City College to ‘reduce personnel expenditures’ to balance budget

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Ryan P. Cruz

File photo of City College’s West Campus Center from Feb 17, 2021 in Santa Barbara, Calif.

Ryan P. Cruz, Editor-in-Chief

Superintendent-President Utpal Goswami announced a new plan to balance the budget by cutting down on the college’s personnel costs for the 2021-22 school year, starting with three layoffs of classified staff.

Goswami wrote in a campus-wide email that the plan is to “reduce personnel expenditures through a variety of means,” which includes cutting or not filling positions, reorganizations or through supplemental retirement programs.

He said he would consider layoffs or eliminating positions “as a last resort,” though the email announcement also mentions that the Board of Trustees approved the first action of this plan at its Feb. 25 meeting with the elimination of one administration position and layoff of three classified staff.

“I am keenly aware that decisions like these impact people’s lives and we do not come to these decisions lightly,” Goswami said.

The budget deficit and loss of revenue due to the campus being effectively closed for nearly a year has contributed to this decision to cut back on personnel costs, he said, which makes up a large portion of what the school spends each year.

“Our structural deficit is real and the current state of personnel expenditures being over 89% of the general fund budget is unsustainable,” Goswami said.

The college also plans on addressing faculty stipends, with a committee specifically tasked with cutting $125,000 in “leadership stipends” from the budget by the end of March.

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