IMPERIAL – Imperial Valley College, through President Victor Jaime, sent a report to the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) regarding their concern for the colleges financial health.
The report directly addressed the fiscal status of IVC and its ongoing financial strategies to ensure fiscal sustainability.
The college was asked to address college’s weaknesses of their high permanent fixed costs related to human resources, in other words their high unsustainable payroll in relation to their declining revenue.
Contractual items highlighted 5% step increments for classified personnel, high reassigned time and high number of positions with reassigned time, extended work calendars for chairs and counselors, less cost-efficient pro-rata payment for intersession and overload teaching assignments for full-time faculty, low enrollments and declining reserve fund balances and declining growth.
President Jaime put a team together to tackle the financial issues before them of 26 administrative members.
The actions taken by the college are believed to improve their fiscal stability.
Because the classified salary schedule in now unsustainable, the college ahs attempted to re-negotiate with the classified employees union to align the salary schedule with similar colleges.
The negotiations with the union resulted in an impasse, have moved to mediation, and are now in the fact-finding process.
The colleges last and final offer included a restructuring of the classified schedule to one that has five steps at 3% increments and four longevity steps, which would bring IVC into alignment with comparative colleges.
The college also negotiated an agreement with the faculty to increase the minimum class size from 25 to 28. A recent change moved maximum class size from 40-45 this past spring of 2014 and showed a notable difference in efficiency.
The report stated that the college was aware that the initial saving were not dramatic, but the savings would increase with retirement or attrition.
IVC currently has 127 full-time faculty and 87.85 part time faculty.
The college stated they could achieve the state-mandated workforce reduction through retirement and attrition.
IVC also claimed that hiring qualified part time faculty, especially in science and math is challenging.
As the pool of qualified personnel is limited in the desert community and competition with the local San Diego State University campuses and their higher compensations makes a their rate of full time faculty larger than the state community college average.
Another high cost was childcare.
State funded grants and contracts were drastically reduced or altogether cut.
The administration felt that the approximately 90 students who use the services would have to choose between school and childcare.
The Board approved the subsidizing of an extra $108,000 for the current academic year to service the 75-100 children served.
The Board of Trustees is exploring options to make the Child Care Center/Lab School self-funded.
IVC also closed all of their extended campus.
IVC concluded their report stating the current financial situation came about via the many years in a growth environment and the belief in continued growth resulted in the collective bargaining agreements that are now unsustainable.
According to the report, the college has made significant progress in changing management practices, but they are still handicapped by state mandated regulations that require even a poor community to offer services to special needs students.
However, they believe their adjustments will ensure financial stability into the foreseeable future.