpg" style="width: 640px;" title="Richard Raasueld studies at Copper Mountain College in Joshua Tree. The district broke from the Desert Community College Dis +++" /> <span class="image-insert-photo-credit">Carlos Puma/California Watch</span> <span class="image-insert-description"> Richard Raasueld studies at Copper Mountain College in Joshua Tree.The district broke from the Desert Community College District in 1999. The region&rsquo;s two districts, with one college each, are among the state&rsquo;s smallest.&nbsp;</span></p> <div id="caw-inset-1-placeholder">&nbsp;</div> <p>The state&rsquo;s 72 community college districts spend tens of millions of dollars on administrative positions that could be consolidated or shared by districts a short drive away, a California Watch analysis has found.</p> <p>In the wake of huge budget shortfalls, California&rsquo;s vast community college system has reduced its core academic functions &ndash; slashing millions of dollars by eliminating nearly a quarter of class sections, cutting services and laying off employees. At the start of the fall 2012 semester, more than 470,000 students <a href="https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/618107-press-release.html" target="_blank">had been waitlisted for classes</a> at community colleges statewide. But millions of dollars still are spent on duplicative administrative costs.</p> <p>More than half of the state&rsquo;s community college districts are within 20 miles of another district. And the vast majority of those districts have a single college. If these districts shared administrators, they potentially could shave millions off their expenses.</p> <p>Take the Riverside, Mt. San Jacinto and Desert community college districts, all in Riverside County. Together, they operate five colleges with three chancellor&rsquo;s offices, three human resources departments, three finance offices, three facilities departments and three academic affairs offices, not to mention three boards of trustees.</p> <p>The cost of employing the 15 executives who lead these departments, plus one or two support staff for each, totals nearly $6 million. The cost of running the three boards, including elections, legal support, stipends, benefits, support staff and travel expenses, equals nearly $1.7 million, records show.</p> <p>The three districts employed more than 130 executives in total in 2010.</p> <p>If the three districts could consolidate and whittle their bureaucracies down to one chancellor, one board and one head of each big administrative office, the savings would total $4.9 million &ndash; money that could, for example, pay for 960 additional class sections.</p> <p>Riverside Community College District Chancellor Gregory Gray believes the savings could be even bigger.</p> <p>&ldquo;In this one district alone, you could easily save $5, $6, $7 million,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;Multiply that up and down the state and you get a big number.&rdquo;</p> <p>Asked whether the system should consider merging some districts to save money, Gray didn&rsquo;t hesitate. &ldquo;Without a doubt and unquestionably, the answer to that is we should do that,&rdquo; he said.</p> <p>You could look at those facts, take note of the state&rsquo;s revenue challenges and wonder why lawmakers aren&rsquo;t already ordering cuts, mergers and cost savings.</p> <p>But first you&rsquo;d need a lesson on the way things operate in Sacramento.</p> <p>&ldquo;It is extremely difficult for a local chancellor like myself to try and initiate this type of discussion unless it&rsquo;s really starting from the top,&rdquo; said Gray, noting that no one in the state Capitol is championing consolidation.</p> <p class="image-insert-right-align" style="width: 304px;"><img alt="" class="imagecache-image-insert-right-align" src="/files/imagecache/image-insert-right-align/CommC_Gray_477-1000px.jpg" title="Riverside Community College District Chancellor Gregory Gray said he thinks the state community college system should consid +++" /> <span class="image-insert-photo-credit">Carlos Puma/California Watch</span> <span class="image-insert-description">Riverside Community College District Chancellor Gregory Gray said he thinks the state community college system should consider merging some districts to save money.</span></p> <p>For many of the community college districts, the potential savings may never be realized because the system of local districts is so deeply entrenched. In fact, obscure statutes in the California Education Code make it all but impossible to save money through merging districts &ndash; at least in the short run.</p> <p>Students have borne the brunt of cuts to the system. They have been slapped with fees that have risen 130 percent in the past five years and have been unable to get into the classes they need. But the status quo has been protected.</p> <p>The state&rsquo;s community college system isn&rsquo;t the only place in California&rsquo;s $92 billion budget where excess can be found. California Watch chose to zero in on the college system because of its sheer size and because it touches so many lives. Some 2.4 million students attend community college classes.</p> <p>California&rsquo;s community college system is the largest in the nation and the backbone of higher education in the state, serving the vast majority of the state&rsquo;s college students at the lowest price with the greatest number of locations. The system is especially essential now, as President Barack Obama has pushed for greater resources for community colleges to shore up the country&rsquo;s workforce through job training and education.</p> <p>California Watch reporters examined parts of the state community college system&rsquo;s bureaucracy to identify spending patterns and understand why reforms may prove elusive.</p> <p>The 72 districts keep payroll and other data in different formats, which makes comparison difficult. So California Watch drilled down on 16 districts, taking into consideration the availability of detailed payroll data, geographic proximity and district size.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>The group of 16 districts had duplicative executives or managers in 21 positions, not including chancellors and presidents. A total of 253 individuals cost the districts $30 million in salaries and at least $7.9 million in benefits in 2011.</p> <p>A broader analysis of the system revealed:</p> <ul> <li>The state Education Code prevents districts from laying off any administrators for the first two years after merging, making it more difficult for districts to save money by consolidating.</li> </ul> <ul> <li>The public appears open to change. California Watch commissioned a Field Poll that found an overwhelming majority favors consolidating community college administrative functions to save money.</li> <li>As the ranks of elected community college trustees have swollen, their power and profile have diminished. The state pays for 442 community college district trustees, including an average annual cost of $5 million for elections. But the authority of these elected board members weakened significantly 35 years ago when voters approved Proposition 13, which transferred control over revenues from the boards of trustees to the state.&nbsp;</li> <li>The Field Poll conducted in the fall for California Watch found that the majority of respondents had little or no knowledge about district board elections.</li> </ul> <p>Unlike the centrally managed systems for the California State University and University of California, community colleges sprouted up largely as extensions of high school districts. That helps explain why they&rsquo;re organized into 72 locally governed bodies dotting the California terrain &ndash; each with its own bureaucracy.</p> <p>In 2010, community colleges reported spending at least $1.7 billion on top-level administration, including pay for district executives and the cost of the 72 separate governing boards, according to a California Watch analysis of U.S. Department of Education data. The total cost of the system that year topped $10 billion.</p> <p>But the 72 districts don&rsquo;t all report administrative spending to the federal government in the same way. That makes it difficult to compare how much each district spends on bureaucracy or to compare the community college system to other higher education systems.</p> <p>The Riverside Community College District, for example, included $3.5 million in state money it spent on enterprises such as parking and student activities. The Long Beach Community College District did not include that category of expenses.</p> <p>The chairman of the Assembly Higher Education Committee, Das Williams, D-Santa Barbara, said the state should consider district consolidation.</p> <p>&ldquo;There&rsquo;s no question that there (are) more individual districts than is efficient and, in many cases, the efficiencies that can be gained would mean more classes for students,&rdquo; Williams said. &ldquo;And that&rsquo;s really the tragedy of the system, is the lack of funding and the lack of reform.&rdquo;</p> <p>However, while lawmakers can encourage a statewide examination into the costs and benefits of district unification &ndash; through studies and hearings &ndash; Williams said local leaders ultimately need to sign on to make such a move successful.</p> <p><strong>Creating a new district</strong></p> <p>To see how much cost a district structure can add, consider how much California paid when it built one from scratch.</p> <p>The seeds of Copper Mountain College in the High Desert took root in 1967, when the Desert Community College District in Palm Desert began offering college classes at local schools in the Morongo Basin.</p> <p>Community leaders in the area began to envision having their own full-fledged college. In 1970, the district bought land on the side of Copper Mountain in Joshua Tree with the idea of eventually building a campus there. And in 1977, voters elected the first Morongo Basin resident to the district board of trustees. Virnita McDonald advocated for a college at Copper Mountain.</p> <p>A new foundation, the Friends of Copper Mountain College, began raising money for a building campaign. Its success <a href="https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/618112-cmc-master-plan-2007-2011.html" target="_blank">led to the opening of the Copper Mountain campus</a> in 1984.