Ohlone College Budget Updates

Monday, December 8, 2008

State Budget: Ohlone College Updates (12/12/08)

December 12, 2008

Members of the Ohlone College Community:

College-wide understanding of our fiscal situation is fundamental to the Learning College concept, and it allows us to make realistic plans for the college’s future. This memo is the first in a series of ongoing updates intended to provide open communication about the budget situation at Ohlone. A space has been created on the President’s web page for regular budget updates and links to various details and reports from other sources. In addition, this blog is provided is provided for you to post your responses to each update and your cost-saving ideas. This blog is monitored by the President’s office and your comments and suggestions are encouraged!

This particular update provides some background facts about the state and college budgets; principles upon which, after consulting with the President’s staff, the College Council, and the Faculty Senate, I intend to make budget allocation/reduction decisions; and actions I plan to take.


  • Ohlone's funding is almost entirely dependent on the state budget.
  • The situation for this year and coming years is not defined yet.
  • We are expecting mid-year cuts in 2008-09.
  • Next year’s budget cuts are predicted to be more drastic than this year’s.


  • Ohlone’s fiscal stability over the next few years must be ensured.
  • We seek, to the greatest extent possible, to protect programs and services that directly impact students and to avoid layoffs of faculty, staff, and administrators.
  • The decision process will be transparent and collegial. I want your ideas.


(Note: Several documents below are posted on a “Document Index” here: http://www.ohlone.edu/org/president/budgetupdates/20081208budgetupdateindex.html)

  • Our planning horizon is the rest of 2008-09 through 2009-10.
  • We are analyzing potential savings/revenue generated by various means. (Use link above and reference document 01)
  • We will use multiple scenarios to ensure we are prepared for various budget eventualities. (Use link above and reference document 02)
  • I ask your assistance to start saving now. The more we save, the bigger the one-time amount we will have on-hand to offset next year’s cuts.
  • We intend to apply existing one-time funds, with the exception of the state-required 5% reserve, to offset any 2008-09 cuts. (Use link above and reference document 03)
  • I am posting updates from the Chancellor’s Office and the Community College League of California (CCLC) as I receive them. (Use link above and reference documents listed under 04 and 05)
  • There will be regular budget updates made to College Council and the Board. (Use link above and reference documents listed under 06 for relevant minutes)
  • There is a page on the President's website to view budget updates and cost-saving steps: http://www.ohlone.edu/org/president/budgetupdates/
  • This blog has been created so you can post your ideas and suggestions: http://browningbudgetupdates.blogspot.com/
  • We will present a tentative 2009-10 budget for the Board to approve in June, 2009.

I will be working closely with the Ohlone's College Council and the College Leaders to plan how we will use existing reserves, manage enrollment, curtail expenses, and increase revenue sources. I am confident Ohlone can weather this year’s cuts without impacting programs and services. Next year is likely to be even more of a challenge, but we will get through it together.

Gari Browning, Ph.D.



  • Totally self-serving budget cut idea: Offer retirement package for expensive older faculty. LOL. Cynthia Katona

    By Blogger Cynthia K, At December 15, 2008 at 1:43 PM  

  • Allow employees to take Personal Leave for Friday, January 2, 2009.

    By Blogger Cheryl Lambert, At December 17, 2008 at 3:44 PM  

  • Yes, it's probably not even appropriate to talk about golden parachutes anymore (given the severity of the financial downfall), but if layoffs are inevitable, maybe that issue can be revived (also, self-serving, ha).

    By Blogger jondegallier, At December 17, 2008 at 3:52 PM  

  • So this may get me stoned by fellow faculty and staff, but I really think a way to help generate money for the college would be to charge for desirable parking on campus.

    Keep the lower bottom lot free for everyone, but charge for the upper lot by the Smith Center and the lot above Hyman Hall. Have a special permit for those lots, and charge a nice penny for the convenience.


    By Blogger Heather, At January 5, 2009 at 4:24 PM  

  • Energy savings should really be a top priority now, not only because of Ohlone's role as a model in sustainability, but especially given the dire budget situation. This is an area in which I feel the District could still dramatically improve.

    Areas of the Fremont Campus are still being routinely left open (think heating costs) and expensive lighting (Gym and Pool areas particularly) is being routinely left on as well. This has been going on for years, has been brought up by member of CPS before, and is well documented in the Campus Police Daily Activity Report (DAR) logs, especially on the weekends and holidays. In my opinion, now's the time to address the problem and curtail unnecessary and wasteful energy use.

