Several community members gave passionate comments related to the educational needs of the Southern Humboldt community.
The board room was packed with CRFO members who attended to ask for my support to help resolve contract negotiations. Several faculty talked about the fundamental role of faculty at the college and how committed they are our students and to the health of the District. They asked the District to show faculty that they are valued and respected. I appreciate that faculty voiced their concerns and perspectives yesterday.
Over the past year, the District and CRFO have been in contract negotiations, and a lot of good work has been accomplished. The District wants to bring the negotiation process to a satisfactory conclusion and get on with the important work of the College. I agree with the sign held by Mike Haley--relationships are important and do matter. In my mind, faculty are paramount to students, now and after the contract negotiations process is over. Faculty are my valued colleagues now and in the future. The Board of Trustees and I are committed to ensuring that the District remains fiscally viable moving forward and that all of all faculty, staff, administrators, and managers feel valued and supported. A quote by Sonia Gandhi resonates with me as we work through our current negotiation situation. She said that “Together we can face any challenges as deep as the ocean and as high as the sky.”
Public Recognition of Faculty and Art Students
The Trustees recognized and thanked Assistant Professor Natalia Margulis and the students who provided the three art designs for the rebranded CR logo—Jake Langston, Nathaniel Maldonado, and Trudie Haughy.
The Board approved Deborah Gerth’s appointment as the one-year full time English faculty replacement for Del Norte. The Trustees approved the employment of Stephanie Burres as the Administrative Secretary II for the Academic Senate Office and Nicholas Pronsolino as the Instructional Support Specialist III for the Writing Center. The June 1 appointments of Dr. Angelina Hill as the Vice President for Instruction and Student Development and Renee Saucedo as the Director of the Multicultural and Diversity Center were ratified. The Board also approved the appointments of several associate faculty: Leonard Bechler, Construction Technology – Eureka, Marcia Bilderback, English as a Second Language– Eureka, Sarna Breen, Learning Disability – Eureka, Stefanie Kalin, Psychology – Eureka, Petra Lorenzi, Coach – Eureka, Leslie Rossman, Communication Studies – Eureka, and Robert Satava, Construction Technology – Eureka.
Approval to Initiate the Process to Sell the Garberville Property.
The Board approved the recommendation by majority vote to initiate the process to sell our Garberville site according to Education Code §81363.5. The Board directed the administration to seek appraisals for the building/and tennis courts/upper parking lot and the vacant land lot in order to determine a fair market value for both pieces of the property. The administration will also place a public notice in newspapers of general circulation within the District soliciting offers from the State Director of General Services, the University of California Regents, the Trustees for the California State University, the County of Humboldt, all public housing authorities in the county, any public agency, and any non-profit agency eligible to purchase as provided by the statute. These agencies will be given priority consideration over private parties so that they can evaluate the site and make an offer prior to the property being open to a public bid process (if the Board wishes to do so).
If there is a positive response to any of these solicitations within 60 days after the last published notice, we can engage in negotiations with the other agency or agencies to determine if we can reach a mutually satisfactory price. It’s important to note that we may suspend this process at any time and withdraw the property from potential sale. For example, we could stop the process if the only interested party was an agency not acceptable to the Southern Humboldt Unified School District (during the term of the Option Agreement).
The Board can pick which agency to negotiate with if more than one public entity shows interest in the property If the District does wish to sell to another public agency using this process, the Board may act by majority vote of the entire membership. A unanimous vote is not required using this process.
Approval of the 2017-18 Tentative Budget
The Trustees approved the 2017-18 Tentative Budget. Underlying the Tentative Budget were several thoughts:
- We will be on stability next year so our 2017-18 Apportionment funding will be based on our 2016-17 final actual full-time equivalent student (FTES) enrollments. The 2016-17 budget assumed that we’ll get at least 3,950 FTES. Therefore we built the 2017-18 Tentative Budget assuming that 3,950 FTES would be a reasonable target.
- The $160 million augment in the May Revised Governor’s Budget Proposal combined with $23.6 million from the January Proposal totals to a $183.6 million permanent base budget increase for the system. The Tentative Budget will add $631,063 to the $94,000 permanent base increase presented in the Preliminary Budget to bring our total estimated base budget augment to $725,063.
- The COLA increased from 1.48% to 1.56%. The Preliminary Budget included a $374,752 COLA which was increased by $20,257 for a total $395,009 COLA in the Tentative Budget.
- CR’s revenue will increase, if the Governor’s May Revised Proposal doesn’t change, by $1,025,563 (or 3.7%) over the 2016-17 revenue budget as reported on the Monthly Financial Status Report in the June Board agenda.
- The health and welfare benefits costs, pension costs, and employee salary steps will increase.
- The transfer of $90,000 in general fund support for the Child Development Center will continue.
- $300,000 will be transferred to the Other Post-Employment Benefits (OPEB) Fund to fully fund the current liability.
- $100,000 will be transferred to the pension contribution reserve fund for future pension obligations that might not be funded by the State.
- Before adding any other items, the 2017-18 Tentative Budget stands $580,000 short of achieving our 7.4% ending fund balance goal. To close the budget gap and provide the District with a 7.4% ending unrestricted fund balance, the administration will hold/delay new hiring and carry out the energy conservation actions identified last fall.
It’s important to remember that a significant portion of the budget process that still needs to be completed on the State level. Both the Senate and the Assembly took similar actions recently to reduce the deferred maintenance funding by around $75 million, to eliminate the $45.8 million surplus in 2015-16 apportionment, and to reject the Governor’s proposed $20 million for Innovation Awards.
Emeritus Faculty Nominations
The Trustees unanimously approved emeritus status for Professor David Arnold, Professor Bruce Wagner and Professor Connie Wolfsen.