</p> <p>Still, college leaders wanted independence from the Palm Desert district. They argued that their campus wasn&rsquo;t getting its fair share of resources. They believed the district should have built the Copper Mountain campus sooner.</p> <p>&ldquo;We felt that we were significantly different from the Palm Desert community,&rdquo; said Owen Gillick, who has been involved with Copper Mountain College since 1975 and recently retired from the district&rsquo;s board of trustees. &ldquo;We felt that even having one of five trustees residing here did not give &hellip; us the control over our destiny that we felt we deserved to have.&rdquo;</p> <p>Frustrated by what it saw as a lack of action by district leaders, the Friends of Copper Mountain College <a href="https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/618118-feb-1998-dccd-meeting.html" target="_blank">met with Republican state Sen. Jim Brulte</a> in 1998, hoping for a political solution.</p> <p>Brulte agreed to tackle the issue. <a href="http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/97-98/bill/sen/sb_1651-1700/sb_1665_bill_19980217_introduced.html" target="_blank">A bill he introduced</a> authorized a new, separately funded district &ndash; without needing the approval of voters in Palm Desert.</p> <p>David Wolf, then the executive director of the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, said in an interview that he was uncomfortable with the creation of a district of that size in that location because of obvious fiscal limitations.</p> <p>Thomas Nussbaum, chancellor of the community college system at the time, also said he had concerns &ndash; not only about the extra cost, but also about the circumvention of the standard process for forming a district.</p> <p>But the involvement of a powerful legislator made the move inevitable, they said.</p> <p>Brulte &ldquo;had already made up his mind on the subject and probably had the ability to pass whatever legislation he wanted to pass,&rdquo; Nussbaum said.</p> <p>In 1999, the bill became law. Almost overnight, the region went from having one college and one district to two colleges and two districts. &nbsp;</p> <p>With the new designation came new trappings. The district created two new jobs that mirrored positions at Palm Desert&rsquo;s College of the Desert: a chief human resources officer and a chief business officer. Copper Mountain also hired a director of fiscal services, promoted the provost to CEO and promoted a professor to a position as chief instructional officer. A new local board was elected. State budgets provided $3 million in the first two years to foot the bill for the transition.</p> <p>From 1998, before the secession, to 2002, four years after the split, the cost of top-level administration for College of the Desert and Copper Mountain College doubled, growing at twice the rate of the system as a whole. Copper Mountain currently has nine administrators and faculty who make more than $100,000 per year.</p> <p>Both districts are among California&rsquo;s smallest. The Desert Community College District enrolls roughly 13,000 students. Copper Mountain, the spinoff, is the second-tiniest district in the state, with 3,000 students enrolled last year.</p> <p>Tiny districts are, by nature, inefficient. In fact, their fixed costs are so high that the state funding formula adds on extra money for them. As a result, per-student funding at Copper Mountain in 2010 was about $8,200 &ndash; more than 40 percent higher than the state average of $5,700.&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;They&rsquo;ve got to have a board, they&rsquo;ve got to have a basic campus, they&rsquo;ve got to have a basic administration, they&rsquo;ve got to have a basic faculty even if their class size is very small,&rdquo; Wolf said. &ldquo;So why would you create something like this &hellip; when there&rsquo;s 55 miles away a great big campus that provides everything?&rdquo;</p> <p>Gillick did not dispute that forming a new small district entailed significant costs. But he said consolidating Copper Mountain with a neighboring district would be an &ldquo;unsuccessful implant.&rdquo;</p> <p>&ldquo;These small things (districts) are costly, but they have a value that can&rsquo;t be measured in bucks,&rdquo; he said.</p> <p>Brulte, now the California Republican Party chairman, said there was no requirement in the law that the new district add more administrators. The move had a positive impact in the area, he said.</p> <p>&ldquo;At the end of the day, additional resources went to Copper Mountain, and it eliminated a tremendous source of conflict within the Morongo Basin,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;The people of the Morongo Basin got to have control of the college district in their community.&rdquo;</p> <p><strong>Overlapping roles</strong></p> <p>When you look at a map of California&rsquo;s community college districts, the dots tend to cluster. More than half of the districts are within 20 miles of at least one other community college district.</p> <p>Each district comes with a cadre of highly compensated executives who do the same thing as their counterpart with the same title at a district 10 or 15 miles away. In theory, geographically close districts could share a vice president of human resources or a chief business officer.</p> <p>It&rsquo;s unclear how much could be cut, but the community college system spends at least 17 cents of every dollar on top-level administrative costs. &nbsp;</p> <p>California Watch analyzed payroll data for 16 districts. Combined, the districts &ndash; a mix of small and larger ones &ndash; had 18 directors of public relations, 21 directors of campus facilities and 12 institutional research chiefs. Not including the district superintendents or college presidents, the districts had some level of overlap in 21 executive or management positions.</p> <p>Meanwhile, colleges have dealt with budget cuts by cutting classes. Before last year&rsquo;s passage of Proposition 30, which temporarily increases income and sales taxes to fund education, funding for community colleges had decreased by $809 million, or 12 percent, since 2008-09.</p> <p>In that time period, the number of students served sunk by nearly half a million.</p> <p>In <a href="https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/618124-pr-budgetimpactsurveyquestions-082812-final.html" target="_blank">an August 2012 survey</a> conducted by the California Community Colleges Chancellor&rsquo;s Office, 66 of 78 colleges that responded reported having waitlists for fall classes. On average, there were 7,157 students waitlisted per college.</p> <p class="image-insert-right-align" style="width: 304px;"><img alt="" class="imagecache-image-insert-right-align" src="/files/imagecache/image-insert-right-align/CommC_Smith_DSC5151-1000px.jpg" title="Community colleges have cut classes to deal with budget cuts. Berkeley City College student Clay Smith said last semester was+++" /> <span class="image-insert-photo-credit">Michael Short/California Watch</span> <span class="image-insert-description"> Community colleges have cut classes to deal with budget cuts. Berkeley City College student Clay Smith said last semester was the most hectic he&rsquo;d seen. &ldquo;There were at least 10 kids standing in every class,&rdquo; he said.&nbsp;</span></p> <p>Berkeley City College student Clay Smith, 22, witnessed the effects of reduced class offerings firsthand. Last semester was the most hectic he&rsquo;d ever seen.</p> <p>&ldquo;There were at least 10 kids standing in every class,&rdquo; Smith said. &ldquo;There&rsquo;s people on the floor and in the hall. &hellip; I made sure to get to class 20 minutes early so I knew I had a seat.&rdquo;</p> <p>Smith needs one more business class to meet the requirements to transfer to a UC school. But he never thought it would take him three years to get here.</p> <p>&ldquo;I had no clue,&rdquo; Smith said. &ldquo;I didn&rsquo;t think it was going to take this long of a journey.&rdquo;</p> <p><strong>Obstacles to consolidation</strong></p> <p>The state Education Code makes it all but impossible for districts to achieve cost savings right away by merging operations.</p> <p>Take the Napa Valley, Solano and Contra Costa community college districts, which together oversee five colleges. The district offices are within 15 to 25 miles of each other.</p> <p>Combined, they serve about 81,000 students &ndash; fewer than at City College of San Francisco.</p> <p>When you look at them together, Napa Valley, Solano and Contra Costa had three chief business officers, five directors of campus facilities, three athletic directors and three public relations chiefs in 2011. They also had two directors of information technology, chief financial aid officers and vice presidents of student success.</p> <p>There were 12 key executive or administrative positions that clearly overlapped across all three districts and two other positions duplicated in 2 out of 3 districts.</p> <p>Salaries and benefits for these 43 people totaled roughly $6.4 million. The districts employed more than 150 executives in total in 2010.</p> <p>Some district officials questioned whether a district spanning three counties would reduce colleges&rsquo; ability to respond to local business needs.</p> <p>Timothy Leong, spokesman for the Contra Costa Community College District, said that while his district sees jobs in the energy sector, Napa may see more in the agricultural or wine industries.</p> <p>&ldquo;Community colleges in those respective areas work closely with the businesses in order to meet those educational needs for their future workforce,&rdquo; Leong said. &ldquo;The question becomes, by proposed consolidation &hellip; will you be able to still meet the business needs and training needs for your students in the same way?&rdquo;</p> <p>Yulian Ligioso, vice president of finance and administration for Solano Community College, said a merger would entail many additional costs. For example, the districts would have to standardize their curriculums.</p> <p>&ldquo;While on the surface, I think it&rsquo;s certainly not something you cannot do, there are many obstacles you&rsquo;d have to address in trying to merge the institutions,&rdquo; Ligioso said.