State of the College Fall 2011
August 26, 2011 / Dr. Gari Browning
- Ohlone College President's Office

Text of the speech follows.

Welcome Everyone!

I hope you were able to have a little time for yourselves and with your families this summer. I welcomed my second grandson on June 7th and was able to spend a little time getting to know him. I hope you had as much fun as I did and are rested and ready for a good year.

Introductions

Welcome Guests

We have some important members of the Ohlone College community with us today. Would members of the Ohlone College Foundation Board please stand. Thank you for your support of Ohlone and of our students.

Newark College Connection.We also have the Newark cohort of College Connection with us today. Please stand so we can say hi.

Also from Newark we welcome the new Newark Unified School District Superintendent, Dr. Dave Marken. And it’s a double pleasure to welcome Fremont Unified School District Superintendent, Dr. Jim Morris. What a great statement about how we work together! Thank you both for coming today.

We also have Board of Trustees members Greg Bonaccorsi and our newest trustee, Vivien Larsen, and Trustee Emeritus John Weed. Please stand. Thank you for being here.

President's Honor Roll.I extend a special welcome and thanks to members of the President’s Honor Roll who joined me for breakfast this morning. The Honor Roll is designed to recognize annual contributors of $1000 or more to the College Foundation. The donor’s contribution supports the Foundation project of his or her choice. Thank you for your help!

New Hires

Although technically we have been in a hiring freeze since January 2008, there are a few new members of the Ohlone family this year. I would like to mention their names so that you can make them feel welcome. They are

  • Michael Blaisdell
    Respiratory Therapist Instructor/Clinical Education Director

  • Kelly Green
    HERO Grant Program Coordinator

  • Frank Martinez
    Athletics Technician

  • Nick Maurer
    Safety Officer II

  • Greg Pecher
    EDD Employment Service Representative

  • Joyce Podevyn
    ESL Instructor filling in for Mark Lieu

We also have some promotions, transfers, status changes

  • Janice Fonteno
    Financial Aid--Student Services Assistant

  • Kate Harrison
    Community Education and Workforce Development Program Coordinator (Full Time)

  • Robert Hayden
    Desktop Support Tech I

  • Wen Kuang
    Desktop Support Tech I

  • Thao Nguyen
    Financial Aid—Student Services Assistant

  • Gillian O’Farrell
    Administrative Systems Analyst (Full Time)

Welcome all!

Ed.D. Dissertations - Susan Myers and Joanne Schultz.Late Breaking News!

Susan Myers and Joanne Schultz have both successfully defended their Ed.D. dissertations.

Susan has completed her degree at San Francisco State University in Educational Leadership, and Joanne is now a one of the graduates of the Ohlone partnership with Alliant International University. Her degree is in Higher Education.

They should now be addressed as Doctors Myers and Schultz, respectively. A big congratulations to you both!

State of the College

The state of Ohlone College is strong, and we are surviving in an uncertain and confusing time. For the past 44 years Ohlone’s strength has come from within and from our local community. Our inner strength is robust and resilient; and our community support is solid. Collage of Ohlone students and employees.We face severe budget challenges, but to date we have survived by working together in the true Ohlone spirit.

Our community gave a us big vote of confidence last November by passing Measure G by a healthy margin.

We have a lot about which to be optimistic, yet pressure from the State’s unprecedented economic situation will put us to the test. I am confident we will pass this test, but to do so we must continue to be proactive and agile.

As the rest of my speech will show, our optimism will be tempered by fiscal realities. But we will look beyond the crisis at hand as we plan for the future. I am confident we will continue to be an important educational force in our region.

Let me say a little about what you see around you.

Under Construction.Summer Construction

Below Grade Water Intrusion Project

If you have been on campus this summer, you have had a chance to watch us dig in to our big test project, the Below Grade Water Intrusion Project. If you are just returning after being gone for the summer, you are probably amazed (dismayed) at the state of the campus. We’ve made great progress, but there’s still a lot to do.

Map of Fremont campus marked with locations of below grade water instrusion.The purpose of the project is to divert the ground water than runs through the Fremont campus. Fixing the water intrusion on this campus is vital to future improvements. We will be replacing much of our infrastructure to support modernization, and we must have a good and dry foundation to start with.

The project also includes water-proofing tunnels under our older buildings 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6.

Because of the scope of the work, we have the opportunity to address some accessibility issues involving changes to ramps, elevators, and restrooms in several locations. The net result is that much of the campus has been torn up and put back together. It has offered a great learning opportunity for us as we move into Measure G projects.

