Board of Trustees opens 2012-13 academic year

Brooke Harper

The SOCCCD Board of Trustees opened the 2012-2013 academic year with its first meeting on Monday in the Ronald Reagan Board of Trustees room in the Health Sciences building on the Saddleback College campus.

The topics focused on student government and final budgets, policy revisions, and the role of Academic Senates in students’ education.

The open session started with all board members giving oral reports on the presentations of the Saddleback and Irvine Colleges.

Trustee Frank Meldau expressed his joy over the newly refurbished Student Health Center at Saddleback Campus.

“As some of you know, I’ve been very concerned over the past couple of years about the amount of violence that is occurring in this country,and especially in our schools, both elementary and secondary, and universities and colleges,” Meldau said. “I’m extremely happy to see that the refurbished health center is handling approximately 100 people per day for physical and mental health needs.

Meldau also expressed pleasure with other services the Health Center offers to students including counseling and medications for a reduced fee.

All of Saddleback College’s general action items were passed unanimously by the Board. The general actions items included student government and final budgets, board policy revisions including harassment and discrimination prevention and student health services, and academic personnel actions such as reorganization of the academic administrator.

The student government budget presentation’s main focus was on giving back to the student body. With a fund balance of $630,892, usage was on campus life, co-curricular programs, contingency, allocation for anticipated mid-year requests, and scholarships and awards. The funds for co-curricular activities and scholarships and awards have doubled since last year’s budget with $162,000 for scholarships and awards alone.

The final budget presentation for the SOCCCD included an overview of funds. The overview was broken down to general funds, restricted and unrestricted, and other funds that added up to $553.3 million.

“As costs increase, demands for programs and services increase,” Vice Chancellor Debra Fitzsimmons said, “and the new income slightly increases, which brings new challenges for college and district services.”

Fitzsimmons also mentioned the available basic aid funds for total approved projects for year 2012-2013 add up to $74,337,592.

Saddleback President Dr.Bob Cosgrove showed a presentation on the role of the academic senate in development of education,curriculum, grading policies, and degree and certificate requirements. He, along with Irvine College President Dr.Kathy Schmeidler, said that they want to make all of these more focused with better technology, coordination to other schools, and tutoring.

To accomplish these goals, the two presidents said that more time and funding is needed.

The meeting adjourned with Saddleback College’s budgets approved and policy revisions passed.