</p> <p>The districts have not discussed merging, but even if they did, they wouldn&rsquo;t be able to immediately reduce duplicative positions. California&rsquo;s Education Code <a href="https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/618120-california-education-code-sec-88018.html" target="_blank">prohibits districts from laying off nonacademic employees</a> for two years following a merger.</p> <p>That protection originates from a 1961 bill sponsored by the California School Employees Association, which ensured a year of job security for nonacademic employees after a merger. The union sponsored another bill in 1970 that pushed the protection to two years.&nbsp;</p> <p>Even before a merger could be approved, a litany of other financial, legal and political hurdles would stand in the way.</p> <p>Several groups must sign off on the deal, including the community college system&rsquo;s Board of Governors, a committee of K-12 school officials in every affected county and the merging districts&rsquo; boards of trustees &ndash; who which would be voting on whether to eliminate their own positions.</p> <p>Voters in every affected county would have to approve the merger at the polls, too.</p> <p>The colleges, meanwhile, would have to get approval from the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges. They would have to show that they could maintain the same quality of instruction and student support. The process entails legal review and a fee of $20,000.</p> <p>The new district also would have to sort out multiple collective bargaining agreements, each with its own salary schedule.</p> <p>Bill McGinnis, a trustee at the Butte-Glenn Community College District in Oroville, <a href="https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/618122-mcginnis-report.html" target="_blank">took a deeper look</a> at these laws and regulations in 2011.</p> <p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s a very complicated process and a very costly process,&rdquo; McGinnis said. &ldquo;There&rsquo;s no cost savings for at least two years. In order to make it work, you&rsquo;d definitely need to have changes in the law.&rdquo;</p> <p>That&rsquo;s not to say districts that currently operate multiple colleges are more efficient than single-college districts.</p> <p>California Watch looked at three years of administrator-to-student ratios for each district. While the ratios varied, no clear pattern emerged that would explain why some districts had lots of administrators per student and others had very few. Districts with multiple colleges, for example, were no more likely than single-college districts to have a low administrator-to-student ratio.</p> <p>Many community college officials point to this fact when they caution against merging districts. They often cite the state&rsquo;s largest district, the nine-college, 230,000-student Los Angeles Community College District, as a highly bureaucratic organization they do not want to emulate.</p> <p>&ldquo;Mergers would be rather complicated legally, and we would have to be convinced that such mergers would bring about savings,&rdquo; said Jack Scott, former chancellor of the California Community Colleges. &ldquo;Unfortunately, there&rsquo;s not evidence that (multicollege districts) operate more efficiently than some of the surrounding districts that are one-college districts.&rdquo;</p> <p><strong>Small districts consider collaboration</strong></p> <p>Many of the state&rsquo;s small districts are in precarious financial straits because budget cuts are making it increasingly difficult to support the administrative costs of running a district.</p> <p>When statewide budget cuts hit, community colleges get lower enrollment targets &ndash; meaning fewer classes and student services.</p> <p>But districts can scale down instructional and support services more easily than they can adjust the cost of administrative services such as payroll, accounting, information technology and institutional research, said Yuba Community College District Chancellor Doug Houston. That means courses and educational services end up on the chopping block first.</p> <p>&ldquo;We&rsquo;re making the cuts by reducing our core academic functions, and we&rsquo;re kind of chipping away at the margins of being more efficient with those noncore functions,&rdquo; Houston said.</p> <p>The legal and political obstacles involved in merging districts have stopped districts from getting past the most preliminary discussions about consolidating.</p> <p>Houston stops short of advocating that small districts should merge to save money. He&rsquo;s concerned that moving a district administration farther away would take something away from those communities.</p> <div id="caw-inset-2-placeholder">&nbsp;</div> <p>But he has been working with a group of mostly small rural college districts to explore ways to share some of these administrative services, such as payroll services or server farms.</p> <p>The group includes the Mendocino-Lake, Siskiyou Joint, Shasta-Tehama-Trinity Joint, Lassen, Feather River, Lake Tahoe, Monterey Peninsula<strong>,</strong> Butte-Glenn and Yuba districts in Northern California, plus the Copper Mountain, Barstow and Palo Verde college districts in the south.</p> <p>&ldquo;My fear is that for these smaller colleges that they&rsquo;re already on the precipice, and that another round of cuts will put them in extreme jeopardy,&rdquo; Houston said.</p> <p>The group does not yet have an estimate of the potential savings districts could achieve. At Houston&rsquo;s former district, the 5,000-student Lassen Community College District in Susanville, he estimated administrative costs made up 21 percent of the budget. He figures at least a quarter of that could be shaved through collaboration.&nbsp;</p> <p>Houston and Kindred Murillo, president of the Lake Tahoe Community College District, are talking about sharing one or more senior administrators in the future, even though the two district offices are 145 miles apart.</p> <p>The districts&rsquo; immediate financial woes are only the short-term context for the push toward collaboration, however.</p> <p>&ldquo;The bigger context is that the paying public, quite legitimately, is skeptical as to how efficient we have been in public services and is demanding greater efficiency,&rdquo; Houston said. &ldquo;And I think legitimately so.&rdquo;</p> </div> </div> </div> Higher Ed budget cuts California schools community colleges school administration Mon, 18 Mar 2013 07:05:03 +0000 Erica Perez Agustin Armendariz 18830 at http://californiawatch.org Community college boards lose power, stature as system changes http://californiawatch.org/higher-ed/community-college-boards-lose-power-stature-system-changes-18835 <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-credits"><div class="field field-type-userreference field-field-authors"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="author vcard"><a href="/user/erica-perez" title="View user profile." class="fn">Erica Perez</a></span> and <span class="author vcard"><a href="/user/kendall-taggart" title="View user profile." class="fn">Kendall Taggart</a></span> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p class="image-insert" style="width: 304px;"><img alt="" class="imagecache-image-insert" src="/files/imagecache/image-insert/4022CAW 00934 crop.jpeg" title="Copper Mountain is the second-smallest district in the state, with 3,000 students enrolled last year. " /> <span class="image-insert-photo-credit">Carlos Puma/California Watch</span> <span class="image-insert-description"> Copper Mountain is the second-smallest district in the state, with 3,000 students enrolled last year.&nbsp;</span></p> <p>The local community college district structure is in some ways a vestige of a different California.</p> <p>The Little Hoover Commission, an independent state oversight agency, noted in a February 2012 report that the passage of Proposition 13 in 1978 transferred control over revenues from local elected community college boards of trustees to the state, stripping governing boards of what some say was their essential power.</p> <p>Local districts don&rsquo;t set student fees; the Legislature does.</p> <p>And while students used to need a permit to attend a community college in another district, since 1988, they&rsquo;ve been free to attend any college in the state they choose, raising questions about the need for district boundaries at all.</p> <p>A quarter of community college students attended colleges outside of their district in fall 2010, and more than 100,000 &ndash; about 7 percent &ndash; attended classes in multiple districts at the same time, according to state data.</p> <p>Community college trustees are entrusted with making sure the districts meet the needs of the community. They help shape the district&rsquo;s goals, and they review policies, sometimes updating or changing them &ndash; all in consultation with stakeholders such as faculty, staff and students.</p> <p>Perhaps the most significant power local trustees hold is to hire &ndash; or fire &ndash; the district chancellor, who in turn is entrusted with recommending district policies. Trustees have the authority to approve or reject these proposed policies.</p> <p>Most districts hold elections every two years for contested trustee positions. They also ask local voters to approve bond measures for construction or parcel taxes for additional services or classes. The districts must reimburse counties for the cost of these races. From 2006 to 2011, districts paid more than $30 million to reimburse counties for the cost of trustee elections alone.</p> <p>Election results show voters care less about community college board races than they do about other contests. In November 2010, the Contra Costa Community College District&rsquo;s Governing Board had two contested seats. But in both races, more than a quarter of eligible voters &ndash; nearly 35,000 &ndash; who cast ballots in the election chose not to vote at all on a trustee.</p> <div id="caw-inset-1-placeholder">&nbsp;</div> <p>In September, the Field Poll surveyed 1,183 registered voters at the request of California Watch and found that 78 percent had little or no knowledge about district board elections. And while 46 percent of respondents said they think there is some value in having locally elected boards overseeing college districts, 63 percent said the districts should be consolidated if it saves money.