During the academic year, we will continue to have some dust, noise, and odors to deal with as with any project. Over the summer the contractors worked feverishly to make as much progress as possible while we were without students, and they will continue to work with as little disruption as possible to the learning environment.

Also, as we dig under the buildings and pathways, we are finding new problems and learning where existing utilities are. I can tell you from my own experience that hitting water lines, electric lines, data lines, etc., is not unusual when revitalizing an old campus. I ask for your patience as we work through this project.

We will monitor construction closely, and we want your feedback as the work progresses. We can expect some fantastic results!

Science Modular Buildings

Another project you may have noticed is the new chemistry modulars and parking lot on the north side of the campus. Begun in November of last year, these facilities are now complete and will provide a safe and roomy space to conduct the laboratory portion of our chemistry courses. Both of these projects are funded by Measure A.

Inside the new science modular buildings.

Car on it's side between two cars in a parking lot (not an Ohlone parking lot).New upper level Parking Lot

In conjunction with the chemistry modulars, we have a new, level Parking Lot T. The Facilities Committee met earlier this week and has recommended that we use that lot for staff and open lot B next to Hyman Hall to students. Also, a new ramp and elevator near the pool should be complete by spring. Both will improve accessibility.

Path around Building 9

For this semester, in order to get to Building 9 or to the center of campus from Lot M, you will need to go around the west side of the pool to the front of Building 9. We are working on signage to make sure students and staff find the easiest path to where they want to go. We also have information on our webpage and regular email updates on what you need to know about construction impacts.

Measure G

I typically use this speech to assess and inform you about progress on our strategic goals. Later this semester I will be issuing this assessment in the form of an annual report. Today, rather than addressing each goal, I want to take this time to talk about some urgent and important issues. At the end of the presentation I plan to leave a little time for questions, so please be thinking of what you want to ask.

The two main topics of today’s presentation are specific objectives under Goal 4, upgrading the Fremont campus, and sustaining our fiscal health.

Objective 7 says, “By 2015, upgrade the Fremont campus, including functionality, sustainability, safety, accessibility, and aesthetics.” Measure G allows us to do this, and you will be happy to know that in addition to the chemistry modulars and below grade water projects, we are making progress on our new bond.

Gilbane logo.In the spring, with the assistance of the Facilities Committee, we hired a well-respected firm, Gilbane/EIS, to manage our bond program. We have been working closely with them to take the first steps to implement Measure G. The initial task has been to prepare to draw the first installment of bond funds, and in order to do so we had to determine how much money we would need to start. There is a set process we must follow, and Gilbane has assisted us in this preparation.

We anticipate obtaining the first funds this fall. The money will allow us to address some “quick fix” projects of immediate need, to develop a district-wide facilities master plan, and to begin planning for the first major construction projects.

Facilities Committee

The Facilities Committee will be engaged in developing design standards and providing input into the district plan, the project list, project sequencing, and more. Their meetings are open, and you are encouraged to attend if you are interested. Meeting times and locations are available on Facilities Committee web page. As individual projects get underway, we will be forming user groups to assure us that what we are building will serve our students, programs, and services well.

Facilities Administrative Change

We have also made an administrative change in Facilities to support the work of Measure G. Instead of one Director of Facilities with broad responsibilities, we have created an Executive Director position with significant responsibility for the bond and global oversight for Facilities. This position will assist bond projects and allow the Director position to provide more administrative support for the day-to-day work of Facilities. Brian Adair is serving as the Director of Facilities, and Lucky Lofton as the Executive Director, both on an interim basis. The executive position is funded largely by the bond.

Solar panels with sun setting behind them.Solar Installation

One of the most exciting initial projects I want to tell you about is a solar installation on the Fremont and Newark campuses. We have put this project on a fast track in order to meet PG&E deadlines that will make us eligible for a substantial incentive. We hope to benefit from the incentive and the money we save on energy bills as soon as 2012-13.

Immediately following my speech, you will have the opportunity to hear more about our Measure G progress and plans to date in a little more detail from key members of our Gilbane team.

Fiscal Condition

I have kept you informed of the State budget situation and its impact on Ohlone through budget forums, reports to College Council, regular open meetings of the Budget Committee, and by posting the updates I receive from the Chancellor’s Office and the Community College League of California. An update is always presented at Board meetings, as well. Although I intend to continue to use these communication vehicles, I want to give you an update today.

