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President's Blog

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Fiscal Stewardship

We have put a halt to our practice of deficit spending and we developed a balanced budget for the next fiscal year. Unfortunately, the recent state budget crisis has put us and our entire district back into a deficit situation.

What we have accomplished since August 2008:

  • The Budget Planning Committee has made a significant change in its operating procedures. Most notably, a chair has been elected and the committee is now responsible for developing budget forecasts and for making recommendations to College Council. In short, we have taken a proactive rather than reactive approach to solving our budget problem.
  • We have eliminated our ongoing structural deficit, which has varied between $1.0-1.5 million each year over the last 3 years. Unfortunately, the state budget crisis has created a new deficit for us.
  • Our college Load, which is a critical indicator of financial solvency, has increased significantly for the spring 2009 semester.

On the horizon:

  • The Budget Planning Committee will complete its forecast for the 2009/10 academic year, develop strategies to close the budget deficit, and will make recommendations to College Council. Due to the current state budget crisis, it is likely that the Budget Planning Committee and College Council will continue to meet over the summer months to finalize our budget for the next fiscal year.
  • The college will fully implement the managed hiring process that was approved by the Board of Trustees last December.

Educational Master Plan

The Educational Master Plan (EMP) is a critical document that will help to guide the institution for the next several years. The strategic objectives that I referenced above are derived, in part, from the EMP.

What we have accomplished since August 2008:

  • The Educational Master Plan is complete and College Council has approved the plan.
  • College committees are using the data in the EMP to make informed recommendations regarding goals and objectives.

On the horizon:

  • As I mentioned on Opening Day, the time has come for the college to have a serious dialog on our educational direction. We must focus on what we do best. The EMP provides the framework for such a conversation. Given the current economic realities of the state budget, this dialog is now a top priority.


My responsibility as president is to ensure that CSM responds fully to all recommendations by prescribed deadlines, and that we have the capacity and the resources to meet accreditation standards now and in the future.

What we have accomplished since August 2008:

  • The ACCJC has removed CSM from warning and our accreditation is fully reaffirmed.
  • We have developed the necessary infrastructure to ensure that the college will continue to meet accreditation standards.

On the horizon:

  • The college has another set of recommendations that must be met by October 2009. Work has already commenced on these recommendations and they will be completed by the October deadline.
  • The college must establish “measurable time-bound objectives” and demonstrate the incorporation of those objectives in our planning processes. The Institutional Planning Committee is finalizing these objectives and they will become part of our planning processes in the 2009/10 year.
  • The College must continue to make progress on SLOs and assessment in order to meet ACCJC requirements.

Building 10N Topping Out Ceremony

Building 10N

Building 10N

Dear Colleagues,

The structural framing for Building 10N will be completed by June 18.  I have attached a picture of the building construction as today.   This building is going up very fast!  We will hold a topping out ceremony on Thursday, June 18 at 11:30.  The event will be hosted by McCarthy Construction and the entire campus community is invited.  McCarthy will serve light refreshments.   Valerie Anderson will send a reminder email next week with additional details.  You can track the progress of both B10N and B5N via webcam at:

Later this month I will provide a comprehensive update on all of our construction projects to give you a sense of what will be accomplished over the summer months.  I wish you all an enjoyable summer.

Michael Claire

1700 W. Hillsdale Boulevard, San Mateo, CA 94402 · (650) 574-6161