</p> <p>Pomona resident Dane Griffith, 48, one of the respondents to the Field Poll, said the number of districts should be reduced. He wondered what power boards have to help someone like his 18-year-old daughter, who couldn&rsquo;t get into a single class this fall at Mt. San Antonio College.</p> <p>&ldquo;If you (have) more boards, is it going to be more effective, or is it going to add more gridlock or more expense?&rdquo; Griffith said.</p> <p>In all but a handful of districts, governing board members receive a small stipend for their service, ranging from $100 per month at the Mendocino-Lake Community College District to $2,000 per month at the Los Angeles Community College District.</p> <p>The better perks are the district-paid health and welfare benefits offered to trustees. In some cases, just the trustees are covered; in other cases, they get coverage for dependents.</p> <p>All but two of the state&rsquo;s 72 community college districts &ndash; Cabrillo and Feather River &ndash; offer such benefits, and 84 percent of eligible trustees accept them. And it adds up. In 2011, districts paid more than $7 million in stipends and benefits for trustees.</p> <p>In some cases, trustees opt in to the district-paid benefits even though they have jobs in the private sector. California Watch reviewed 16 community college districts and found that 41 of the 88 trustees receiving district-paid benefits in 2011 had jobs elsewhere.</p> <p>The Mt. San Antonio Community College District paid $30,000 for board member Fred Chyr&rsquo;s benefits in 2011, even though he has a full-time job as an associate vice president and chief marketing officer at the University of La Verne, a private four-year university. Chyr declined to comment for this story.</p> <p>In Gary L. Woods&rsquo; case, the professor at Pasadena City College doubles as a board member for the Citrus Community College District. Woods gets health benefits from both districts. Pasadena paid about $16,000 last year, and Citrus paid about $17,000.</p> <p>People with two health benefits policies can coordinate them so they pay less for their co-pays, deductibles and other out-of-pocket expenses. Both college districts pay 100 percent of premiums, so the extra coverage does not cost Woods anything.</p> <p>Woods, who earned $148,000 at Pasadena City College last year, could have turned down one of the policies to save one of the districts money, but he didn&rsquo;t consider that.</p> <p>&ldquo;Why would I?&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;We put a lot of time in. I don&rsquo;t see what&rsquo;s wrong with the practice.&rdquo;</p> <p>An orientation guide for new trustees published by the Community College League of California estimates that trustees spend between two and 10 hours per week on trustee duties, such as reading materials and attending meetings. The league is a nonprofit advocacy organization whose members include district trustees and CEOs.</p> <p>At Pasadena City College, board members and employees who opt out of the district-paid benefits can receive cash instead. Trustees Linda Wah and Anthony Fellow received $3,500 and $5,500 in cash, respectively, on top of their stipends in 2011 instead of certain health insurance benefits.</p> <p>The district&rsquo;s general counsel, Gail S. Cooper, said the district has to offer the same benefits to all participants. And all district employees have the option to receive cash instead of benefits if they show proof of insurance elsewhere.</p> <p>She said district officials do not believe, however, that they have to offer health benefits to attract qualified trustees.</p> <p>&ldquo;Our trustees serve because they are dedicated to public higher education and student success,&rdquo; she said in an email. &ldquo;The dedication of the members of our Board of Trustees is not motivated by receipt of this modest benefit.&rdquo;</p> <p>Until the 1990s, community college board members could receive lifetime district-paid benefits after they left the board. California law now prohibits this for board members elected after January 1995, but some districts still are paying benefits to a few retired board members who were grandfathered in.</p> <p>In its February 2012 report, the Little Hoover Commission said it ultimately saw great value in the role of local boards to advocate for their communities, despite the erosion of local control over the years.</p> <p>The commission advocated keeping local boards while creating a stronger, more independent California Community Colleges Chancellor&rsquo;s Office to set priorities for the system. However, the commission also said college districts &ndash; especially small ones &ndash; could be more efficient if they combined administrative functions and coordinated more class offerings.</p> <p>Advocates of local governing boards say the amount spent on trustee elections and salaries represents a tiny line item in the system&rsquo;s $10 billion budget. They also question whether a district could cater to its local communities as aptly without a board of trustees in that area.</p> <p>Bill Elliott, president of the board of trustees for the Feather River Community College District in Quincy, wondered whether a Sacramento-based board of trustees would have seen the value in establishing the college&rsquo;s equine studies program.</p> <p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s easier for us, I think, for us to do it and say this program makes sense for the mountain area. We have the right person, let&rsquo;s do it,&rdquo; Elliott said.</p> <p>But Assemblyman Das Williams, D-Santa Barbara, chairman of the Assembly Higher Education Committee, said it&rsquo;s possible to have local decision-making even in a large area with diverse communities. He cited his local district, the Ventura County Community College District, as an example.</p> <p>That district serves the majority of Ventura County &ndash; roughly 1,900 square miles &ndash; and includes very different communities, from Oxnard to Moorpark.</p> <p>&ldquo;Even though that&rsquo;s a very populous district, with three campuses and a couple satellite campuses, it is still very local decision-making,&rdquo; Williams said.</p> <p>Jack Scott, former chancellor of the California Community Colleges, said it&rsquo;s unlikely the Legislature would ever eliminate locally elected boards. People would believe they were losing their right to elect local officials.</p> <p>&ldquo;Politically, if you were starting from scratch, how you would organize the governance of community colleges might be an open question,&rdquo; Scott said. &ldquo;But to completely uproot the present system seems unlikely.&rdquo;</p> <p><em>This story was edited by Mark Katches. It was copy edited by Nikki Frick and Christine Lee.</em></p> </div> </div> </div> Higher Ed budget cuts California schools community colleges school administration Mon, 18 Mar 2013 07:05:03 +0000 Erica Perez Kendall Taggart 18835 at http://californiawatch.org Infographic: A look at administrative costs across community colleges http://californiawatch.org/higher-ed/infographic-look-administrative-costs-across-community-colleges-18837 <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-credits"><div class="field field-type-userreference field-field-authors"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="author vcard"><a href="/user/lauren-rabaino" title="View user profile." class="fn">Lauren Rabaino</a></span>, <span class="author vcard"><a href="/user/erica-perez" title="View user profile." class="fn">Erica Perez</a></span> and <span class="author vcard"><a href="/user/agustin-armendariz" title="View user profile." class="fn">Agustin Armendariz</a></span> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><img alt="" class="imagecache-image-full-width" src="/files/imagecache/image-full-width/localcontrol_graphic-640px.jpg" style="font-size: 0.813em; line-height: 1.385em;" title="" /></p> </div> </div> </div> Higher Ed budget cuts California schools community colleges school administration Mon, 18 Mar 2013 07:05:03 +0000 Lauren Rabaino Erica Perez Agustin Armendariz 18837 at http://californiawatch.org How we analyzed community colleges’ administrative costs http://californiawatch.org/higher-ed/how-we-analyzed-community-colleges-administrative-costs-18836 <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-credits"><div class="field field-type-userreference field-field-authors"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="author vcard"><a href="/user/erica-perez" title="View user profile." class="fn">Erica Perez</a></span> and <span class="author vcard"><a href="/user/agustin-armendariz" title="View user profile." class="fn">Agustin Armendariz</a></span> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div id="caw-inset-1-placeholder">&nbsp;</div> <p>More than half of California&rsquo;s 72 community college districts are within 20 miles of another district office.</p> <p>Each district comes with a cadre of highly compensated executives who do the same thing as their counterpart with the same title at another district 10 or 15 miles away. In theory, geographically close districts could share a vice president of human resources or a chief business officer, among other positions.</p> <p>To get a better idea of the possible savings such a move could achieve, we chose to dig in deeper on a group of 16 community college districts.</p> <p>To choose the districts, we considered the availability of detailed payroll data, geographic proximity and district size.&nbsp;Although we requested the same detailed data from each district, some were unable or unwilling to provide the full scope weasked for.&nbsp;</p> <p>We began by applying a commonly used data-clustering algorithm to group districts into natural clusters where each district&nbsp;is within 20 miles of another. Sixclusters emerged, totaling 40 districts.&nbsp;</p> <p>We selected six districts from the biggest cluster, which is in Southern California. We looked at the Chaffey, Citrus and Mt. San Antonio community college districts in the greater Los Angeles area and the North Orange County, Rancho Santiago and Coast community college districts in the Orange County area.