The budget news for Ohlone for this year is good! Through a long-term approach that has included SERPs, careful budgeting, furloughs, hiring freezes, and belt tightening, we can avoid furloughs and layoffs and still get through this year. This news is in sharp contrast to other colleges who have been experiencing severe financial difficulties for the past few years. Ohlone has been prudent and careful consistently since 2008, even prior to my arrival.

Now, when other colleges are finally taking the budget situation seriously and having to take drastic action, we find ourselves in decent shape. Other colleges are just now reacting to the recent budget news. For example, some schools are cutting full classes resulting in angry students; others have been operating over cap rather than monitoring their class schedules and are cutting staff now to adjust for cuts.

Approach to Planning for revenue cut and Update

Because the state budget has been in flux, my strategy has been to be ready for a range of possibilities. The chief business officer has prepared numerous scenarios to allow us to plan how we would deal with different funding levels.

For instance, last spring the Community College League of California, “the League,” provided us with three funding levels, or Scenarios, depending on whether taxes were extended last June and whether Prop 98 would be suspended. We reviewed these scenarios and decided it would be best to plan somewhere between the worst case and the next-to-worst case. We called this Scenario 2.5 and planned our 2011-12 tentative budget accordingly. As the state budget developed and the tax extension failed to materialize, we planned classes according to the Scenario 2.5 FTES level and went forward with measures to cut ongoing costs, including the second SERP.

When the governor signed the state budget in July, there were several cut levels contained in it that would be triggered depending on how much money came into the State through income tax, property tax, and sales tax. The projections used to get the budget passed were overly optimistic--smoke and mirrors that most analysts did not feel were realistic.

To assist the colleges to plan, the Chancellor’s Office provided all colleges with new scenarios based on the way the triggers in the State budget were set up. They called these triggers “tiers,” which reflected tax revenues coming into the State at three identified levels.

Tier 0 is based on the budget as passed with no mid-year cuts. Keep in mind that the original budget included a $290 million cut to the community college system, of which our share was $2.3 million. Tier 1 and 2 reductions are on top of that cut and are tied to two different levels of lower than expected revenue.

The tiers could trigger mid-year fee increases for community college students, mid-year funding cuts, and additional delays to our funding payments from the state.

Specifically, Tier 1 triggers a fee increase to $46 per unit for spring 2012, but because they rest on how much tax revenue comes in to the State, Tier 1 or 2 cuts will not be known until December. It is difficult to collect a fee increase so late, so the Chancellor’s Office and the League are advocating a postponement of the increase until summer 2012. That change will probably mean a larger mid-year cut in apportionment to offset the revenue from the fee increase.

The State Controller recently released the actual July revenue numbers. These actual numbers came in $590 million below what was projected, indicating that the tier 2 trigger (the worst case scenario) may be in play.

Fortunately for Ohlone, in our tentative budget planning we did several things to be ready for this situation. We stuck with the Scenario 2.5 planning, which was approximately the same as or even a little worse than the worst case tier, Tier 2. We also built in a 2% cushion in the 2011-12 tentative budget for mid-year cuts in case they occurred. We are not going to be scrambling to accommodate these cuts like many districts will be.

Specifically, in the 2011-12 Tentative Budget that we have adopted, we plan to close the anticipated shortfall of about $5.1 million for this year with $1.2 million from reducing class sections, $1.3 million from not filling vacant positions, $676,000 from reductions in discretionary budgets, and using $2 million from our reserves.

Using reserves can endanger the fiscal health of the district. Because reserves are like savings, once you spend them, they are gone, and they have to be saved up again. This means that we will have to plan to reduce our 2012-13 budget by this amount plus any routine increase in expenses. However, for this year, 2011-12, we have the budget under control, giving us a little time to plan for the future.

I led a team of administrators from Ohlone to attend the Annual State Budget Workshop on August 15th. I’ll tell you what I learned there, and the information that we received during the workshop as well as additional information that continues to come forth, will be incorporated in the Final Budget that we will be taking to the September Board of Trustees meeting for adoption.

FTES Targets

There are two aspects to our planning, the expenditure portion of our budget and our class schedule which generates apportionment. Over the last two years, there has been a significant change in how the State has imposed cuts to colleges. Rather than just reducing our apportionment and leaving the enrollment caps alone, which requires us to serve the same number of students with fewer dollars, the State has decided to reduce our cap. With a few exceptions, colleges are experiencing the same percentage cut to FTES, and we are becoming a smaller system with room for fewer students as a result.

