PCC chancellor details restructuring college "in midst of difficult times"

TUCSON, Ariz. - A major announcement coming this week about the future of Pima Community College. Chancellor Lee Lambert will be discussing decisions that will impact nearly every employee. 
 
Lambert sent an email to all PCC employees last week asking them to attend a 3 p.m. meeting on Friday, April 13, at the West campus.
 
He states the meeting is about "staffing, budget, and plans for the next important new chapters in P-C-C's history". He told staff "we are (in) the midst of difficult times that will affect nearly every employee in different ways. At the same time, we are being presented with many opportunities to improve student success and enhance our region's economic development and cultural vitality."

Lambert continues, "we will discuss why restructuring now positions Pima for those opportunities - and how that restructure is being approached."

Even though staff will be attending the meeting, Lambert states Friday afternoon classes will continue as scheduled, but most offices at PCC will close at 2 p.m.

We sat down with the chancellor to discuss the details.

"The world is evolving -- Pima must evolve as well. And that means you're always going to go through the cycles of changes which aren't comfortable while you're going through them," said Chancellor Lee Lambert.

Those difficult decisions in a 3-year-plan will be unveiled in detail to staff this week. He'll discuss how he's restructuring -- retooling -- P-C-C to reduce the operating expenses 15-million dollars. "Because of the board's and my commitment to keep the tuition low for the kind of community we are in service to.  We can't make up on the gap difference through tuition," he said.

Instead, he's reducing the number of primary campuses from 6 to 5. He's looking to lease Community Campus on Bonita. "And if there's someone who wants to buy it we would consider that option," he said.

The district office on Broadway will also be leased out. Nearly all summer classes will only be offered at the West Campus and various courses on all campuses could be cut.

Lambert: "I may have to take a whole program offline because we may not have enough students."
Cavazos: "Does that mean the teacher would not have a job?"
Lambert: "Well, then we would look at what are the possible options. A possible option is to retrain them if that's possible if we can't do that we may have to consider a layoff."
Cavazos: "How many layoffs are you considering right now?"
Lambert: "We're looking at in the first year -- 10, but we think we will be able to do that through attrition."

Lambert says some non-teaching staff will be reduced from 12 to 11 or 10 month contracts. "Instead of staffing 12 months where you don't always need that staff for certain periods of time -- you staff for your peak," he said.

The restructuring, he said, is necessary to maintain the college's momentum of serving the communities needs. "We've worked hard to minimize the impact to employees as well as our students.

The entire staff will learn about the whole plan -- on Friday.

 

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