&nbsp;These districts were geographically close and had rich data.</p> <p>We also chose three of 13 districts in the next biggest cluster, which is in the Bay Area: the Contra Costa, Napa Valley and Solano community college districts.&nbsp;These districts also were geographically close and had rich data.</p> <p>Our reporting also led us to examine small districts, which have more administrative overhead per student than their bigger counterparts. We chose to look at four districts with the smallest number of students in Northern California &ndash; the Feather River, Lake Tahoe, Lassen and Siskiyou Joint community college districts &shy;&ndash; and three districts with the lowest enrollment in Southern California &ndash; the Copper Mountain, Imperial and Palo Verde community college districts &ndash; all of which provided the full scope of payroll data.</p> <p><strong>Field Poll </strong></p> <p>To get a sense of what Californians know about community college boards and districts &ndash; and how much they value them &ndash; California Watch commissioned a Field Poll in September. Nearly 1,200 California registered voters responded to the telephone survey.</p> <p>We asked people how knowledgeable they were about matters relating to the community college or colleges in their area. The biggest slice, 38 percent of respondents, said they were not too knowledgeable. About 33 percent said they were somewhat knowledgeable, and 21 percent said they were not at all knowledgeable.</p> <p>When we asked how knowledgeable people were about the candidates running for community college boards in recent elections, nearly half &ndash; 46 percent &ndash; said they were not at all knowledgeable. About 32 percent said they were not too knowledgeable. Four percent said they were very knowledgeable.</p> <p>About 46 percent of people said they believed community college boards were somewhat valuable to the operations of a community college, while 20 percent said they believed boards were very valuable.</p> <p>And the majority of respondents &ndash; 63 percent &ndash; thought that the number of local community college boards and districts should be reduced to save money, while 19 percent thought that having 72 different boards and districts was worth it.</p> <p>The poll had a margin of error of no more than plus or minus 2.9 percentage points. Some totals may add up to more than 100 percent because of rounding.&nbsp;</p> <p>Here&rsquo;s a look at the responses to our questions:</p> <table border="1" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"> <tbody> <tr> <td colspan="2" style="width:575px;"> <p>How knowledgeable would you say you are about matters relating to the community college or colleges in your area?</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td style="width:287px;"> <p>Very knowledgeable</p> </td> <td style="width:288px;"> <p>7%</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td style="width:287px;"> <p>Somewhat knowledgeable</p> </td> <td style="width:288px;"> <p>33%</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td style="width:287px;"> <p>Not too knowledgeable</p> </td> <td style="width:288px;"> <p>38%</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td style="width:287px;"> <p>Not at all knowledgeable</p> </td> <td style="width:288px;"> <p>21%</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td style="width:287px;"> <p>No opinion</p> </td> <td style="width:288px;"> <p>1%</p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <table border="1" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"> <tbody> <tr> <td colspan="2" style="width:575px;"> <p>When voting in recent elections for the community college board in your area, how knowledgeable would you say you are about the candidates running for the community college board?</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td style="width:287px;"> <p>Very knowledgeable</p> </td> <td style="width:288px;"> <p>4%</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td style="width:287px;"> <p>Somewhat knowledgeable</p> </td> <td style="width:288px;"> <p>17%</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td style="width:287px;"> <p>Not too knowledgeable</p> </td> <td style="width:288px;"> <p>32%</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td style="width:287px;"> <p>Not at all knowledgeable</p> </td> <td style="width:288px;"> <p>46%</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td style="width:287px;"> <p>No opinion</p> </td> <td style="width:288px;"> <p>1%</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td style="width:287px;"> <p>Haven&#39;t voted in these elections (volunteered)</p> </td> <td style="width:288px;"> <p>1%</p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <table border="1" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"> <tbody> <tr> <td colspan="2" style="width:575px;"> <p>How valuable do you feel the local governing boards are to the operations of a community college?</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td style="width:287px;"> <p>Very valuable</p> </td> <td style="width:288px;"> <p>20%</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td style="width:287px;"> <p>Somewhat valuable</p> </td> <td style="width:288px;"> <p>46%</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td style="width:287px;"> <p>Not too valuable</p> </td> <td style="width:288px;"> <p>13%</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td style="width:287px;"> <p>Not at all valuable</p> </td> <td style="width:288px;"> <p>7%</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td style="width:287px;"> <p>No opinion</p> </td> <td style="width:288px;"> <p>15%</p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <table border="1" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"> <tbody> <tr> <td colspan="2" style="width:575px;"> <p>Do you think that having 72 different locally elected community college boards and 72 district administrations around the state is worth the added expense needed to staff and oversee the community colleges, or do you think the number of local community college boards and districts should be reduced to save money?</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td style="width:287px;height:19px;"> <p>Worth it</p> </td> <td style="width:288px;height:19px;"> <p>19%</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td style="width:287px;"> <p>Should be reduced to save money</p> </td> <td style="width:288px;"> <p>63%</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td style="width:287px;"> <p>Depends</p> </td> <td style="width:288px;"> <p>2%</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td style="width:287px;"> <p>No opinion</p> </td> <td style="width:288px;"> <p>16%</p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> </div> </div> Higher Ed budget cuts California schools community colleges school administration Mon, 18 Mar 2013 07:05:02 +0000 Erica Perez Agustin Armendariz 18836 at http://californiawatch.org Emails reveal college officials knew they were overbilling state http://californiawatch.org/dailyreport/emails-reveal-college-officials-knew-they-were-overbilling-state-18753 <div class="field field-type-userreference field-field-authors"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="author vcard"><a href="/user/erica-perez" title="View user profile." class="fn">Erica Perez</a></span> </div> </div> </div> <p class="image-insert" style="width: 304px;"><img alt="" class="imagecache-image-insert" src="/files/imagecache/image-insert/diploma money 02.jpg" title="" /> <span class="image-insert-photo-credit"><a class="image-insert-photo-credit-url" href="http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-119968390/stock-photo-graduation-hat-with-diploma-and-money.html" target="_blank">pogonici/Shutterstock</a></span></p> <p>Newly released emails and documents show which current and former senior administrators at the College of the Desert were aware that the district&#39;s enrollment figures were inaccurate and the college was overbilling the state &ndash; a deception that will cost the district $5.26 million in repayments.</p> <p>A recent <a href="http://californiawatch.org/dailyreport/college-desert-inflated-enrollment-overbilled-state-18719" target="_blank">audit</a> by the state Fiscal Crisis &amp; Management Assistance Team characterized the overbilling as potential fraud, though it did not name names.</p> <p>Beginning in 2003-04, officials at the Palm Desert college used an inaccurate formula for counting enrollment that assumed most classes met for the exact number of hours listed in the catalog. By that calculation, every three-unit class provided 54 hours of instruction per semester.</p> <p>But in reality, many three-unit classes met for 52 or 53 hours per semester.</p> <p>The seemingly small discrepancy was significant because college districts receive the bulk of their state funding based on the number of instructional hours served. Applied over thousands of classes per year, the overbilling added up to millions of dollars that should have gone to other districts.</p> <div id="caw-inset-1-placeholder">&nbsp;</div> <p>The California Community Colleges Chancellor&rsquo;s Office first found out about the overbilling in spring 2011 through an anonymous tip. This summer, the chancellor&rsquo;s office asked the Fiscal Crisis &amp; Management Assistance Team,&nbsp;a state-funded agency, to investigate.</p> <p>The fiscal team&#39;s review found &ldquo;sufficient evidence to demonstrate that financial statement fraud and mismanagement may have occurred,&quot; according to the Nov. 28&nbsp;<a href="https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/526449-desert-ccd-final-report-2.html" target="_blank">report</a>.</p> <p>In 2004, as the college was transitioning to a new software system for tracking data, a group of senior managers and staff made the decision to calculate enrollment based on the &ldquo;catalog hours&rdquo; instead of actual hours served.</p> <p>On March 8, 2004, former Interim Vice President of Administrative Services Jack Randall sent an <a href="https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/538427-3-9-04.html" target="_blank">email</a> to Florante Roa, a supervisor in the information systems department, saying he had checked with Rocky Young, who was then a vice chancellor of the Los Angeles Community College District, and that Young had said it was acceptable to count all three-unit classes as 54 hours.