Cut smarter, not just deeper

Like most of us, Cerritos College has seen a decrease in its budget once again over the last year. With fewer funds to work with, decisions have to be made about how to save money and how to allocate what money there is left in the budget.

These latest decisions need to be thought out carefully and be made in the best interest of the student body, or there will be far-reaching consequences for both the school and the students.

Decisions must be made about what summer classes will be cut over the summer, whether some, all or none of the faculty requesting sabbatical will be granted leave, and what repairs will be made on campus and which will be put off.

The dean of each department on campus must soon decide what courses will be cut from the summer schedule in their respective department. Each dean has been given the task of cutting 30 percent of the courses normally offered by their department over the summer. This is a big decision that cannot and should not be made hastily or without trying to accommodate the most students.

In order to best-serve the most students, there should be a focus on the classes that are in the highest demand over the course of the year and those that are not offered during the fall or spring. Students attend summer school, for the most part, because they need a class.

For this reason, the deans must take care to keep those classes that students most need rather than want, over the summer. The decisions will be tough, and the job is not enviable, but the deans cannot afford to keep even one class that will not be full in the summer.

Another decision that must be made concerning the faculty and the budget of Cerritos College is about whether or not to grant sabbaticals for any of the 11 faculty members that have requested it.

Although seen as a right by some faculty members, sabbatical is something that has been, and can once again be, suspended by the college.  If all 11 of the faculty members requesting it received sabbatical leave, it would cost the school approximately $200,000. That’s $200,000 paid for people to not work.

Yes, it is a chance to go and learn how to become a better professor, but it is not something that the school can afford at this time. The granting of sabbaticals should be suspended for the time being, or at least not granted to all 11 applicants.

Another incident that stems from the 90s is the damage recently inflicted upon the library over this past weekend. The damage done to the archives, new shipment of materials, and the A/V room are thanks to repairs that were requested over a decade ago and never implemented.

The reasons given as to why these repairs were never made state that there was never enough money or material for the repairs. If, over the course of 10 years, some replacement tiles and ceiling panels can’t be found to prevent damages, then there is something seriously wrong.

We admittedly are not intimately familiar with the decision-making process when it comes to which repair requests will be filled. However, the fact that enough money can’t be found for 10 years to keep the library roof from leaking shows that there is definitely room for improvement when it comes to the school doing a better job allocating its money and resources.

These are tough times for both students and the higher education system in California. No one is happy about the situation we find ourselves in, but by making smart, cost-effective decisions, those in charge of our higher education can alleviate the pain that is felt most by students.