College Planning Council approves updated SBCC Mission Statement

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The College Planning Council continued its discussions on strategic goals, an updated complaint policy, the revised mission statement and possible revenue-generating and budget-reducing solutions at its meeting Tuesday. 

The meeting began with the announcement of modifications made to Interim Superintendent-President Helen Benjamin’s Strategic Directions, which contained goals the college hopes to achieve between the 2019-2022 academic school years. 

Councilmembers gave feedback on the document, pointing out any typos and redundancies before the conversation turned to the ever-changing Facilities Master Plan.

The Master Plan is a collection of the school’s buildings and funding, and serves as a guide for future development and renovations. The $85,000 project started in October of 2017 and is reaching the end of its drafting. 

“I’ve just received the final version,” Vice President of Business Services Lyndsay Maas said. With her hands in the air, she declared, “We’re done!” 

This was followed by a discussion about City College’s updated mission statement. Following the 2019 employee survey, the college felt it was time to revisit the statement to see what could be improved. 

Director of Institutional Assessment, Research and Planning Z Reisz presented the council with a draft of the new statement. 

It read, “Santa Barbara City College welcomes all students. The College provides a diverse learning environment and opportunities for students to enrich their lives, advance their careers, complete certificates, earn associate degrees, and transfer to four-year institutions. The College is committed to fostering an equitable, inclusive, respectful, participatory, and supportive community dedicated to the success of every student.” 

The statement was met with applause. 

“I really liked that,” Benjamin said. “I feel really good about it.” 

With a quick vote, the updated statement was approved by the council. 

The council then turned its attention to the recently updated complaint process presented by Dean of Student Affairs Arturo Rodriguez. 

“You can report Title IX complaints, you can report just about anything under the sun,” he said. “If you suspect something, just make the report. If you have to ask yourself, you should do it.” 

Rodriguez walked the council through reporting a concern and asked for feedback on the process. 

The in-depth discussion displayed how City College handles a report depending on what type of complaint it is and the severity of the situation.   

As Benjamin’s last College Planning Council meeting came to a close, she offered more ideas to generate revenue and reduce the budget. 

Amidst a hiring freeze, she suggested hiring an internal auditor, justifying that in the long term it would save the college thousands of dollars, despite the fact that the average salary for the position is around $120,000 plus benefits.  

Benjamin also suggested increasing the price of international enrollment by $10 per unit, a move that would generate $550,000. 

The two-hour meeting adjourned with the council thanking Benjamin for “taking on the challenges” the college has faced over the last few semesters. 

“We really appreciate your nose to the grindstone attitude,” Academic Senate Representative Ruth Morales said. 

The College Planning Council will reconvene at its final scheduled meeting of the year on Dec. 17.