</p> <p>Randall copied three other senior managers on the email: Interim Dean of Enrollment Services Carlene Gibson, Dean of Information Systems Bina Isaac and former Vice President of Instruction Gari Browning.</p> <p>Officials knew the move would inflate hours served. Roa sent an email that same week to Randall, Gibson, Isaac and Browning, saying Gibson had instructed staff to take all classes that met for 50, 51, 52, 53 or 54 hours and change them in the computer system to show they had met for 54 hours.</p> <p>The final decision to calculate hours this way was made at a March 25, 2004, meeting, according to a <a href="https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/538080-3-25-04.html" target="_blank">memo</a> that shows Gibson, Browning and Randall in attendance, along with Roa and three other staff members.</p> <p>The memo was forwarded to two other managers: former Dean of Enrollment Services John Loera and former Vice President of Student Services Diane Ramirez.</p> <p>When a reporter read the March 8 email aloud to Randall, he said he recalled it. He said another college official &ndash; he could not remember who &ndash; had asked him to talk to Young, the Los Angeles college official, about whether it was possible to use catalog hours. But Randall said he was not responsible for making the decision to count hours that way.</p> <p>&ldquo;When they asked me how to do it, I said that&rsquo;s not how to do it,&rdquo; said Randall, who now is retired. &ldquo;I really don&rsquo;t even recall &hellip; the history of the thing. I do know that I didn&rsquo;t feel comfortable.&rdquo;</p> <p>Browning, who is now president of Ohlone College in Fremont, declined to comment because she said she had no detailed memory of the issue. She did not review the emails and said the audit agency had not contacted her.</p> <p>Loera also declined to comment. Neither Gibson nor Ramirez responded to requests for comment, and Isaac referred questions to college spokeswoman Pam Hunter.</p> <p>Hunter said college President Joel Kinnamon is doing an internal review based on the audit&#39;s findings.</p> <p>As early as June 2005, Roa and Matthew Breindel, then the coordinator of the college&rsquo;s institutional research department, <a href="https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/538089-6-28-05-pt1.html" target="_blank">told</a> Loera, Isaac and outside attendance consultant John Mullen in emails that the enrollment accounting seemed to be <a href="https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/538091-6-28-05-part-2.html" target="_blank">wrong</a>.</p> <p>In an August 2005 <a href="https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/538087-8-18-05.html" target="_blank">email</a>, Isaac told then-President Maria Sheehan and then-Vice President of Administrative Services Jerry Patton that the new software system, Datatel, originally had been set up correctly to use actual hours but was manually overridden to use incorrect catalog hours. She said this was done under the direction of Randall&rsquo;s March 8 email.</p> <p>Randall disputed that characterization in an interview.</p> <p>&quot;The email I sent to them was not a direction,&quot; he said. &quot;It was just saying that&rsquo;s how they did it in L.A.&quot;</p> <p>Later in August 2005, Isaac <a href="https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/538088-8-30-05.html" target="_blank">told</a> Patton that consultant Mullen had done a sample test to determine the extent of the problem with attendance accounting and found enrollment figures were overstated by 1 percent.</p> <p>In March 2006, even though Mullen knew the enrollment figures were not accurate, he gave Loera estimates for 2005-06, describing them in an <a href="https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/539744-3-9-06.html" target="_blank">email</a> as &ldquo;good enough for government work.&rdquo; Loera forwarded the email to Patton, who submitted them to the chancellor&rsquo;s office.</p> <p>The following month, emails show Patton still was mulling over what to do about the overstated figures. In an April 27, 2006, <a href="https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/539732-4-27-06.html" target="_blank">email</a>, Mullen told Isaac that he would &ldquo;continue the analysis&rdquo; so that &ldquo;Jerry and others can set our course on that item for this and subsequent years.&rdquo;</p> <p>The corrections still hadn&rsquo;t been made nearly three years later, in January 2009, when Patton &ndash; who had since been promoted to college president &ndash; sent an <a href="https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/538090-1-5-09.html" target="_blank">email</a> to Loera stating that Loera&#39;s planned meeting with Mullen would be the perfect time to correct &ldquo;the Datatel problem of over-reporting (full-time equivalent students).&rdquo;</p> <p>Still, the problem did not get fixed. In June 2009, Patton sent an <a href="https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/539734-6-23-09.html" target="_blank">email</a> to Ramirez, along with Vice President of Business Affairs Edwin Deas and Vice President of Academic Affairs Farley Herzek, in which he acknowledged that the enrollment counts had an error rate between 2 and 4 percent. He asked for an analysis showing the fiscal impact of correcting the problem.</p> <p>In July 2009, Patton <a href="https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/538092-7-14-09.html" target="_blank">told</a> Deas, Herzek, Loera and Ramirez that the correction would not be made on the current enrollment report because doing so would cause auditors to question why the counts had changed from preliminary numbers submitted earlier. Patton said the college would instead submit accurate numbers after the end of the fiscal year.</p> <p>In response, Deas said: &ldquo;Makes sense although it does entail knowingly submitting incorrect information right now? Is that ok?&rdquo;</p> <p>Patton responded, &ldquo;Yes, as was the last 4-5 years.&rdquo;</p> <p>In June 2011, after the chancellor&rsquo;s office began asking questions about the improper enrollment figures, Patton sent an <a href="https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/538094-6-15-11-original.html" target="_blank">email</a> to all employees blaming the problem on Datatel.</p> <p>Patton also noted that the college&rsquo;s auditors, Lund &amp; Guttry, had never caught the error. While the audits had noted other problems with the district&rsquo;s attendance accounting, such as missing class rosters from instructors, they never caught that the district was improperly boosting the number of hours that classes met each semester.</p> <p>At a board of trustees meeting last week, Kinnamon, the college&#39;s president, told trustees that there is no evidence anyone benefited financially from overstating the enrollment numbers, according to a district <a href="https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/540911-jk-pr-fte.html" target="_blank">news release</a>.</p> <p>He said a representative from the Fiscal Crisis &amp; Management Assistance Team would work with the district to validate the 2011-12 enrollment figures before the district submits them to the state chancellor&#39;s office. Also, an external forensic accountant will review all issues related to reporting the enrollment figures and will report to Kinnamon.</p> Higher Ed Money and Politics Daily Report california community colleges college college enrollment community colleges state chancellor's office Tue, 18 Dec 2012 08:05:03 +0000 Erica Perez 18753 at http://californiawatch.org College of the Desert inflated enrollment, overbilled state http://californiawatch.org/dailyreport/college-desert-inflated-enrollment-overbilled-state-18719 <div class="field field-type-userreference field-field-authors"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="author vcard"><a href="/user/erica-perez" title="View user profile." class="fn">Erica Perez</a></span> </div> </div> </div> <p class="image-insert" style="width: 304px;"><img alt="" class="imagecache-image-insert" src="/files/imagecache/image-insert/diploma money 02.jpg" title="" /> <span class="image-insert-photo-credit"><a class="image-insert-photo-credit-url" href="http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-119968390/stock-photo-graduation-hat-with-diploma-and-money.html" target="_blank">pogonici/Shutterstock</a></span></p> <p>The College of the Desert in Palm Desert will have to pay back $5.2 million because the district knowingly overstated its enrollment and overbilled the state for seven years, a pattern that the state Fiscal Crisis &amp; Management Assistance Team characterized as potential fraud.</p> <p>The state chancellor&rsquo;s office forwarded the matter to the Riverside County district attorney&rsquo;s office in a&nbsp;<a href="https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/526450-cod-fcmat-ltr.html" target="_blank">letter</a>&nbsp;Thursday.<strong> </strong>Without naming any individuals, the report says the president at that time, Jerry Patton, unnamed members of the &quot;senior management team&quot; and a consultant knew the college was submitting false reports.</p> <p>The penalty is significant, representing about 15 percent of the district&rsquo;s $34 million annual budget. But the chancellor&rsquo;s office has ensured district officials they will be able to pay back the money on a schedule that allows the district to remain fiscally sound, a college spokeswoman said.</p> <p>The fiscal team&#39;s review found &ldquo;sufficient evidence to demonstrate that financial statement fraud and mismanagement may have occurred&rdquo; from 2003 to 2010, according to the Nov. 28&nbsp;<a href="https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/526449-desert-ccd-final-report-2.html" target="_blank">report</a>.<strong> </strong></p> <p>College of the Desert President Joel Kinnamon took office in July, after the period in question. He said he plans to work with the chancellor&rsquo;s office and any local or state authorities on any further investigations.