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'Students Are Our Major Priority..." - Hartnell College President Edward J. Valeau and the College Administration

September 18th, 2006

Hartnell College's students are our top priority--and alway will be. Thus, we cannot put their future at risk based on a report that incorrectly suggests that funds are available to meet the faculty's salary and benefit demands. The fact-finding report identified a funding source dedicated exclusively to faculty retirees and workers' compensation.

The Fiscal Crisis and Management Team developed a two-year financial forecast for the College. According to theFCMAT report, completed by an independent agent of the State of California, continued deficit spending will reduce available reserves unless the College is able to develop a balanced budget for each fiscal year.

The consequences of deficit spending and meeting the faculty's demands as presented could include layoffs, restriction of services, limitations on programs, reduced federal or state funding, and/or potential intervention by the State Chancellor's Office. The Board of Trustees clearly does not wish to face these potential consequences.

The Hartnell College administration will continue to negotiate in good faith and encourage the faculty union to return to the bargaining table and to NOT disrupt the learning opportunities of nearly 10,000 students seeking education at the College.