LBCC Board Votes To Discontinue 11 Programs as It Faces $6.4M Deficit


Despite the passage of Prop 30, Long Beach City College (LBCC)’s administration and board was forced to deal with its remaining $6.4 million deficit—meaning the discontinuance of 11, mostly vocational, programs.

Before Prop 30, 19 programs were facing the cutting room floor. That number eventually dwindled to 12, with 11 programs—making up about 17 percent of the total degrees and certificates conferred by LBCC—voted by the Board this week to be officially discontinued in the Fall.

Discontinued programs include: Air Conditioning/Refridgeration/Heating; Auto Body Technology; Automotive Technology; Aviation Maintenance; Audio Production; Carpentry; Diesel Mechanics; Interior Design; Photography; and Real Estate. Diagnostic Medical Imaging was the one program spared.

The discontinuances are a part of what LBCC President Eloy Ortiz Oakley calls a necessary response to fiscal realities.

“The reality [is] that our revenues are not gonna go back up to where they were three years ago so we have to adjust our operating budget to reflect the reality of our current revenues,” he told the Post last year.

In other words: the college administration has regulations set upon it—despite social or cultural arguments—which set forth criteria that must be met. According to both the administration and now the Board, the 11 programs which are discontinued failed to meet criteria such as the number of degrees or certificate completions required, the cost of program delivery, local labor market demand for program graduates, as well as the availability of similar programs within the region.

However, many—including various faculty members—were not happy at the idea of any program discontinuances.

Professor of Art Ann Mitchell, part of whose work was within the photography, argued for the defense of her program. For her, social and cultural reasons are important because they help hone and create communities with creative and critical minds.

“When you follow the logical extension of diverse schools cutting the arts… Well, you then get very little diversity in advertising, design, publication, gaming—you name it,” Mitchell continued. “And this filters into the kinds of images used in society at large.”

Even professors not facing any program cuts, such as math professor Robert Maxell, felt that the mission of the college itself was in jeopardy by following through with such discontinuances.

“Most of the programs proposed for discontinuance provide skills for blue collar jobs, which comprise the majority of employment opportunities in Long Beach.,” Maxell said. “I have always been proud to be able to suggest my math students might do well to take courses in welding, carpentry or auto mechanics for their professional and personal enrichment… LBCC is supposed to serve our community.”

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