Immediate Fiscal Measures

June 10, 2009

Dear Colleagues:

The state of California is in an unprecedented budget crisis, and the governor and legislature are debating cuts of unimaginable dimensions to virtually all state programs, including the community colleges. These cuts include last-minute reductions in this current fiscal year (with 20 days left), and deep cuts to both our general apportionment and categorical programs.

Leaving aside the many particulars, the Foothill-De Anza district is anticipating significant funding reductions, and De Anza's share may range between $9 million to $14 million. We do not know the mix of cuts to general apportionment and categorical programs (such as DSPS, EOPS and Matriculation), but we have already begun to plan for deep reductions.

(I must remind you that this planning is on top of the reductions we have already made to bridge a district deficit of $6.7 million. We have already eliminated 21 unfilled positions, and, sadly enough, given advance alert to 12 of our De Anza staff colleagues in filled positions to anticipate that their jobs would be eliminated June 30, 2010. Because we have saved a significant amount of one-time dollars in anticipation of these early moves, we have set aside one-time funds to carry these positions through next June, barring state reductions even beyond those being discussed right now in Sacramento.)

The level of reductions now being discussed in Sacramento is catastrophic, even if we have one-time dollars to get us through much of the 2009-10 year. The aggregate cut in state support is hovering around $700 million. Try to wrap your head around that.

In anticipation of the budget we are likely to get, we have made the following preliminary moves:

1) Course Sections: We are planning to reduce course sections by 5% this fall, as the state debates whether or not to reduce our enrollment "base." Facing a cut of nearly 10% in our funding, we anticipate that the state will indeed do so. It will be a central element of our enrollment planning to ensure the maintenance of our core educational program, especially for those students most in need.

2) Cell Phones: College senior staff have jointly agreed to drop their district-paid cell phones and purchase individual phone service, with the retention of only those phones needed for emergency response. Further, I have asked all administrators to review and reduce the number of district cell phones assigned throughout the college.

3) ProCards: I have directed that all general fund and categorical administrators review ProCard distribution in their departments, and, other than in exceptional circumstances, pull all ProCard purchases back to the managerial level: deans, directors and vice presidents. All other cards will be cancelled.

4) Travel: I have asked administrators to review all travel, and with the exception of trips paid through negotiated staff development funds and trips associated with college priorities, all non-essential travel will be dropped.

5) Social Functions: No college social functions will be paid for or reimbursed out of college funds. I will use Foundation funds when appropriate, and we will continue the tradition of celebrating the graduation achievements of our students -- just not with state funds.

We are working with newly appointed Interim Chancellor Mike Brandy to craft a budget and enrollment plan that allows us to weather this storm, and will be providing regular budget updates to the college. The Academic Senate and Classified Senate are making plans to be available throughout the summer, and we will continue to bring our plans for reduction through shared governance. We have two things going for us: adequate one-time funds to have time to actually plan a response, and extremely dedicated faculty, staff and administrators who love this college.

I am absolutely confident that we will get through this, that we will continue to serve our students, and serve as a model of commitment and care.

If you have questions about the particulars of our budget, or the budget process, please contact Interim Vice President of Finance & Educational Resources Letha Jeanpierre at or ext. 8976. Thank you for your continued understanding during these painful times.

Brian Murphy

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