</p> <div id="caw-inset-1-placeholder">&nbsp;</div> <p>&ldquo;We are real concerned about the audit findings, we take seriously the consequences and we&rsquo;re obligated to be good stewards of taxpayer funds,&rdquo; Kinnamon said. &ldquo;And we&rsquo;re committed to working with the chancellor&rsquo;s office to settle all the penalties and make sure that we demonstrate that we&rsquo;re accountable.&rdquo;</p> <p>The discovery also raises questions about the state&rsquo;s oversight of roughly $5.5 billion the state distributes annually to community colleges based on their reported enrollment. The chancellor&rsquo;s office &ndash; and the state &ndash; relies on external auditors for fiscal oversight, including whether each independent district is accurately reporting attendance.</p> <p>But for seven years, auditors never caught on to College of the Desert&rsquo;s accounting improprieties. The college also has a longstanding relationship with its auditing firm, California Watch found. It hired Lund &amp; Guttry every year for more than 40 years, since 1960.</p> <p>Paul Feist, spokesman for the chancellor&rsquo;s office, said the independent financial auditor must test transactions to provide a reasonable assurance that fraud has not occurred, but it cannot detect all instances of fraud.</p> <p>&ldquo;We believe the accountability oversight system over the state apportionment process is sound and working,&rdquo; Feist said in an email. &ldquo;Financial audits cannot catch all instances of fraud. This is especially true if a district misrepresents certified submittals with the intent to deceive.&rdquo;</p> <p>The community colleges receive 80 percent of their unrestricted funding based on enrollment figures they report to the state. The chancellor&rsquo;s office determines how much of the total pot of money each district will get based on the number of students it serves.</p> <p>That means the College of the Desert received $5.2 million that should have gone to other districts. The state pays districts roughly $5,000 per full-time student, meaning the state could have funded an estimated 1,052 additional students with that money.</p> <p>The money that College of the Desert pays back will be redistributed to the other districts, Feist said.</p> <p>The chancellor&rsquo;s office first found out about the overbilling in spring 2011 through an anonymous tip. Initially officials asked the district to hire a new auditing firm to determine the extent of the problem. This summer, the chancellor&rsquo;s office asked the Fiscal Crisis &amp; Management Assistance Team,&nbsp;a state-funded agency, to investigate.</p> <p>The community colleges get state money based on the number of students enrolled and the number of instructional hours provided.&nbsp;</p> <p>Here&rsquo;s how it worked: From 2003 to 2010, college officials used a formula that assumed that every three-unit class provided 54 hours of instruction per semester. But in reality, many three-unit credit classes met for 52 or 53 hours per semester.</p> <p>For example, the district claimed 54 hours for a plant science course taught in fall 2009 that actually met for 52.48.</p> <p>While the difference may seem small, it adds up over seven years and tens of thousands of classes.</p> <p>The audit says the college&rsquo;s senior management team had &ldquo;significant and extensive knowledge&rdquo; that it was miscalculating enrollment as early as 2004.</p> <p>In 2005, Patton, who was vice president of administrative services at the time, hired consultant John Mullen of Strata Information Group to review the college&rsquo;s method of counting enrollment hours.</p> <p>During his review, Mullen discovered the college was not following state regulations in the way it calculated attendance, and he reported as much to Patton.</p> <p>&ldquo;I did point out at that time that I observed that they were calculating (full-time equivalent students) on the basis of catalog hours &hellip; which is really a target number of hours for the course, but not the actual number of scheduled hours,&rdquo; Mullen said in an interview last year. &ldquo;And I pointed out that state regulations call for you to report on actual hours.&rdquo;</p> <p>According to the audit, Mullen and the college president were aware that the college&rsquo;s formula was overstating enrollment, but the college continued the false reporting. Mullen&rsquo;s company worked with the district to help file the annual enrollment reports submitted to the state Chancellor&rsquo;s Office.</p> <p>The president of the college signs these reports to certify that &ldquo;to the best of my knowledge and belief, this report is true and correct.&rdquo;</p> <p>Maria Sheehan served as president of the college from 2001 until 2007, and Patton served from 2007 to 2012. Sheehan is now president of Truckee Meadows Community College in Nevada, and Patton is retired.</p> <p>Sheehan said Thursday that she was not aware the district had overstated enrollment, and that she had not been contacted by the audit team about the allegation.</p> <p>She believed her senior administrators had consulted with the Chancellor&rsquo;s Office on the enrollment calculations.</p> <p>&ldquo;I would never do anything like that,&rdquo; Sheehan said. &ldquo;That&rsquo;s ridiculous for any president to try to skim around numbers that are inaccurate.&rdquo;</p> <p>Patton could not be reached for comment Thursday. Mullen declined to comment further.</p> <p>Kinnamon said no one had been disciplined as a result of the report&rsquo;s findings, and that he is now beginning to explore next steps.</p> <p>&ldquo;We reserved judgment on findings or any of that until<strong> </strong>(the audit team) concluded their work, so now I&rsquo;m in a position of determining what I may need to do organizationally or with checks and balances or any other kind of things,&rdquo; he said.</p> <p>College of the Desert&rsquo;s close relationship with its auditors raised red flags for Judy Nadler, a government ethics expert at Santa Clara University&rsquo;s Markkula Center for Applied Ethics.</p> <p>&ldquo;I am personally shocked to hear that a public agency has used the same auditor for that period of time,&rdquo; Nadler said.</p> <p>Nadler said it&rsquo;s good practice to rotate auditing firms every few years.</p> <p>&ldquo;You want someone with a fresh look &hellip; because when an audit occurs, these auditors go into the institution, they work closely on a daily basis with the people in the institution, and they form relationships, and that&#39;s all certainly very good. However, it can possibly lead to overlooking certain things inadvertently or sometimes deliberately.&rdquo;</p> <p>Feist said state education code allows districts to keep the same auditing firm for an unlimited amount of time, as long as a different partner in the firm acts as &quot;lead partner&quot; on the audit every six years.</p> <p>In addition to the longstanding contractual relationship, one of the auditing firm&rsquo;s partners, Keith Lyrla, serves on the college foundation&rsquo;s planned giving committee. He&rsquo;s also an adjunct faculty member at the college, having taught a class in accounting since 1988. It&#39;s not clear whether he was part of the auditing team during that period. Lyrla could not be reached for comment Thursday.&nbsp;</p> <p>Nadler said Lyrla&rsquo;s entanglement with the college opens the door to abuse.</p> <p>&ldquo;He&rsquo;s trying to drum up money for the college, he&rsquo;s being paid by the college to teach, and his firm is being paid for the audit. I think that&#39;s like serving three masters, and this is not a one-pony town,&rdquo; Nadler said.</p> <p>In addition to the $5.2 million penalty, College of the Desert will see a reduction of $600,000 in its annual state funding to reflect its accurate enrollment count, starting next year.</p> <p><em><strong>Correction:</strong> This story corrects the time span when the fraud and mismanagement may have occurred.</em></p> Higher Ed Daily Report california community colleges college enrollment state chancellor's office Fri, 30 Nov 2012 08:35:03 +0000 Erica Perez 18719 at http://californiawatch.org Solano College to recruit higher-paying international students http://californiawatch.org/dailyreport/solano-college-recruit-higher-paying-international-students-18686 <div class="field field-type-userreference field-field-authors"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <span class="author vcard"><a href="/user/erica-perez" title="View user profile." class="fn">Erica Perez</a></span> </div> </div> </div> <p class="image-insert" style="width: 304px;"><img alt="" class="imagecache-image-insert" src="/files/imagecache/image-insert/collegestudents.jpg" title="" /> <span class="image-insert-photo-credit"><a class="image-insert-photo-credit-url" href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/columbia_admissions/4876910422/in/set-72157624565428879" target="_blank">Columbia_Admissions/Flickr</a></span></p> <p>Solano College will pay a consultant more than $100,000 over two years to recruit international students from Asia &ndash; at a time when the community colleges have undergone severe budget cuts and many in-state students are struggling to get the classes they need.</p> <p>Solano College Superintendent-President Jowel Laguerre says the move will bring in additional revenues that will eventually help support the college&rsquo;s bottom line. International students <a href="http://www2.solano.edu/oar/fees_refunds.html" target="_blank">pay</a> about $197 more per unit than local students at Solano.</p> <p>But the academic senate has weighed in against the plan, saying it could have a negative effect on local students, was approved without adequate faculty input and might not pencil out financially.</p> <p>The move comes as the University of California and California State University systems have increased the number of international and out-of-state students in an effort to increase tuition revenues.</p> <p>The CSU system stoked controversy this year when officials <a href="http://www.contracostatimes.com/california/ci_21313896/csu-plan-reject-locals-is-protested" target="_blank">announced</a> they were closing spring enrollment for graduate programs for California residents but leaving the door open to out-of-state and international students, who pay higher fees.