With an already worsening state budget and California tax revenue projections well below estimates, Citrus College has no choice but to reduce classes, school officials said.
Tax revenues fell short by $539 million in July, according to John Chiang, California state controller. Cuts to community colleges are estimated at $127 million.
Enrollment fees rose for the fall 2011 semester to $36 per unit and will rise to $46 per unit in either the 2012 spring or summer semester.
“There’s only so much state money,” said Carol Horton, vice president of finance and administrative services at Citrus. “Whatever we don’t collect in local taxes or enrollment fees, they have to deficit it.”
The campus will see a cut of nearly $4 million next year.
With revenues well below estimates, mid-year cuts will take place Dec. 15. Citrus, like many campuses, will have to reduce class offerings to stabilize finances.
Citrus is offering 920 class sections this fall, compared to last fall’s 1,022, according to the President’s Office. Spring class offerings will be down by 138.
“We have gone, literally, from 13,000 Full-Time Equivalent Students to below 10,800 in funding. It’s devastating. It’s a terrible thing for the students,” Horton said.
As of now, 10,105 students are enrolled for fall 2011 classes.
Originally, the Governor’s budget estimated $400 million to $800 million in cuts to community colleges, but according to Horton, the cuts eventually totaled $290 million with the offset generated by this fall’s $10 fee increase.
The campus continues to be part of a program called the Chancellor’s Office Tax Offset Program, which helps campuses collect back fees and fines from former students. Participating campuses have recouped $13.1 million in lost revenue.
One of the biggest expenses for the campus is payroll expenses.
Nearly 89 percent of expenditures on campus go to employees. Citrus has been able to keep expenses low by selectively hiring faculty and keeping vacancies unfilled.
“We’re absolutely payroll driven,” Horton said, adding that the campus has managed to prevent layoffs, salary cuts and hiring freezes.
“We’re managing through attrition and that’s pretty much no new hires,” Horton said.
Correction: Due to inaccurate information provided by Citrus College, a previous version of this story incorrectly identified the number of class offerings.