    Stewart Dawson

    By Blogger Stewart, At January 5, 2009 at 10:28 PM  

  • The K-12 students get out of school on June 11. Currently Ohlone College for Kids summer program doesn't start till June 29.
    Why not add a two-week seesion starting on Monday June 15 and ending Friday June 26. It would generate alot of money. There would be great interest among parents youngsters.

    By Blogger Yvette, At February 6, 2009 at 2:38 PM  

  • Thanks for everyone's input so far, and please continue to encourage others to share their thoughts and questions!

    By Blogger President Gari Browning, Ohlone College, At February 6, 2009 at 3:27 PM  

  • State employees just took a 10% cut by not working 2 Fridays a month.

    We should do something similar:

    Let's all take a 5% or 10% pay cut, everyone, across the board.

    By Blogger jondegallier, At February 6, 2009 at 5:16 PM  

  • Eliminate other VP positions that are non-instructional. We have too many VPs on this campus. Except for the VP of instruction position, all other positions should be scaled back to managers or directors that are non-instructional. Having an associate VP at Newark is a waste of money. That position should be scaled back to a manager or director position with a reduction in pay. What does that VP at Newark do for a $140k+ but attend meetings and do some community outreach. All the hard work of scheduling, budget and instruction are under the instructional Deans anyway. The Deans work harder than the VPs. There are also too many non-instructional Dean positions. Those positions such as HR, A$R, Business, should be renamed as Managers/Directors and pay be reduced as appropriate. Dean positions should be limited to instructional Deans who do the bulk of the work. Ohlone is wasting a lot of money on upper management positions. Scaling back and reducing the pay on these positions will help save large sums of money and help the college in the long term.

    By Blogger Humble, At March 5, 2009 at 10:42 AM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger President Gari Browning, Ohlone College, At May 27, 2009 at 2:05 PM  

  • I agree that we should look into cost savings by way of energy savings; consider closing the new SSB two evenings per week or two Fridays per month.

    Also, are we allowed to charge a testing fee for students who "retake" the placement test? I've worked at an out-of-state CC that charges $15...that's not going to solve our budget issues alone, but what ONE idea is?

    By Blogger Yap-yap, At May 27, 2009 at 2:11 PM  

  • The following suggestion was submitted to me (Sarah Daniels) by an employee who wishes to remain anonymous:

    Ohlone could go down to a 4-day week for classes, but this would require rebuilding the class schedule into blocks and at the earliest that could be done by spring 2010. The cost cutting and efficiencies could help in the long run and as the economy bounces back we could add courses on Fridays that are 3 hours long.

    By Blogger OhloneAnonymous (via Sarah Daniels), At May 27, 2009 at 2:20 PM  

  • How about letting full-time faculty volunteer to take a reduced workload, even if they are not near retirement? Instead of teaching 15 units, some of us could teach 13-14 and take a proportional cut in salary. The reduction in units taught by full-time faculty could also help some part-timers keep their jobs instead of being laid off as a result of enrollment cuts.

    By Blogger Connie Olsen, At May 27, 2009 at 2:38 PM  

  • I saw a presentation at Chaffey College on their Success Centers - these are instructional/tutoring centers that encompass a lot of services: instructional, tutoring, mentoring, EOPS, DSPS, etc. I think a lot of what we could do could be combined in one location and allow us to work smarter with better results. I have only a little knowledge right now, but want to pursue this further.

    By Blogger Linda, At June 1, 2009 at 2:55 PM  

  • I think a lot of valuable time is wasted at Newark with the College Hour on Tues & Thurs. Only a handful often attend on Tues; there is usually nothing on Thurs. Faculty and students have to sit around during this time waiting for classes to start up again. A full 2 hours is allocated for college hours. Fridays could also be utilized for classes.

    By Blogger Linda, At June 1, 2009 at 3:00 PM  

  • If the college would offer full time employees the option of working part-time with full benefits, there would be a huge potential savings. For example, if a $40,000/year employee would accept a 75% position (while maintaining his or her full health benefits) the college would save $10,000-$1700(~50% benefits for 12 month employee) for a potential savings of ~$8300. If only take ten employees take this offer, it could save $83,000 a year. If employees would take a 50% position, the savings can double. Of course, the employee would have fewer sick and vacation days, so there is an additional savings.

    By Blogger Elliott C, At June 9, 2009 at 12:34 PM  

  • Colleagues,
    We are now fairly certain that a billion dollars will be cut from the community college budget between 2008-09 and 2009-10. I appreciate your ideas and will consider each one carefully. I also remind you that all the information I am receiving from the State and the community college advocate group, CCLC, is posted to our budget webpage.
    Thank you,
    Gari Browning

    By Blogger President Gari Browning, Ohlone College, At June 15, 2009 at 10:27 AM  

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