JCCC BUZZ

Speculation engulfed campus Tuesday focusing on how and why information in the KC Star’s Prime Buzz posting surfaced. Just about every faculty and staff member I came in contact with had something to say about it. Even students asked me — yes, students.

JCCC President Terry Calaway released a statement late Tuesday addressing the issue. While Calaway’s statement has deflated the article’s impact, I don’t think we’ve heard the last of this.

From: InfoList
Sent: Tuesday, March 03, 2009 4:21 PM
To: InfoList
Subject: [infolist] A message from Dr. Calaway

As a result of numerous employee queries, I take the opportunity to share some information on a recent news article. On Friday evening, an article about the college’s budget appeared in the Kansas City Star’s PrimeBuzz blog. It talked about the budget challenges that the college faces in light of the reduction in state funding and the decline in county assessed valuation, the numbers found in the article were grossly overstated. The reporter subsequently listed a number of items that are purportedly under consideration to be cut or reduced.

This “list” is misinformed and without context and is ignorant of the process the college is following to consider budget reductions. What is true is that the college administration was asked to consider ways the budget could be reduced, since JCCC will face funding challenges in 2009-2010. But since we don’t yet know the total funding reduction, we don’t yet know what adjustments will be necessary.

The blog article purports that the college has already defined a course of action, which is irresponsible. Such an action does not serve the college or the community; causes unnecessary anguish for students, faculty and staff; and is to be deplored.

The irresponsible nature of this reporting is exacerbated by the fact that the process under consideration had taken place as part of a board of trustees executive session, during which time a brainstormed list of potential cost-saving measures was discussed. The list was developed as brainstormed options which had not yet been sifted or prioritized. After the board meeting this list then was shared with the reporter by Trustee Hodge. The reporter never called me with questions regarding possible budget reductions or to ask for comment. Unfortunately, the article on the blog leaves the reader with the assumption that he had done so.

The college leadership team with your help will continue to look at ways to address our budget challenges. Final decisions will be communicated when we know what our final funding is; however, it is unwise to speculate prematurely on what our decisions might be and certainly when the conversations and forums we have used during my tenure to reach such decisions are absent.

Terry Calaway

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