Since 2007-08, Ohlone’s net FTES reduction has been 654, or 7.88%. Planning the class schedule to hit the FTES target upon which our revenue is based is important because 91% of our total funding comes from State apportionment. If we do not meet our enrollment targets, we receive even less funding from the State; in effect this is another cut. If we enroll more students than our target, we do not receive funding for that enrollment even though we have spent resources to generate the enrollment.

Schedule Planning

Planning process for class schedule

In the tiers and scenarios I mentioned, cuts are expressed in workload reduction in apportionment dollars and as an FTES reduction. In our enrollment planning we had built the 2011 summer and fall schedules using the Scenario 2.5 I mentioned.

Under this Scenario we would have needed to cut 1,090 FTES from our 2011-12 schedules. This led us to cut the summer 2011 schedule in half down to approximately 220 FTES and to cut the fall schedule by 5%. We also developed contingencies for 5% and 10% cuts for spring 2012.

When the state budget was passed this summer, FTES cuts were recalculated according to the three tiers. The result was that instead of cutting 1,090 FTES from the year’s schedule, we are now planning to cut by 687 FTES. Obviously, the reduction of 687 FTES from Tier 2 is not as drastic as the 1,090 FTES cut from Scenario 2.5 we used for schedule planning.

Based on these changes to scenarios and tiers, we have been able to add back 32 sections to the fall schedule according to student need and demand. And of course the sections have filled easily.

This reduction from 1090 to 687 FTES also means that we are not planning to cut spring 2012 as much we had anticipated. In fact we may be adding sections to the spring schedule. Also we will probably have a larger offering next summer depending on where we end up after mid-year cuts. Again, we will be adding classes that are high demand and high need, while attempting to maintain the comprehensive nature of our curriculum.

A reduction in a schedule is hard on students. However, having the least impact possible on students is our goal when making adjustments to the class schedule. We try to make sure we are offering the classes with the highest demand and highest need. We use data to inform this planning. We consider enrollment trends, waitlist activity, fill rates, and input from the counseling faculty.

Although students who are just arriving on campus today expecting to get the classes they want will be disappointed, those who have been following our advice to enroll early should have been able to get the classes they need.

Bringing the budget and enrollment planning together

You may have heard the FTES cap reduction referred to as a workload reduction, implying across-the-board work reduction. Ohlone has reduced its workforce with a hiring freeze--by hiring back as few faculty and staff who leave as possible, two Supplemental Employee Retirement Plans (SERPs), and a severance incentive plan.

These are random, non-strategic reductions to our staffing. The group most dramatically reduced by these efforts has been Ohlone’s full time faculty. In 2007-08, we had 152 full time faculty positions in the budget. Starting this fall we will be at 117, and with 5 more SERP retirements in December, we will be down to 112, a decrease of 40 positions, about 26%. Thirty-eight of these have been classroom teachers.

Full-time faculty have been so severely reduced that we have had to increase the number of adjunct hours we have in order to hit the reduced FTES cap I described. Filling these 40 full-time faculty positions with part time faculty is saving the college a significant amount of money. In fact, it is the primary reason we have been able to avoid layoffs.

However, this reduction in our full-time faculty has consequences. Full-time faculty form the backbone of a community college. Leadership from full-time faculty is essential for a community college to maintain academic excellence and achievement. Our Educational Master Plan points to the significant importance of having a full contingent of full-time faculty and sets a 10-year goal to build back to the 2007-08 level of 152 by 2020. Rebuilding our full-time faculty numbers is the right thing to do.

In addition to being the right thing to do, there are also external requirements we must meet relative to full-time faculty positions.

The Faculty Obligation Number or FON is a number required by the California Community Colleges Board of Governors and is a calculation originally grounded in the 75-25% rule (75% of class hours required to be taught by full-time faculty members) that was included in the 1988 legislation which changed significantly how community colleges operate. This requirement is further recognition of the importance of full-time faculty to the mission of the community colleges.

Ohlone’s FON is currently 119.2 fulltime faculty members. Classroom faculty, counselors, and librarians count in this number. The FON has been frozen or reduced for the last two years system wide and could be adjusted downward again in the next few weeks as a result of FTES caps being reduced.

As I stated earlier, following the SERPs and faculty leaving the college for other reasons, our current full-time faculty contingency is 117 and will be down to 112 after the fall semester. Because the date when most faculty retired as a result of the SERP was after April 15, Ohlone is not required to meet the FON until 2012-13.

