Trustee chided for tough questions

From our colleagues in PAC AAUP:
Kudos to Joe Adelrete for asking tough questions about the lack of budget transparency at Tuesday’s committee meeting.  Although the budget has won an award for transparency, this means very little when considering that we actively sought this award among a small pool of applicants.  President Obama won a Nobel Peace prize while surging tens of thousand of troops to Afghanistan and spreading the war intoPakistan.  Beware the wolf in sheep’s clothing.
In Dr. Leslie’s response to the recent NVC Faculty Senate/AAUP letter posing questions about the budget, he claimed:
“Attached, for your review, is NVC’s IPEDS information which drive the chart you presented and subsequent queries. What we have found is that the student FTE IPEDS data for 2008 through 2011 was erroneous (see highlighted section). In these years, the FTE figures combined both student credit hours earned and contact hours earned. Only student credit hours should have been used in this calculation.”
It is interesting that neither NVC’s own President at the time, Dr. Jackie Claunch, nor her own chief budget officer, Virginia Leggett, could provide the above explanation regarding the false reporting to the official federal IPEDS reporting system.  Perhaps all of the District “chargebacks” pulled the wool over her ability to understand her own budget.
This false reporting also raises concerns about possible fraud if these artificially inflated numbers were used in conjunction with tuition re-imbursements from the state.  Was the THECB informed of this false reporting?  Was the federal IPEDS system ever informed of the inaccuracies?  Why do the false numbers persist in the IPEDS database to date without correction?  What are the implications as a federal grant-receiving institution for reporting false data to the government?
Oh, and by the way, similar IPEDS budget anomalies can be found for St. Philip’s and Palo Alto Collegeduring this same time period.
Things are getting more interesting by the minute…
But hey, don’t just take our word for it, see what the Baldridge examiners had to say about NVC’s lack of control over, you guessed it, “hiring,” as well as the “volatility of the college’s operating environment” (read between the lines—budget control).
Directly from NVC’s Baldridge report:
“The most significant opportunities, concerns, or vulnerabilities identified in NVC’s response to process items are as follows:…For example, while the district establishes its HR plan for compensation, job description, and staffing ratios, many of these processes are put in place without full transparency to the college…”
Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award—2012 Feedback Report
“2.2 Strategy Implementation OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVEMENT  a(3) There is not a consistent approach to understanding and addressing the volatility of the college’s operating environment. For example, NVC did not describe its budget management processes that accommodate unanticipated midcycle changes to previously approved budgets. A systematic approach to budgeting within a volatile environment characterized by funding constraints may support the college’s ability to execute its current plans and allow for agility in response to changing needs.”
Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award—2012 Feedback Report
One understands that the “volatility” here has to do with the District micromanaging the colleges’ budgets, even during mid-cycle.
Oh, and don’t forget—Northeast Lakeview College.  Didn’t they fail to receive accreditation because of the lack of clear lines between the District and college budgets?
To see Trustee Adelrete’s brave stand, start at 39 minutes into the video link below:
We’ll cover your back next Tuesday!

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