College Council -- February 20, 2009

Quick Jump to Sections: Charge/Role of New College Council, Budget, Facilities & Planning, Decision Making, Next Meetings.

Charge/Role of New College Council

We looked over the new charge/duties/procedures draft of December 9th for the re-constituted college council and agreed with it. We will need to finalize such things as how elections for the college council members will take place, length of terms of the members, and specific duties of the members such as how to take care of alternates, etc.

Here's what we have so far:

Charge of the Council

College Council is a collegial consultative body designed to serve the good of the College. The group facilitates timely, factual, and clear communication between constituents and the President as a means to develop recommendations to the President for decisions on College-wide issues [e.g., Budget (use of unallocated resources & dealing with cuts or enhancements), Planning (2012 & enrollment management), Accreditation (self-study, midterm report, etc.), Facilities (swing-space, construction & new sites).]

Duties of Members

Members of the Council fill a unique place in the College's structure. As members, they are the primary and most visible representative of their constituent groups. They set the standard for civility, candor, and accuracy in collegial discussion, within Council meetings and in their interactions with others in the college community. Members are conduits of information to and from the groups they represent. They should strive to understand and accept diverse points of view while attempting to reach consensus to best serve the College as a whole. Members should expect to communicate regularly with the constituents group(s) they represent.


Agendas, minutes, and support documents will be provided at least two (2) working days before any scheduled meetings. The minutes will reflect actions discussed. Issues and ideas will be reported without being attributed to specific Council members.

Members will provided a list-serv [the Sciences, Health/PE area list-serv is] to use for reporting out and soliciting input from their specific constituents.

All members may submit items for the agenda. [With meetings taking place every two weeks for this semester at least, the agendas probably won't be finalized before the two-day limit stated above.]

Guests will be invited as needed for their expertise; standing committees will provide reports to College Council as needed.

Task-forces may be formed, from within and outside the Council, for specific activities. [This means that task-forces will be made of the best people drawn from the entire campus who have recognized expertise in the task that needs to be accomplished.]

10+1 and bargaining related issues will be vetted through the appropriate groups (Academic Senate, CSEA, CCA).

At the close of each session, time will be set aside to recap the meeting. The group will decide those issues that are to be taken back immediately to their respective constituent groups and those issues that should be deferred until the next meeting. [No issues for the Science, Health/PE area from the February 20, 2009 meeting.]


An 18-month state budget plan has been approved by the state Legislature and it has been signed by the Governor. All of the parts in the budget deal having to do with community colleges were approved by the Governor (he did do some line-item vetoes on other parts of the budget). Compared to other parts of the state budget including other areas of education, Community Colleges fared well---we're getting major cuts but not as bad as others. HOWEVER, even with an "18-month" budget plan, there WILL be a May revise (the property tax report will show even more revenue shortfall than the budget plan assumed) and you can bet there is going to be a lot haggling on that, so community colleges cannot rest from their advocacy as THE agency that gives the biggest "bang for the buck" in jump-starting the state economy.

Finally, the budget deal also has a 5-billion dollar bond that must be approved by voters. With the economy in the tank, will the voters approve another bond? If the voters do not approve it, then we're back for even more cuts. Even if the voters approve the sale of the bonds, who is going to buy $5 billion worth of bonds from a state that is in junk-bond status?

The federal stimulus does have billions of dollars for education but most (if not all) of that education money will go to K12 and the CSUs and UCs.

SO: we're not out of the woods yet and the budget negotiations that will starting up again soon are going to be even nastier and drawn out than what we have just experienced as those Republicans who went along with the compromise have now been ostracized by their party.

Here are the highlights for community colleges as given by Scott Lay of the Community College League of California:

Facilities and Planning

Baseball/Softball Modernization continues. Now about 60% complete.

Levan Center Modernization received 6 bids and the winning bid was under the $2 million Levan donation. Asbestos abatement in the Business Building starts February 23rd and the rest of the construction will start around mid-March with completion in November [though multiply all construction time lengths by 1.5 to take into account typical unforeseen delays.] Note from Lamont Schiers about this project today: "The long awaited construction activity for the new Levan Center has begun. With any new construction there are some temporary changes in regular activities in and around the construction site. Please be patient with our efforts through this conversion process. As many of you have already seen we started the demolition process this morning. Starting tomorrow this area will be abated to remove the old flooring from this space. The air handling equipment was turned off temporarily today to make the proper accommodations in sealing this section of the building off from the rest of the Business Building. These measures are now in place and the air handling equipment has been turned back on. The abatement will last for the rest of the week. As this project continues, the sidewalk on the north side of the building will be interrupted to foot traffic and eventually will be closed off once the actual construction crews start work on the outside of the building next month."

SAM Modernization will happen as soon funds are released from the state and the construction program documents have been finalized.

Other buildings in the queue at various stages of construction approvals & funding approvals are Fine Arts Remodel for Efficiency, Campus Center Modernization, Wellness Center, Supportive Services Modernization, M/O Modernization, and Logistics Support Facility (to accomodate equipment from buildings to be renovated at BC and Delano). [The terminology in the Facilities report is a bit confusing, and in some cases almost Orwellian, so I don't understand the specifics of the report given to us and we didn't have time for clarification of each item. I can show you the report I have (sorry, no electronic copy), but our faculty rep on the Facilities committee, Natalie Bursztyn, might have better luck deciphering it.]

One item not on the Facilities report but will be happening soon is the Thermal Energy Storage (TES) project that will involve the construction of a million-gallon water storage tank between the Library and Levinson buildings. It will be 63 feet in diameter and about 28 feet high. The TES is designed to shift the costs for cooling our buildings to the cheaper evening hours. It will do this by cooling the water that is used in our AC systems during the night and using that cooled water during the power peak rates instead of cooling the water during the power peak rates as we currently do. Should save us lots of money in the long run but there is going to be A LOT of construction going on very soon. Project will start in March and is scheduled to be done in 5 months but multiply that estimate by 1.5 to be more realistic.

Decision Making

Among other things discussed in this agenda item is the need to to create some sort of flow chart of how decisions are made to improve transparency. Moorpark College has a model for making decisions on college-wide issues that we should look to.

Next meetings

March 6th at 10-12 (this assumes that FCDC gets out before their scheduled 10:30 completion time). We will discuss the College Goals, Renegade 2012/Action 2012, Accreditation and the budget.

March 20th 8:30 to 10:30, April 17th 8:30 to 10:30, and May 8th 8:30 to 10:30.

Last updated: February 23, 2009

Document author: Nick Strobel