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Top Heavy at CR




Recent news stories ("CR Accreditation in Peril," Blog Jammin, Feb. 9) about the accreditation and budget problems at College of the Redwoods don't tell the whole story. Since the 2008-2009 school year, the number of administrators employed by the college has grown from 14 to 22. The college's spending on its administrators' salaries has increased 58 percent in the past two years. While the administration budget was growing at this healthy clip in the middle of the worst recession since the 1930s, the total salaries paid to tenure-track and tenured faculty at the college decreased by 7 percent in the same time frame. Recently, the college opened satellite campuses in McKinleyville and Garberville. The Garberville campus has cost the college over a million dollars and has never had more than 10 students. These two satellite campuses have never made financial sense, and a prudent administration would not have opened them.

One of the issues in the college's accreditation fiasco is the lack of strategic planning. Currently, the college is in violation of the 50 percent rule, a state law that requires that at least 50 percent of the budget be spent on instruction of students. The purpose of this rule is to prevent colleges from becoming top-heavy with administrators. Due to a lack of sound planning and years of profligate spending, budget cuts are on the way. The Board of Trustees' proposed solution: Lay off teaching faculty. This will aggravate the college's violation of the 50 percent rule and make it more top heavy with administrators. Why not instead lay off the eight administrators added in the past three years and close the Garberville and McKinleyville campuses?

Peter Martin, Trinidad

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