Two weeks after impassioned pleas to keep De Anza’s football program because of the diverse students it serves, the committee charged with making cuts voted against the team.
The football team is heading to the playoffs but will likely be their last.
“We have to look at success rates and disproportionately impacted populations, but we also need to look at the overall costs. It is a high-cost sport, there is a reality there,” Lorrie Ranck, co-chair of IPBT and vice president of instruction, said at the Oct. 30 meeting.
Football was recommended for elimination, along with women’s water polo and five to seven classified faculty positions by the Instructional Planning and Budget team at its Oct. 30 meeting.
After 10 months of high pressure and setbacks, the IPBT has met its deficit goal of $4.6 million with a plan held together by a thin string of hope.
Football, along with women’s water polo, will now be sent to college council along with decisions to not hire eight new positions for the upcoming academic year.
The IPBT is banking on at least five to seven faculty members applying for a SERP, supplemental executive retirement plan, an early retirement incentive.
In the winter quarter, IPBT began looking at vacant faculty positions with a view to make cuts. During the spring, the IPBT voted for the elimination and phasing out of men and women’s tennis, paralegal studies, massage therapy, the associate degree and associate’s degree for transfer for music and the phasing out of the Lifetime Fitness and Wellness center as well as various other reductions in dance, languages, photography and english literature.
De Anza’s had to cut the $4.6 million from instruction because of enrollment declines and a district deficit.
At the Oct 23 meeting, interim President Christina Espinoza-Pieb introduced three plans of action that were discussed and voted on.
IPBT members had to weigh several factors: eliminating football and women’s water polo, eliminating the nursing program, eliminating part-time faculty positions and implementing the retirement incentive plan. The chance of the SERP not going through, puts the nursing program, as well as filled working faculty positions, still at risk.
“No one here wants to make these sacrifices,” said Eric Woodbury, faculty representative. “Is football something we have to look at and say, hey, is this one of those things that have to move on?” said Woodbury.
A proposal to keep football and women’s water polo, would mean more impact in service areas such as the college’s success centers. Reductions in the number of classified staff would mean fewer people doing more work in instructional.
“The work that we do as contract professionals impacts all of the students in each of the departments,” said Lorna Maynard, classified faculty representative. Whichever position is eliminated, the department’s function will decrease.
“When you’re talking about eliminating a classified position or doing a reorganization with them, it’s very complex, because higher level work can’t go down to a lower level classified employee,” said Mary Kay Englen, senior program coordinator.
With the 1320 budget for part-time instructors still not addressed, and the uncertainty around the SERP, IPBT members felt they had no other choice but to vote on this plan.
The changes coming out of these budget cuts are just beginning and will take effect after going to the Foothill-De Anza Board of Trustees to be approved.
“It’s hard work, but it’s also heart work,” said Lorie Ranck. “We’re also human beings in this process and it’s just a difficult time for us as well.”
College Council approved IPBT’s recommended plan at the Nov. 1 meeting, but at the same time gave interim dean of athletics Kulwant Singh, “two weeks to develop a plan for reducing football expenses and bring the plan back through IPBT for consideration,” according to an email by Ranck.