Chancellor Constance M. Carroll hosts her last forum for Mesa College

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Mesa Office of Communications

The chancellor and Mesa College president informing the employees through a presentation

Justin Choi, Features Editor

Chancellor Constance M. Carroll  hosted her last annual forum for Mesa College which addressed the problems the district is facing due to the pandemic as well as other matters of current affairs. 

According to President Pamela Luster, who answered questions during the forum, the first floor of the Learning Resource Center will be one of the first occupied spaces to open up once the state starts allowing such measures. The president explained that the Mesa Returning to Campus Subcommittee has taken the initiative of determining regulations for the potentially occupied space; this means regulations on distancing between seating, the amount of occupants, and staff-performed screenings, according to Luster. Additional accommodations to students were talked about regarding the struggles of COVID-19.

Though the winter intersession semester has been determined to be 100% online, Carroll explained, the spring semester will offer expanded hybrid classes made available for “athletics, science, allied help, first responders, and career technicals.” These prudent steps are essential to the health and safety of those in the district, according to the chancellor. 

“The reason why we are being as conservative as we are being is because this is a matter of life or death, and we do not want to be responsible for people’s loss of health and certainly loss of life.”   

SDCCD is looking at a downsize in enrollment this coming year in accordance with the requirements of its funding system. Full-Time-Equivalent Students is a measurement that determines the district’s funding; it is a measurement of 15 units per FTES. This is part of  the Student Center Funding Formula, which is the primary method of funding community colleges by the state according to ccleague.org. For 2018-2019, the district’s target was 40,004 FTES. For 2020-2021 it is aiming for 37,920 FTES. Carroll said this downsize in enrollment is attributed to the demands of the SCFF and making “the district more affordable.” 

The General Fund Budget, explained by Executive Vice Chancellor Bonnie Ann Dowd, for 2020-2021 at SDCCD is $447,947,93 both unrestricted and restricted. Between the four schools in the district, Mesa college has been allocated a total of $97,264,457; $67,942,980 unrestricted, which is the school’s “true operating budget,” according to Dowd, and $29,321,477 restricted, which is limited to its various sources as far as what can or cannot be done with the funds.

The chancellor focused the audience’s attention to the upcoming general election for two of the five seats in the Board of Trustees representing District B and District D. Student, nonprofit volunteer, and news writer Mike Palomba and executive nonprofit director Daniel Piedra are running against two incumbents Mary Graham and Bernie Rhinerson. Carroll clarified the importance of this election to those in the district. 

“Please take our board election seriously because it has a huge impact upon the quality of allied and work together.” 

The chancellor expressed sentimental feelings in the announcement of her departure with a unique attachment to Mesa College  

“I’m going to miss the people of our district, especially at Mesa, which is always in my heart — my home within the district, having started my career at Mesa…  everyone has to cross this particular threshold at some point and you’ll all know when that is. You’ll know it from inside.” 

Carroll said that she will now  be working full time at her non-profit the California Community Colleges Baccalaureate Pilot Program