Sierra College cuts won’t have big impact on local campus |

Sierra College cuts won’t have big impact on local campus

Proposed cuts in sports and curriculum at Sierra Community College to shore up an $11.2 million deficit will hurt mostly the Rocklin campus; a meeting to approve the cuts is set for today.

Nevada County residents who attend the Rocklin campus will lose programs in construction, automotive technology and agriculture.

But programs at the Grass Valley campus will see little impact: Few classes in those areas are offered in the foothills, Grass Valley campus Executive Dean Stephanie Ortiz said Monday.

“We don’t have the construction or automotive programs here,” Ortiz said. The agriculture classes slated to be cut also are not available in Grass Valley, but a popular wine class taught by The Union wine columnist Rod Byers will remain for this semester.

In addition, Rocklin’s six sports teams slated for the ax include men’s water polo, women’s track and cross-country, men’s and women’s tennis and men’s and women’s golf.

Laboratories, libraries, financial aid and student services offices already have seen decreased hours, according to college President Leo Chavez.

The state Legislature last year reduced categorical funding for education 60 percent, Chavez said. That made it difficult for many students to find open classes, he added.

The cuts are proposed for a vote of the college board, which meets at 4 p.m. today at the Dietrich Theatre on the Rocklin campus. Cuts include a 5 percent pay cut for full-time managers and staff, with a 2.5 percent cut for part-time faculty, Ortiz said.

The board is also being asked to approve mandatory furlough days, with 35 classified, management and faculty positions set for the ax, according to a statement issued by the college. Seven of the positions already are vacant.

What happens after today depends on the college board and what funding the college has for the future, Ortiz said.

In an online blog he shares with the community, Nevada County area board representative Aaron Klein of Colfax blamed the situation on “the state of California’s severe mismanagement, driven by a dysfunctional Legislature and governor who can’t decide on his political identity.”

To contact Senior Staff Writer Dave Moller, e-mail, or call (530) 477-4237.

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