San Jacinto College cuts $4 million from budget –
will cut $20 million more in next two years
PASADENA, Texas— Texas school districts, community colleges, and universities are facing unprecedented challenges statewide because of budget reductions caused by the economic downturn. San Jacinto College (SJC) has already done a lot to prepare for a smaller funding base from which to run the College in the future.
The College has restructured many areas of operations over the past few years to streamline services and create efficiencies while accommodating record enrollments. The administration isn’t waiting for next year – they are developing a current year budget reduction of $4 million to help address additional cuts expected for next year. This is in addition to the $2.9 million in cuts that have already been submitted to the state for the current biennium.
In spite of the preparation and current year cuts, the College faces an estimated loss of $20 million for the state biennium that begins Sept. 1, 2011. However, San Jacinto College is preparing to move forward, seeking cuts that have a minimal impact on its students and employees.
“As we have diligently worked through our budget plans for the last several months, my focus, and that of our Strategic Leadership Team, has been to sustain achievement of the College’s four strategic goals, minimize the impact on students, preserve jobs, and maintain employee productivity,” said SJC Chancellor Dr. Brenda Hellyer. “By no means is this the future that I envisioned for San Jacinto College more than two years ago when I became Chancellor, but I remain committed to this college, its students and employees, and our community. San Jacinto College is strong in its values and mission, and will remain strong through these unprecedented times.”
The San Jacinto College Board of Trustees has asked Chancellor Hellyer to balance the budget without raising tuition or increasing the amount of taxes collected from the community. “We have been asked to cut our college operating costs to meet the shortfall in the budget,” stated Hellyer.
In response to the budget cuts, leaders at SJC have looked hard at their departmental budgets. The result is the institution of a cost-saving program, based on input from employees, to reduce operational expenses by $6 million for the next fiscal year beginning Sept. 1, 2011. In order to reduce labor costs, SJC is also implementing a voluntary separation and severance program for full-time employees who have worked at SJC for at least three years. Through these measures, SJC is hoping to achieve a $10 million per year total reduction in operating costs, which would help the College meet its target of a $20 million budget reduction over the biennium.
“SJC has a proven track record in budgeting and financial reporting excellence,” noted Hellyer. For two consecutive years, SJC has received both the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) Distinguished Budget Presentation Award and the Certificate for Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting (CAFR) Award for upholding the highest standards in budgeting and financial reporting. SJC is the only Texas community college to receive both the GFOA and CAFR awards at the same time. “We work diligently to maintain good stewardship of public funds,” concluded Hellyer. “It is important to maintain that trust as we face this unprecedented challenge.”
About San Jacinto College
Surrounded by monuments of history, industries and maritime enterprises of today, and the space age of tomorrow, San Jacinto College has been serving the citizens of East Harris County, Texas, for nearly 50 years. We are committed to the goals and aspirations of a diverse population of more than 29,000 students in over 140 degree and certificate options, including university transfer and career-track choices. Students also benefit from the College’s workforce training programs, renowned for meeting the needs of ever-changing industry in the region. San Jacinto College. Your Goals. Your College.
For more information about San Jacinto College, please call 281-998-6150, visit www.sanjac.edu, or find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SanJacintoCollege.