Chancellor’s Forum Reveals News About Enrollment, No Budget Cuts.

Adriana Orozco, Staff Writer

The Chancellor’s Forum was held at San Diego Mesa College on Sept. 12 and it focused on enrollment issues and the district’s current budget as well as other issues.


San Diego Community College District Chancellor Dr. Constance M. Carroll opened the forum with good news for faculty and staff regarding budget cuts and downsizing staff size which will not be affected this year. She shared news about the Military Education Program which is currently facing issues like educational program reduction.


“We are going to have to determine it’s future at some point. It is self-sustaining as a program but the military continues to cut back on its contracts,” Carroll explained.


Enrollment was a major discussion. Over the last year San Diego Mesa College reached 44,789 FTES (full-time equivalent students) which was within the district’s target. However, there was a problem when the initial process began to reach the target; the average class size was much lower than last year’s. The Chancellor explained that this was due to the stabilized economy allowing room for employment.


Although enrollment targets were met, productivity targets did not.  There was more money spent than actually earned and as a result there will be a $9 million dollar shortage however there is reserved money which Dr. Carroll explained is the reason the campus will not suffer in terms of budget cuts.


Dr. Carroll explained that the district and faculty will focus on strategies to increase class size throughout the institutions.


“We are part of a context in which there is a lot of enrollment challenge and we are a bright light in the middle of that because our strategies are working,” she explained.


It was reported that ESL enrollment had previously dropped by 14% but had recently stabilized itself. Compared to previous enrollment numbers, this year shows a 6% difference and the Chancellor made a correlation to lower numbers to the recent threats to DACA and undocumented students. ESL serves as an aiding and counseling program for English-language learners.


“It is a very very frightening time for our students,” the Chancellor points out.


The San Diego Community College District is currently working on ensuring the safety of DACA students while on campus. In recent emails to students, staff, and faculty, the Chancellor and presidents of SDCCD campuses have stated that no one will share personal documents or records to anyone including border patrol or immigration enforcement positions without a legal requirement. The district will continue to provide students with workshops and legal counsel if needed.


It was announced that the state budget and final budget for the college has been approved. Proposition S and N (approved by voters to upgrade  the San Diego Mesa College campus using taxpayer money) are doing well and construction and renovation are currently underway on campus.


San Diego Mesa College is off to a good start this academic year and although there are  minor issues, it has been made clear that the Chancellor is using different strategies to improve the quality and future of our campus and hopes to see a better result.