GCC summer session is on

Glendale Community College officials on Friday announced that they would carry on with summer school despite state funding cuts after faculty members agreed to work the six-week session for 40% less pay.

But the number of classes to be offered during the summer session will also be cut by 40% compared with last year, said Ron Nakasone, vice president of administrative services.

The combination of pay cuts and fewer classes will save the cash-strapped college about $1 million, he said. Last month, the college announced that the 2012 winter session would be canceled, and left open the possibility of cutting the summer session unless major cost-cutting concessions were reached.

Faculty representatives described the concessions as "significant," adding that they were made with the students in mind.

"We have so many students that are counting on summer [school] … in order to transfer at a proper time, or to graduate with a certificate or degree at a certain time so that they can get out in the job market," said Ramona Barrio-Sotillo, president of the Faculty Guild.

Mike Scott, president of the Glendale Community College Academic Senate, said a majority of faculty strongly supported keeping the summer intersession despite a reduction in salary.

"The community needs to know that the faculty stepped up and made a monumental sacrifice so that our students could have this summer session," Scott said. "We are not just looking at our paychecks, but we are looking toward what is most beneficial for our students."

The college, like others throughout the state, is facing another financial contraction in the coming fiscal year, which starts on July 1. Officials anticipate cuts of between $6.7 million and $10.7 million to the current $85-million budget.

"I think this is a testament to the cooperative nature of the college," Glendale Community College Supt./President Dawn Lindsay said. "Quite honestly, everybody is keeping our students first. The administration needed to work with the faculty, and the faculty agreed to work with the administration. I think it is a win-win all around."

Summer session is tentatively scheduled to start on June 20, although the dates won't be formalized until early next month, officials said.

Intersession pay is based on a scale that factors in the number of years an instructor has taught at the college. With the 40% cut, the most senior faculty member will earn about $4,300 for a three-unit summer school class, Scott said.

"We really wanted to offer the student the summer because there is just no way these students are going to get through Glendale Community College in two years unless we have intersession. Taking intersession away from them will just prolong their time at Glendale Community College, and they won't be able to transfer."

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