Board of Trustees Talks Programs, Budget Cuts

Isiah Reyes

A variety of topics ranging from the current college budget, to the CEO hiring process to the new Verdugo Power Academy program were discussed at the board of trustees meeting Monday in Kreider Hall.

The balanced budget for the 2009-10 year seemed to be hopeful for the near future, but on Thursday the predicted sum of $130 million of federal stimulus funds has been cut down to $37 million, reducing GCC’s share down to $900,000.

Part-time parity funds have been reduced by $363,000. The partial difference has decreased from 10.1 percent to 5.96 percent. They will lose between $1.80 and $2.60 of pay per hour.

The budget represents a financial plan for the operating year based on the state’s adopted budget.

“We had more students trying to add classes than in my memory,” interim president Dawn Lindsay said. “And I wanted to publicly thank the faculty because they added as many students as they could into their classes so as to meet the needs of the students without incurring extra costs.”

After the final budget is approved by the board, modifications will be brought to the board for consideration and approval throughout the year to recognize changes in revenue and to allocate or reallocate resources to achieve program objectives.

The Board of Trustees Advisory Hiring Committee (BTAHC) is charged by the board of trustees with the responsibility of conducting a national search using all available resources. The BTAHC is searching for a president of the college, and they will identify the most outstanding and qualified candidates for presidency.

The committee will be composed of certified administrators, classified employees, community members and students of the ASGCC.
One of the objectives of the committee is to ensure that there is a qualified candidate ready to take over as CEO on July 1, 2010.

The board of trustees will interview the ranked finalists selected by the BTAHC and check their backgrounds through campus visits, phone interviews and other appropriate forms of investigations.

An eight-minute video by the Verdugo Power Academy, showcased its new program on campus – a program that can open the doors to starting salaries of $60,000 to $70,000 for graduates.

The Verdugo Power Academy addresses the projected shortage of utility workers to fill positions in the power utility industry and the challenges in recruiting and retention by creating a local source to produce qualified candidates.

“This is a career in technical education at its finest,” said Scott Rubke, chairman of the technology and aviation division.
The program is intended to raise awareness and interest in careers in utilities and to focus on training workforce from the local community.

“Our quest is to establish a new program that meets the changing needs of today’s workforce,” said Lindsay.

The one-semester course is composed of 600 hours of class time.

Randy States is a teacher in the academy who has been inducted into the International Lineman’s Hall of Fame. He has more than 50 years of experience.

“I’ve been in this business for 58 years and I can’t think of anything else I’d rather be doing,” States said.

Having the power academy at GCC isn’t necessarily breaking any new ground, as other schools, such as the L.A. Trade Tech, have similar programs.

The Glendale Verdugo Workforce Investment Board (WIB) will provide for payment of student fees as well as instructional supplies and materials needed for the class. The revenue will be split between GCC and WIB.

GCC is planning on collaborating with Glendale Water & Power, the WIB and CSUN, which will allow students to take the new course at the Glendale Power Academy, start their career, then transfer and possibly earn a bachelor’s degree and move up in their academic careers.

Jean Perry and Ira Heffler then took some time to speak about their speech and debate team’s accomplishments during the meeting.
“We’re proud to tell you that this last April, we came in first place among the two-year colleges,” Heffler said. “[Among the four-year colleges], competing against 240 colleges, we’re proud to tell you, that in the middle division, we came in first place.”
The next board of trustees meeting will be held in Kreider Hall on Oct. 19 at 5 p.m.