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The Inquirer

The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

Budget cuts into student services

The Governing Board of the Contra Costa Community College District voted Wednesday, Feb. 22 to reduce three full-time equivalent positions at Diablo Valley College due to a lack of funding.  Among the positions are two deans and a Senior Academic/Student Services Manager – three positions that work closely with students.

“Students need support resources and engagement opportunities to help them achieve their goals.” Bill Oye, Dean of Student Life said.

Oye’s position, which is slated to be eliminated, involves heavy student interaction. He is responsible for overseeing the student union building, various school policies as well as student government and clubs.

“I also act as the liaison with police services and am responsible for ensuring that students have access to information about health and insurance resources off campus and to voter registration.” Oye said.

The Governing Board’s resolution did not address how students will be able to continue to receive the services that the three positions provided. 

“It was not clear how these duties would be redistributed, however, President Garcia asked the students to work with Bill Oye and me to determine how they will use their reserves and financial resources to support programs and services for student leaders.” ASDVC Counseling Faculty Member Yvonne Canada said.

Some students expressed their concerns over these position eliminations, fearing how they will be affected by the lack of support that may arise.

“I use the counseling center, I use student services. I think there are better places in the budget to cut,” Brian Catanese, 27, business administration student, said.

Catherine Michelle Funes Guzman, chemistry engineering student, said, “It’s depressing. I realize there is a crisis but there are better ways they could handle this.”

The Contra Costa Community College Governing Board item that was voted on Feb. 22 stated, “It is the opinion of this board that it is necessary to eliminate certain services performed by management employees due to a lack of funds.”

Terry Armstrong, Dean of Counseling and Student Services is the other dean to have his position eliminated. He works with the counseling center to help students set and meet their academic goals.

“Fortunately, this elimination did not have anything to do with my effectiveness, personal honor or productivity as a dean, but rather from an intense pressure relative to the severe budget situation in which we find ourselves and district [and] college priorities.” Armstrong said.

While Nicola Place, Senior Academic and Student Services Manager could not be reached for comment, her position was one of the three voted on for elimination.

The Governing Board’s resolution states that each employee of the eliminated position must be notified by Mar. 15 that they will not be reemployed with the district effective June 30, however the employees may be eligible to transfer into other positions within the district.

“As I understand it, by voting to support the recommended eliminations, then there would still be some additional steps, a March 15 notification letter and a second letter in May, before elimination is implemented.  Assuming that those move forward, then the three positions would be eliminated at the end of June, 2012.” Oye said.

The positions will continue to exist throughout the rest of the spring semester and the employees may seek retreat rights to continue their employment with the district in the future.

“I do have a FSA in Psychology, and as my position is being eliminated, then following the procedure for the retreat process to faculty makes sense for me at this time.” Oye said.

Armstrong also foresaw retreating into another position within the district.

“I anticipate retreating as a…tenured counselor.” Armstrong said. “On the positive side, students will get another damned good counselor who cares deeply about their success!”

Inquirer staff writer, Aidan Herrick, contributed to this article.

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About the Contributor
Danielle Barcena, News editor
News editor, fall 2011.

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Budget cuts into student services