Departments’ requests of $150,000 for equipment nearly approved

The+Ford+Ranger+used+for+hauling+seawater+and+other+marine+life+sits+parked+outside+the+Earth+and+Biological+Sciences+building+on+April%2C+26+at+City+College+in+Santa+Barbara%2C+Calif.+The+biology+department+has+been+requesting+a+replacement+truck+for+nearly+two+years%2C+due+to+extensive+rust+and+lack+of+power+to+haul+equipment.

Jacob Frank

The Ford Ranger used for hauling seawater and other marine life sits parked outside the Earth and Biological Sciences building on April 26, at City College in Santa Barbara, Calif. The biology department has been requesting a replacement truck for nearly two years, due to extensive rust and lack of power to haul equipment.

Alexandra Rubalcaba Ruther, Stafff Writer

Nearly $150,000 of new and replacement equipment has been requested by various departments at City College during the 2020-21 round of program reviews.

The requested equipment is vital to many courses, and some need it before the old equipment breaks. One of the requests from the biology department is $50,000 for a replacement autoclave sterilizer, which sterilizes all lab materials and waste after each lab is performed.

“The current sterilizer is past its life span,” said Jennifer Maupin, professor and chair of the biological sciences department.

Department chairs meet and analyze their department every year to determine if equipment needs to be requested to the Planning and Resources Committee. These requests were received October 2020.  

From there, the committee determined if the requested item was critical, and ranked it on whether it was something essential for students. The autoclave sterilizer was ranked at the top of the replacement list.

“We can’t run our labs without this equipment,” Maupin said.

The department also requested an ice machine, new cameras and lenses for lab microscopes and a replacement 4×4 truck for hauling seawater to UCSB for lab use and field courses.

The current truck has extensive rusting underneath the body, and Maupin said it doesn’t have the best power for hauling all of the equipment. When the labs meet in person, the truck is used four days a week, several times a day, and around 10 classes would be affected if it broke down.

“We want to be prepared so courses, field trips and labs don’t have to be cancelled or changed,” Maupin said.

Two microscopes sit at the front of a classroom in the Earth and Biological Sciences building on April, 26 at City College in Santa Barbara, Calif. The camera on the top of the right microscope allows teachers to show students what they're seeing, but the quality of the cameras has diminished over the years.
Two microscopes sit at the front of a classroom in the Earth and Biological Sciences building on April 26, at City College in Santa Barbara, Calif. The camera on the top of the right microscope allows teachers to show students what they’re seeing, but the quality of the cameras has diminished over the years. (Jacob Frank)

The biology department has been requesting a new truck for nearly two years, but since it was ranked at the bottom of essential replacements, Maupin said she isn’t sure they will get it this year.

On March 31, the Academic Senate approved the committee’s rankings and it will go to the College Planning Council sometime in June or July to seek their approval.

According to the ranking results, there is currently no designated budget to fund the requests due to the college’s current budget status. But the departments may get some of this equipment through special funding.

Other departments requesting equipment are the physical education, chemistry and music departments. 

Physical education requested new mobile tackling dummies, chemistry requested high-density spill-containment trays and the music department asked for various new microphones, cameras and equipment for recording.

“That funding really needs to touch students, so it could go into buying books that students read, lab supplies or musical instruments,” Laris said.

After the CPC sees the requests, Controller Rudy Hill should make his determinations by September 2021.