MSJC Board asked to adopt final 2009-10 budget on Oct. 15

Mt. San Jacinto College is able to offer more than 1,800 classes this Fall and continues to provide job stability for its permanent employees despite an expected $5.3 million reduction in state funds for the 2009-10 academic year.

The MSJC Board of Trustees will be asked on Oct. 15 to finalize approval of a $54 million general fund budget.

Awaiting approval of a state budget, the Board approved in June a $55.4 million tentative budget for the college. During a special work session on Oct. 1, Becky Elam, Vice President of Business Services, told the MSJC Board that her office has tracked the daily changes of the state budget. The proposed final MSJC budget takes into consideration those changes.

To offset the reductions in state funds, MSJC has taken a number of steps. Those steps include reducing overtime and travel expenses and other costs. The proposed budget includes two phases. Phase I reduces costs by 2.5 percent in all departments across the District. Under Phase I, the President’s office will be reduced by $63,198; Instruction will see $933,631 in reductions; Student Services spending will be cut by $172,069; Business Services will be reduced by $339,915; and Human Resources will be reduced by $50,271.

An additional 2.5 percent in cuts to each of those departments are planned in Phase II, which will be identified in December for possible implementation.

Elam told the Board she was pleased at the recommendations that came out of the Budget Development Committee, comprised of students, faculty, classified and administration. The committee’s innovation helped develop saving strategies that preserve instruction even while state funding is cut and MSJC continues to see double digit growth. In 2009-10, MSJC is expected to serve over 10,977 full-time equivalent students, but expects to only receive state funding for 9,872.

Despite the fluid nature of the state’s economy, Elam said she remains optimistic about MSJC’s future.