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Six De Anza programs to undergo viability review

Impending budget cuts lead to review of programs and vacant positions; criteria not disclosed to affected departments

April 30, 2018

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Six De Anza programs to undergo viability review

Dance, photography and wildlife science technician programs have been selected for review by an upcoming Viability Advisory Team, following an April 24 vote by De Anza College’s Instructional Planning and Budget Team.

The paralegal, music and massage therapy programs will also be reviewed by the viability team, where they will be examined and will have a recommended course of action sent to College Council May 8. The review does not guarantee the elimination of the programs.

“There are other options including continuance, combining programs, suspension, not just discontinuance,” said James Nguyen, political science department chair and IPBT co-chair.

The IPBT also discussed putting a language and intercultural studies course up for a vote to be reviewed by the Viability Advisory Team in a future meeting.

IPBT co-chair and Vice President of Instruction Christina Espinosa-Pieb also announced the overall estimated district budget deficit has increased around $16-$18 million from $10 million and the instructional budget reduction to an estimated $4.4 million from $3.3 million.

The IPBT is also looking at vacant faculty and classified positions to help alleviate the instructional budget reduction.

“I am always interested in keeping individuals employed,” Espinosa-Pieb said. “I am interested in not having to take away employment from a person who has a job who needs it to live here in Silicon Valley.”

I am interested in not having to take away employment from a person who has a job who needs it to live here in Silicon Valley.”

— Christina Espinosa-Pieb

A Viability Advisory Team will be selected and start meeting in May, Nguyen said.

Espinosa-Pieb said a large portion of the budget decisions, including the viability decisions, should be made before June 30.

Although decisions for to-be-reviewed courses have not yet begun, some students are beginning to worry about future effects the budget cuts will have on those courses.

Psychology major Jackson Swanson, 20, said he discovered his love for dance when he enrolled in one of the workshop classes, and course choices are what make attending De Anza worthwhile.

“By possibly cutting courses, such as dance, it limits students’ ability to choose not only their classes but be able to further explore unknown interests that are waiting to be found,” Swanson said.

The photography department’s digital program coordinator, Diane Pierce, said she knows about the IPBT decision but not the particular factors the Viability Advisory Team will base recommendations on. She said she has observations about the program that should be recognized and included by the IPBT as discussions unfold.

“I too was just informed of IPBT’s decision to send our photography program to the upcoming viability committee,” Pierce said. “The program viability process is known, but the determining factors considered for our program have not been shared—we haven’t been informed why.”

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