Whereas, The Chancellor has proposed that the California Community Colleges System budget be revised to collapse all System line items into a small number of general categories in order to accomplish "focus and flexibility" in the System budget, which means that the System would have the right to move funds within these very broad categories;
Whereas, Such "flexibility" of funds has historically meant that instruction and direct student services have lost funding, as happened when transfer center funds were decategorized, and the Academic Senate has consistently supported such proven categorical programs as matriculation, Puente, EOPS, DSPS and others devoted to ensuring services for students from groups historically underrepresented in higher education;
Whereas, The proposal would mean that the System's priorities and allocation processes would be determined internally in the Budget Change Proposal (BCP) process, and BCPs are currently confidential, and not subject to consultation or public discussion; and
Whereas, The Academic Senate for California Community Colleges and Board of Governors members have called for clear definition and parameters for the development of budget "flexibility" as well as the development of new processes, principles and guidelines to accompany any restructuring of the budget, but to date this call has not been addressed;
Resolved, That the Academic Senate continue to raise questions and concerns regarding the collapsing of the System budget categories;
Resolved, That the Academic Senate work to ensure that any changes in the budget structure be accompanied by appropriate changes in the budget process to ensure full public discussion and appropriate consultation on the budget development and priorities of the System;
Resolved, That the Academic Senate continue to articulate the importance of programs that serve students historically underrepresented in higher education, and safeguard their funding from decategorization; and
Resolved, That the Academic Senate insist that principles of equity, fiscal accountability and appropriate consultation be the hall marks of any System budget process.
The Consultation Council and Board of Governors have not discussed the concept of collapsing the budget categories this year.