Few things can impact the success of students at community colleges more than budget and planning. Faculty must therefore have a basic comprehension of budget processes and of faculty roles in them. This paper aims to serve various purposes. It provides a primer on how the system-wide budgeting process works prior to colleges receiving monies from the state and assists faculty leaders in understanding these processes. It details some of the changes occurring at the state level around the Student Centered Funding Formula, changes to categorical programs, and other elements, all of which have implications for local faculty leaders. Finally, it describes local processes from several different perspectives – those of a single college district, a small multi-college district, and a large multi-college district – to provide practices that may be helpful for faculty leaders tackling budget considerations at their own colleges.
While accreditation standards will be discussed in this paper, the paper is not solely for local accreditation leaders; it is designed to serve multiple purposes for all faculty leaders. This paper addresses different aspects of the campus budget and proposes processes to consider, and it is intended as a reference, especially for faculty who are not inherently comfortable with budget language and processes.
Recommendations for Local Senates
The ASCCC offers the following recommendations to local academic senates:
- Assure that faculty appointments to all governance committees, including committees that deal with planning and budget, are made by the academic senate in a manner that ensures an equitable representation of faculty.
- Evaluate all processes for program review, prioritization of needs, and budgeting and widely distribute the results of program review and prioritization processes.
- Engage in the assessment of budget processes, applying an equity lens.
Recommendations for the Board of Governors
The ASCCC offers the following recommendations to the California Community Colleges Board of
- Ensure that budget processes are transparent and clear to all constituent groups.
- Advocate for and provide a calendar of due dates for budgets and reports for categorical programs, grants, and statewide initiatives that align with academic calendars to allow for input from local senates.