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The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

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The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

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Faculty concerned with budget and campus issues at Academic Senate

Professor shares the negative impacts of this crisis is unlike any she has seen since arriving in 1974
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During the public comment section of the Academic Senate’s most recent meeting held on Feb. 28, Associate Professor of the Physical Health Department Kathleen O’Connor shared her thoughts on City Colleges budget crisis. Since her arrival at the school in 1973, O’Connor has witnessed many budget crises, but explained that she believes this one to be different from the rest. 

“This is the first time we have had a budget crisis in which instruction is the only area on campus being reduced,” O’Connor said. 

O’Connor also discussed her opinion on classes being cut, believing that it is and will turn more students away if they can not get access to the classes they need.

Artificial intelligence usage in education was also a main topic of discussion. The Senate described their worries regarding the matter during the meeting; more specifically, how faculty would handle AI in regards to academic integrity. Websites such as turnitin are used by professors in order to detect plagiarism and AI usage, but it has been proven to not be as reliable as it claims. Having testing centers for online classes was something Jamie Campbell from the math department asked for.

“Math teachers have been dealing with issues of AI for a decade now,” Campbell said.

Ideas on how to maximize functional space were also brought up. With buildings on the City College campus that are decaying and are in need of renovation, the Student Senate believes that the school can not afford to continue paying for their required maintenance and utilities. Along with this, it is possible that the financials for a building could be raised, or even rented out to a college like Antioch.

This discussion sparked a concern of not having enough room for all students who want to take in-person classes. The idea of demolishing the buildings that are no longer in use was brought up, but many in the group felt as though this would not be worth the money. 

“I assume it costs up to $10 million, and then you have a hole in the ground that you have to do something with,” Campbell said. 

Kimberly Monda, the president of the group, made it clear that no final decisions have been made, and that all of these ideas are still just ideas. 

“I am both saying I hear you and I’m saying that there are still a lot of steps to come,” Monda said. 

The group’s next meeting will be held on April 11. 

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