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PCC: Open For Business Despite Sudden Budget Cuts

Out of 5,000 course selections only a small amount cut according to PCC President Mark Rocha

Published on Wednesday, February 22, 2012 | 5:09 pm

Despite sudden budget cuts by the state, Pasadena City College is open for business, according to remarks made by College President Dr. Mark Rocha at a press conference today.

“We’ll get through this. I don’t make light of this, but we’ll make it,” said Rocha. “We’ve held instruction almost harmless from the cuts.”

Cuts to PCC came quickly because of a state trigger mechanism that kicked in last week.

“It literally happened in the middle of the night,” said Rocha. “We knew we were going to get some kind of a cut, but these cuts were from the state, not from its board. It’s hard to take a $2.8 million cut in the middle of the year after we’ve already planned for the year.”

Rocha went on to explain that out of 5,000 course sections only a small amount was actually cut. He said the college has avoided this “day of reckoning” in the past by spending down their reserves.

Does Rocha believe the future look bleak for PCC?

“We’re going to take cost saving measures just like any household would do,” Rocha said. “It’s heartbreaking, the effect on some students. We have to deal with it realistically because the state is saying to all colleges, not just PCC, ‘your funding is gone.’”

Rocha harkened back to PCC’s first President,  John Harbeson, who presided during the depression of the 1930’s. Then came the Long Beach earthquake, which damaged the school and the classes were taught in tents. After that came World War II, but the college survived and grew.

Rocha did predict that unless Governor Brown’s revenue plan doesn’t pass in November, the cuts will continue.

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