The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

Serban says college is ‘strong fiscally’

Superintendent-President Dr. Andreea Serban sat in a wood-topped desk at the front of PS 128, with her back to a dusty-black chalkboard on the wall behind her.

In a small meeting held May 5 of no more than 15 of her colleagues, an upbeat Serban spoke about the school’s financial situation. She was pleased to announce that the school is “very strong fiscally” as spring semester wraps up.

“It’s time to acknowledge what we have been able to achieve as a college,” said Serban.

City College saved $5 million this year through small changes like conserving electricity and cutting down on advertising. Although the state has cut nearly $10 million in funding the last two years, no layoffs or furloughs have been made.

Story continues below advertisement

The college has more than $21 million in reserves.

Serban voiced how important it is to focus on advancements the college has made recently rather than cuts.

“It is important to keep the spirit of innovation alive,” she said.

City College doesn’t have as much space as many other colleges, which forces the school to be especially resourceful and innovative in order to provide for its’ students.

The college has added seven classes in subjects like math, English and ESL. But 32 other sections cut due to the college’s enforcement of a minimum class size of 20 students.

Despite major cuts for educational programs, Serban said the school has plenty of money for surface and architectural issues.

Approved by Santa Barbara voters in June 2008, Measure V works to sustain affordable, local education and make significant renovations and improvements to all City College campuses.

The college district’s Long Range Facilities Project began in January 2009, and included plans to improve current academic facilities and build an additional structure for the School of Media Arts.

Budget overruns with the bridge restoration project, as well as the fiscal unease at the state level, managed to change some projects and push others, like the SoMA building, out of consideration.

Of the long list of structures that need “seismic safety” upgrades plus renovations, only a handful have been started. There are holes in the floors and roofs, no heat or air conditioning, and mold in the ceilings of many campus structures.

“Our students need to have the best here,” said Serban.

Students as well as the Santa Barbara community use the La Playa Stadium, and the modifications are considered to be maintenance to keep the quality of the facilities high.

“We’re not out of the woods, but it’s not nearly as bad as it could have been if we weren’t so conservative,” said Robert Else, senior director of the office of institutional research. “Things aren’t all rosy still, but we’re better than other schools.”

More to Discover