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GCC's budget process is being watched

Commission issues a warning about making the proceedings more transparent.

July 15, 2010|By Max Zimbert, max.zimbert@latimes.com

NORTHEAST GLENDALE — The state commission that oversees Glendale Community College has put the campus on a warning list reserved for colleges that must make progress in certain categories, officials said.

Of the four standards the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges uses to evaluate college performance, Glendale Community College was dinged for not having a more transparent budget process, Supt./President Dawn Lindsay said.

The warning status comes with no sanctions, but Glendale Community College must make progress at a review in 2012.

"None of the recommendations are dealing with the quality of the education or the faculty or the curriculum as a whole," Lindsay said. "Program review, planning and resource allocation is probably the biggest area we need to address."

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In three other categories, which include campus leadership and faculty instruction, the college earned high marks, officials said.

The long-awaited report ends a multi-year process to renew the college's standing within California higher education. Officials will continue implementing recommendations for a review next year and a more comprehensive report in 2012, officials said.

"[It] takes a lot of work and effort to make sure everything follows the accreditation standard; it's basically a long process that we have already begun to try and fix," said Michael Scott, president of the college's Academic Senate. "If you've got issues with your instruction and your students and whatnot, that would've been, to me, worse than the ones that we got."

While the college has made progress toward a more transparent budget process, and a rationale behind its resource allocation, evaluators recommended the college move faster to meet a March 2012 deadline, Lindsay said.

"They want to see really in black and white, what the college is doing, how are plans linked together and how we're making responsible decisions in reference to the fiscal issues we're dealing with," Lindsay said.

Some of the nine recommendations listed in the report have already been solved, Lindsay said. State regulators noted the college lacked adequate space for computer servers, for instance.

"We're in the process of putting different types of air conditioning in there," she said. "We've been working on that before this came to be a recommendation."

They also recommended in March that college officials complete more than 180 employee reviews. That number is now 60, Lindsay said.

"We think we're doing fine, in fact we know we're going to be fine," she said. "The college is certainly taking it seriously….We've demonstrated absolute commitment to the process."

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