FIRST REPORT: How the District is Addressing Return-to-Work Challenges

In response to my last post, I've gotten several questions, the jist of which is something like this:  "Yes, but what are we doing about it?"

Locally, our Budget Committee, co-chaired by Silvia Barajas and Olga Shewfelt, will begin the discussions this week on the implications of a budget cut that could approach 10%.  However, I emphasize here that any discussions are theoretical.  We have no definitive statement about budget reductions, nor will we until as late as early August after the final tax revenues are posted in mid-July and the Governor announces the final budget revision.  Until then, we are working in hypotheses, so please disregard any and all rumors right now.  The facts of the matter as best we know them now are what I posted yesterday.

At the District level, the Chancellor has established a series of high-level work groups to develop the parameters of the discussions, through a review of current policies and practices, that will be initiated between and among all the participatory governance entities and our collective bargaining units and through entities such as the District Budget Committee.  As of this writing, these work groups include

  • Budget and Human Resources work group, co-chaired by Ms. Jeanette Gordon (Chief Financial Officer) and Dr. Albert Roman (Vice Chancellor for Human Resources) to identify specific budget- and human resource-related issues that need consultation; and
  • Title IX work group, chaired by Dr. Melinda Nish (Interim Deputy Chancellor),  to examine the potential changes contemplated by the new federal regulations surrounding Title IX and how they will factor into our back-to-work efforts. 
It is expected that other work groups will be formed as more information becomes available from City, County, and State health officials.  

Additionally, the Chancellor and several presidents (including myself) are meeting with the District's Athletic Directors this coming Friday to move toward a decision about fall sports.  Sports in question at WLAC are football, men's/women's cross-country, women's soccer, women's volleyball, and men's/women's basketball.

All of this work is occurring concurrently with the Emergency Operations Center--if you'll recall, the District-wide group formulated to address all the coronavirus issues--drafting its recovery plan.  Local campuses expect to see a draft of that plan this week, which will be reviewed by our local ICC (Incident Command Center, chaired by VP Barajas) and then shared with the campus community for input.

Return-to-work is a quickly-moving process.  I'll make every effort to keep you updated through my blog posts.