Cuesta College struggles with debt

March 14, 2012

Gil Stork

Cuesta College’s board will decide in three weeks if as many as 50 positions will be eliminated as the institution struggles to close a $3 million budget deficit.

President Gil Stork said Tuesday his plan also envisions shaving of courses in an attempt to save at least $1.4 million during the coming fiscal year.

Stork said at least 75 fewer class sections will be offered each semester, and teachers will be asked to absorb a three percent reduction in pay. Management employees will take a voluntary five percent salary reduction.

Cuts in state funding, debt repayment and automatic salary increases have accounted for the shortfall, said the school official.


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Will someone please explain to me why, with this budget crisis, the Cuesta board has been going full speed ahead with plans to build an entire new campus in the South County? It seemed absurd to me BEFORE the budget shortfall, but apparently the Board has been pushing for it even when the shortfalls and cuts were looming.

Can someone please give me a rational answer for this? Especially considering that from any point in the South County it is only a 25 minute drive to either Cuesta, Hancock College, or both.

My first inclination is to think the Cuesta Board has its priorities wrong. But if there is some logic behind this, I’d like to hear it.

Hey WiseGuy, your errant assumption may be that you’re thinking these colleges are actually “institutions of higher learning”. The truth is that most every decision made by the bean counters at these institutions are done for purely economic reasons; the quality of education provided is never a consideration. Expanding outward into the territories of other campuses is a business decision; it brings in more money to the school.

And watch… you’ll see most, if not all of the cuts made by Cuesta will be firing teachers and reducing the number of classes offered. Across the board pay reductions? These primarily hurt teachers and students. A better approach would be to fire administrators and make meaningful and significant reductions in the salaries of the administrators who are not fired.

How much will President Stork and the board’s pay cut be?? are they management??

Every level of government struggles with debt. That seems to be about the only thing they are good at.

I just want to say, as an graduate student from Cuesta some 30 years ago, that I think the whole educational system has it wrong today. I know several friends of my kids that go to Cuesta because of a variety of programs that let them go on grants, scholarships, etc. These kids take “weight lifting, dancing, swimming” just to get credit. They get grants, books, bus passes, meals, to get them to school – really – and they still fail! I know someone that has been going full time for the pass two years and has failed 4 classes and get go again and work for a better grade and have the failed grades removed – really – on our dime.

I say clean house! Establish academic classes, if a student fails a class they lose their grant or at a mininum THEY must pay to retake the, stop all this pandering to students to get them to your school and offer an education and not a social unemployment alternative.

There are great students going to Cuesta for all the right reasons and our goal should be to support, encourage and provide for their needs. Unfortunately, there are also too many losers looking for a free ride.

I have stopped my annual contributions many years ago because I didn’t like the direction the direction of Community Colleges and I have even more distaste today because of all the free rides and lack of geniune desire to educate or be educated.

I will change my mind when Cuesta can give real stats for the school: Aside from the number of students and gratuates, HOW MANY FAIL A CLASS EACH SEMESTER, HOW MANY ARE RETAKING A CLASS, WHAT IS THE AVERAGE CLASS PER CLASS, these are the true stats of sucess or failure.