The other requirement we must meet is the 50% law, which is in statute and applies to K-12 as well as community colleges. The requirement is that 50% of our expenditures must be spent on classroom teachers and classroom aides—costs for personnel who teach in the classroom or impact teaching directly. We anticipate missing the 50% calculation for 2011-12 with a projected 49.0% of our expenditures being spent for classroom instruction.

If we are unable to meet this law in any given year, we have a year of grace but must submit an appeal that is essentially a plan for how we will meet it the following year. The penalty for not meeting the law is the amount by which the district is short of the 50%.

The other areas significantly impacted by SERPs involve four key administrative positions-- the Dean of Humanities, Social Science, and Math, the Dean of Counseling and Support Services, the Executive Director of the Ohlone College Foundation, and the Vice President of Administrative Services.

The 2011-12 State budget has been in flux since spring, and even July 1 when the Governor signed the budget, it contained the built-in adjustments I have described. That means our budget is subject to mid-year adjustments, and with the information from the August budget workshop about the level of taxes now in, we can see that mid-year cuts are extremely likely.

Here’s where we think we are at this point in time. Our total apportionment cut for this year is likely to be $3.1 million, plus added cuts of $800,000, and we anticipate increases in costs of $1.2 million for a $5.1 million shortfall. These increases come from things like the cost of health and welfare benefits. State unemployment insurance, step and column, and longevity. This 2011-12 shortfall is offset by SERP savings, using bookstore money to account for the Other Post-Employee Benefits (OPEB) obligation, cuts to discretionary budgets, and the use of $2 million in reserves.

The lion’s share of the monetary SERP savings of $1,465,601 comes from 14 full-time faculty. Savings from the managers is $434,011. However, because of where the staffing reductions from the SERP occurred, most of the savings we can realize will be just for this year.

We find ourselves in a situation where we must replace these administrators and a number of full-time faculty. On the one hand we are required to meet the FON and the 50% law, and our plan to rebuild our contingency of fulltime faculty. And we must continue our administrative operations. These are good and right things to do for our college and our students. On the other hand, we anticipate a significant shortfall in 2012-13, and it isn’t prudent to continue to use our reserves.

Band aid and Staffing plan

When we decided to offer a second SERP, the prediction according to an external statistical analysis, was that we would lose a large number of staff and they would come from all employee groups. If the SERP was to yield a significant amount of savings, we expected staffing to be impacted. I anticipated having to reorganize the college operation in a big way. In order to have time to rethink how we would operate with a smaller staff, I determined we would need some planning time. As it turns out, we will have to hire to replace many of those who took the SERP.

This year we are filling in the gap created by retiring faculty with adjuncts and temporary administrative assignments—both designed to save money. For faculty, it means we are using adjuncts to fill teaching assignments and allow us to plan a class schedule that meets our FTES target. I’ve already mentioned the problems with low full-time faculty numbers. For administration, it means assigning responsibilities vacated by the several key administrators who have taken SERPs this year and last.

You might be thinking that the band aid is really permanent. I want to emphasize that these are temporary assignments done mostly to save money. I tried to keep costs as low as possible to maximize savings.

I counted on Ohlone’s culture of flexibility, desire to learn, and the advantage created by trying new configurations and juxtaposing some operations to achieve specific goals. We should benefit from what we learn from trying new things, and if some of the changes seem to work better than what we had before, great. We’ll maintain those changes, but they were not intended to extend past 2011-12.

The administrative assignments are of two types, temporary consultants filling vacated positions, usually on a part-time basis, and current managers having responsibilities added to their load. Modest stipends have compensated a couple of managers a little for their hard work, but no extra compensation was given to senior managers. They have taken extra responsibilities on as other duties as assigned.

I want to thank all of the managers for their willingness to help out. They are certainly applying the learning college concept but need your patience while they attempt to learn new areas. I sent out an announcement about these assignments over the summer, but in case you missed it, here is the arrangement.

Band Aid Assignments summary.

The Dean of Humanities, Social Science, and Math oversees the scheduling, staffing, evaluation, and general administration of 14 disciplines. In this division, Ohlone’s largest, there are 42 full-time faculty and 108 individual adjuncts, many teaching more than one section. Enrollment in classes in this division generates more than 40% of the college’s FTES. Mikelyn Stacey, the retiring dean in this area, has been employed as a part-time consultant to assume these responsibilities on a temporary basis. The division continues to report to Dr. Jim Wright, Vice President of Academic Affairs.

