Coronavirus Resources District information pertaining to Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Chancellor’s Report to the Board – January 2023

Jan 19, 2023

Good morning Colleagues,

Last week, I had the opportunity to provide a Chancellor's Report to the Board. Below are excerpts of that message, along with a link to the to the recording of the report in its entirety.

Be forewarned, I was a little long winded, so settle in with a beverage and popcorn because the video is nearly 15 minutes!

Incident at Fresno City College

As we welcomed a new year, we did so with hope for better days ahead. Sadly, at the start of a new semester, we had a troubling incident at Fresno City College. Two students were involved in an altercation which resulted in one being injured and transported to a local hospital. I am deeply saddened by this incident, but it is another stark reminder that violence can occur anywhere and at any time.

As a District committed to equity, inquiry, and civic discourse, we should embrace our role and responsibility to engage in violence prevention, remain vigilant and committed to keeping our college campus environments safe. To that end, I wish to thank the State Center Police Department and the Fresno Police Department, for their swift and effective response to last week’s incident. In addition, I am grateful for the swift and calm thinking of the faculty, classified professionals, and administrators who were nearby. Together, their actions deescalated the situation and ensured the safety of others.

I am pleased to report that the suspect has turned himself in without incident after having a phone conversation with one of our own police sergeants. State Center Sergeant Bosworth is to be commended on his efforts to encourage the suspect to seek medical treatment and surrender himself to the authorities.

Again, to everyone at Fresno City College and at our Police Department, thank you for working together.

Governor’s January Budget Proposal

Ed Source reported "Funding for schools and community colleges will fall next year for the first time in a decade, under the first pass at the 2023-24 state budget, which Gov. Gavin Newsom released Tuesday." California schools, community colleges to face slight drop in funding, first in a decade

Even though many economic forecasters say there are gray skies ahead, there are some silver linings in the Governor’s proposal. However, the dire financial predictions might have had an impact on the Governor’s remarks. Perhaps it was a once-in-a-century pandemic that continues to have surprising impacts on our economic markets. This coupled with geopolitical tension across the globe and political unrest has created a volatile economic environment. We know that when capital gains drop dramatically, it has a deep and lasting impact on California.

The Proposed budget for the 2023-24 fiscal year reinforces the Administration’s commitment to higher education. Keeping promises and fundamental accountability were echoed themes throughout the Governor’s proposed budget. It was very clear that Governor Newsom kept students at the center of his budget with a proposed $4 Billion for student housing, $859 Million for Middle class scholarship, and $115 Million to expand the Zero Cost Textbook project.

Specifically for community colleges, the proposed budget focuses on providing resources to address growing inflationary costs. This direction is consistent with our goals in the Roadmap for the Future, commitments in the Vision for Success, and a validation of the work we have prioritized. Specifically, the budget includes:

  • An opportunity to make progress toward the CCC roadmap goals with an option to submit a streamlined report for specified programs.
  • A COLA of 8.13% and $28.8 million ongoing for 0.5% growth.
  • $92.5 million for 8.13% COLA for select categorical programs and the Adult Education Program.
  • A one-time increase of $200 million for Proposition 98.
  • $14 million one-time Proposition 98 for the administration of workforce training grants in collaboration with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

Unfortunately, a decrease of $213 million one-time in deferred maintenance is also proposed.

As a District, we will continue to follow the State budget developments and share often, as broadly as we can with all stakeholders. We must all understand the budget realities that we all face.

Enrollment Recovery Efforts

While community colleges are typically funded largely based on enrollment, the funding rules have been suspended and we won’t feel the economic impact of revenue loss until 2025. If our colleges don’t recover by then, we will be facing a fiscal cliff.
California community colleges eye a different future amid pandemic disruption

To date, the colleges of State Center have not fully recovered from the pandemic-related enrollment decline. I share this with you to say we still have enrollment recovery work to do, and the only way we're going to recover is, together.

The last two years of the pandemic decimated our pre-pandemic enrollment gains. As a reminder, enrollment generates 70% of our revenue. Comparing this spring to our pre-pandemic term, our District is down over 2,000 FTES (full-time equivalent student) and over 4,000 for the year.

While we are still down, we are seeing improvement. Our enrollment is getting better. As of today, we are 15.5% above what it was since the pandemic drop two years ago. Our successful recovery efforts to this point, would not be possible without every single person in our State Center Community College District, including our classified professionals, trustees, faculty, and administrators. Your efforts are to be commended. I am confident our collective efforts will help students, who may be questioning the value of higher education, return to campus with a better understanding of the many benefits of earning a college degree.

Our entire team, including our faculty, classified professionals, administrators, students, and trustees, are EXTRAORDINARY. We may disagree like any family does, but we can all agree that we are here for one thing – to support our students’ success. Together, we have, and we will, continue to transform lives through education.

Strategic Plan – State Center 2035

Again, I would like to thank the Board of Trustees for approving the first phase of District Strategic Planning at their December meeting. The current strategic plan SCCCD 2020-2024 presented long-term goals to guide planning at both District and the College levels. It is time for thoughtful reflection and purposeful action to revise our roadmap.

To that end, I am proud to announce that the District is embarking on a transformational journey to develop our next long-term plan. Not only is it time, but the recent changes in the landscape of the work we do necessitate a fresh look at our goals. The pandemic has affected how we and our students learn and communicate, and the plan must also support our diversity, equity, inclusion, and access (DEIA) framework. All four of our colleges have been acknowledged for their DEIA work by groups like the Campaign for College Opportunity. We must take our innovations to scale and work together as we have never done before to better serve our students and our communities.

Chancellor’s Commission: Strategic Plan – State Center 2035

In order to achieve this vision, I am implementing the Chancellor’s Commission. To build an improved learning and working environment, we must also acknowledge and embrace our responsibility to critically reassess our own structures, practices, and values. The primary charge of this group will be to provide advice to me and the Board in terms how we achieve our collective mission and where we set our North Star. Together we can develop a shared vision for building an excellent learning and working environment where students and employees can thrive. Our new long-term plan will be called State Center 2035, and many of you will be involved and engaged in this comprehensive and inclusive process.

This plan will be important for several reasons. First and foremost, we must ensure that our DEIA efforts are codified, implemented, AND expanded district-wide. We will achieve through reflection, assessment, and shared visioning.

There will be many opportunities for all stakeholder voices to be heard, including the college and district community, as well as our community neighbors and partners. Our collective ability to share, engage, and learn will provide the momentum needed to greatly increase our community impact.

State Center 2035 will be a far-reaching look into our future. I ask that each and every one of you take the opportunity to engage and become involved when the opportunity presents itself. Your input is important and valued. I hope you speak up boldly and loudly, and let your voices be heard.

Stay tuned in the coming weeks for more information.

With gratitude,

Dr. Carole Goldsmith