</p> <div id="caw-inset-1-placeholder">&nbsp;</div> <p>And the UC system has made a contentious push to attract more international and out-of-state students to increase revenues. The system admitted nearly double the number of non-California residents for this fall as it did two years ago.</p> <p>In September, the Solano Community College District board of trustees unanimously <a href="https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/519584-9-5-12-agenda-attachments.html#document/p45/a81786" target="_blank">approved</a> a two-year contract for $53,000 per year with consultant Naoki Hirota to recruit students primarily from China, Korea, Japan and Vietnam to the Fairfield-based college.</p> <p>Hirota came recommended by officials at Contra Costa Community College District, which has hired Hirota in the past to recruit international students, according to district documents.</p> <p>Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill, part of the Contra Costa district, enrolled 1,556 international students last year, a 29 percent increase from 2007-08, according to <a href="http://www.iie.org/en/Research-and-Publications/Open-Doors" target="_blank">data</a> from the Institute of International Education, a nonprofit that conducts an annual census of international students in the United States.</p> <p>Solano College, which currently enrolls about 20 international students, hopes to attract a stream of 500 students per year by 2018-19.&nbsp;That would bring in an extra $3.6 million in tuition revenues &ndash; about $7,290 per full-time international student &ndash; but it&rsquo;s uncertain how much net revenue the college would glean because it&rsquo;s not clear how much it will cost to serve these additional students.</p> <p>Unlike California resident students, whose community college attendance is subsidized by the state, international students pay the full cost of their education. So while community colleges receive roughly $5,000 from the state for every full-time resident student, they don&rsquo;t get the same funding for international students.</p> <p>Laguerre said in an interview that he has a business plan for the international student recruitment initiative but is not making it public until he has shared it internally.</p> <p>He said he expects as the college ramps up the international student program, it will be able to hire more faculty and offer more classes for students, both local and international. The college will also beef up student services, such as advising and financial aid, he said.</p> <p>&ldquo;This is an investment that we&rsquo;re really making in the future of the college as well as the budget of the college,&rdquo; Laguerre said. &nbsp;</p> <p>Solano College Academic Senate President Susanna Gunther said the faculty group has several concerns about the district&rsquo;s investment in international student recruitment.</p> <p>For one, the senate has questioned the college&rsquo;s ability to add enrollment without sacrificing access for local students, particularly in the first few years. California students should not have to compete for limited resources and services, Gunther said. The college has cut 240 course sections since fall 2009 as a result of several years of state budget cuts.</p> <p>&ldquo;Our biggest mission is to educate our local population,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;That&rsquo;s the taxpayers that are paying for the community colleges.&rdquo;</p> <p>Laguerre said many classes at Solano &ndash; advanced math, for example &ndash; had low enrollment in the fall. International students could fill these classes to capacity without costing the college more. He said demand for some classes would always outstrip supply because the college doesn&rsquo;t have enough science labs or enough faculty members with the expertise to teach certain subjects.</p> <p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s not our intention to displace any Solano student who comes to the college when we bring the international students,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;That&rsquo;s not what we intend to do at all.&rdquo;</p> <p>Coordinator of marketing and student recruitment Shemila Johnson <a href="https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/519590-evidence2.html#document/p68/a81780" target="_blank">suggested</a> in an August meeting of the superintendent-president&rsquo;s cabinet that bringing more international students to Solano could increase the rate at which the college&rsquo;s students transfer to four-year universities, meeting minutes show.</p> <p>But Laguerre distanced himself from that statement, saying the college is not pursuing international students to improve its transfer rate. A primary mission of the community college system is to help students transfer to four-year universities, and the chancellor&#39;s office tracks these rates.</p> <p>Johnson also <a href="https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/519591-board-minutes-8-15-12-final.html#document/p11/a81784" target="_blank">said</a> at an August board meeting that the district expects 250 international students would bring in more than $1 million in revenues, or $4,000 per student. Laguerre said those numbers are no longer accurate because officials are thinking of the program differently now.</p> <p>The contract with Hirota went to the board for approval without being vetted by faculty, Gunther said. State education code requires district presidents to consult with faculty on matters that deal with educational programs.</p> <p>Laguerre said recruiting international students has been part of the college&rsquo;s strategic plan since 2009, however.</p> <p>&ldquo;That shouldn&rsquo;t be a surprise to anyone,&rdquo; he said.</p> <p>At an October meeting, the Solano College Academic Senate <a href="https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/519585-as-adopted-minutes-10-01-12.html#document/p3/a81776" target="_blank">agreed</a> it needed more information on the international student program, including the potential costs and revenues as well as the impact on current students.</p> <p>&ldquo;I think it&rsquo;s not an efficient use of our limited funds right now,&rdquo; Gunther said. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s going to be hard to make millions of dollars. I don&rsquo;t see how it adds up, personally.&rdquo;</p> <p>Here&#39;s a look at international student enrollment at the 37 California community colleges that responded to the Institute of International Education&#39;s annual Open Doors survey.</p> <p><strong>International Student Enrollment 2011-12: California Community Colleges</strong></p> <style type="text/css"> table.tableizer-table { border: 1px solid #CCC; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; } .tableizer-table td { padding: 4px; margin: 3px; border: 1px solid #ccc; } .tableizer-table th { background-color: #104E8B; color: #FFF; font-weight: bold; }</style><table class="tableizer-table"> <tbody> <tr class="tableizer-firstrow"> <th>College</th> <th>International Students</th> </tr> <tr> <td>Santa Monica College</td> <td>3,296</td> </tr> <tr> <td>De Anza College</td> <td>2,551</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Diablo Valley College</td> <td>1,556</td> </tr> <tr> <td>City College of San Francisco</td> <td>1,433</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Foothill College</td> <td>1,304</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Santa Barbara City College</td> <td>1,235</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Pasadena City College</td> <td>1,063</td> </tr> <tr> <td>El Camino College</td> <td>871</td> </tr> <tr> <td>East Los Angeles College</td> <td>810</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Los Angeles City College</td> <td>795</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Orange Coast College</td> <td>793</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Grossmont College</td> <td>652</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Glendale Community College</td> <td>528</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Mt. San Antonio College</td> <td>465</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Mission College</td> <td>363</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Ohlone College</td> <td>339</td> </tr> <tr> <td>College of the Desert</td> <td>222</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Cerritos College</td> <td>205</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Chaffey College</td> <td>191</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Sierra College</td> <td>187</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Los Angeles Pierce College</td> <td>157</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Cypress College</td> <td>140</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Las Positas College</td> <td>110</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Sacramento City College</td> <td>108</td> </tr> <tr> <td>College of San Mateo</td> <td>107</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Chabot College</td> <td>92</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Santa Rosa Junior College</td> <td>91</td> </tr> <tr> <td>West Hills College</td> <td>73</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Cosumnes River College</td> <td>68</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Los Angeles Harbor College</td> <td>59</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Mt. San Jacinto College</td> <td>40</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Modesto Junior College</td> <td>38</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Shasta College</td> <td>34</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Antelope Valley College</td> <td>32</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Los Angeles Southwest College</td> <td>30</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Allan Hancock College</td> <td>26</td> </tr> <tr> <td>College of the Sequoias</td> <td>17</td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p>Source: 2012 Institute for International Education Open Doors Report</p> Higher Ed Daily Report budget cuts california community colleges college international students Wed, 21 Nov 2012 14:27:29 +0000 Erica Perez 18686 at http://californiawatch.org