The Dean of Counseling and Support Services is a key position within Student Services, responsible for matriculation functions and other programs for students. This position was vacated by Martha Brown, who retired in 2010. Dr. Kenn Watters filled the position on a temporary basis last year, and in the spirit of learning, Eddie West, Director of International Programs and Services, has agreed to take on oversight of this area in addition to his regular assignment. I have moved Counseling to Academic Affairs to underscore the commitment Ohlone has to the whole student and to the vision I have to make teaching and counseling students seamless.

Admissions and Records is an area we need to strengthen while keeping budget efficiencies in mind. We will be seeking input from that area on how to move forward. In the interim, Debbie Trigg has agreed to assume oversight of A&R in addition to her regular responsibilities.

The Executive Director of the Ohlone College Foundation is a unique position responsible for all aspects of our Foundation. This position is central to our relationships with our community. Dave Smith will retire in January, giving us a little time to plan for the future of the Foundation. We have decided to employ our Program and Services Review process to assess the Foundation. The results of the assessment will guide the development of a Strategic Plan for the Foundation that supports the college’s strategic plan. The Foundation plan will inform the job description of a new executive director to be hired in early 2012 for the spring semester.

The Vice President, Administrative Services, is the chief financial officer of the District and is directly responsible for business services, fiscal planning, budgetary processes, and for providing sound financial guidance to the district, including the legal aspects of fiscal operations. Facilities, IT, and Security report to this position. This position supervises all maintenance and construction contracts and the District’s facilities development and building construction program. For the band aid year, I have assigned IT to Dr. Jim Wright, under the continuing supervision of Bruce Griffin. Security, with Steve Osawa’s leadership, is reporting to Dr. Ron Travenick. Purchasing is now reporting to Joanne Schultz, and Payroll’s reporting to IT. Scott Thomason has been hired as a part-time consultant to assist with the fiscal and budgetary planning and some of the projects Mike Calegari was overseeing, like the contract for the solar installation and the proposed development of the frontage property. All things bond related--the Business Office and indirectly Purchasing, Facilities, the bond program management team, and Scott--are reporting to me.

So rather than using this year to rethink how we operate, we find we are not positioned for a radical change. Instead we to continue to do careful fiscal planning and fill hiring needs. I plan to offer a proposal for staffing that will rehire key these management positions and 6 to 8 full-time faculty positions to meet the FON and help with the 50% requirement.

In addition to the Foundation director to be filled in the spring, I anticipate we will need to fill three dean positions for 2012-13. Given the district’s need for sound fiscal management, especially during the State’s budget crisis, and the startup of Measure G, I anticipate advertising to fill the position of Vice President of Administrative Services as soon as we can review the job description.

Budget Gap

In 2012-13, we will likely face a budget gap similar to this year’s, assuming state funding and everything else is at the same level as this year.

Benefits from the solar installation should begin by then with an anticipated initial savings to the district of $600,000 to $700,000.

The international program not only enriches the Ohlone culture with students from different countries, it also brings in over $1.5 million in additional revenue for the general fund. We plan to continue to grow our international student population without taking seats away from our resident students.

Ohlone for Kids and the English Language Institute continue to increase revenue for the District, as well.

Finally, the Board of Trustees has begun to discuss leasing the frontage property again, a project that would bring us additional revenue for facilities-related needs.

Communication and college wide discussion

This week in the College Council retreat we began discussion on fiscal planning for 2012-13. There will be multiple opportunities for your input as we plan to close the budget gap and to look beyond the recession. I believe our collaboration has worked well in the past, for example, to determine budget solutions leading to SERPs and furloughs, in creating our college goals, and in pursuing the bond. I plan to hold a budget forum as soon as our Final Budget has been prepared, sometime between September 6th and 14th. And the Budget Committee will continue to have open meetings to discuss the latest developments. As always, I urge you to stay informed and to get involved.

The state of Ohlone College is strong and vibrant despite the onslaught of reduced funding from the State and continuing uncertainty about future funding. Through good planning and strong collaboration, we are weathering the current storm. And we continue to enjoy the support of our community.

We now have the means to make this campus a fantastic learning environment. It is our challenge to focus enthusiastically on revitalizing the campus while sustaining the quality of the education we provide.

We must deal with the current financial crisis but cannot become paralyzed by it. We have a responsibility to look 10, 15, and 20 years ahead to ensure Ohlone continues as the vital community asset it has been. I know that all of us in this room will do our part to make this happen. I have confidence in Ohlone and in you.

Closing

Thank you for your attention. I would now like to introduce our team from Gilbane/EIS who will make a about a half-hour presentation on Measure G. Following their presentation, we will be available to answer any questions you may have.

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