At Gavilan College’s Budget and Auditing Committee meeting on Jan. 4, three members of the state Financial Crisis Management Assistance Team (FCMAT) who will be working with the district discussed moving forward to ensure the community college can become more financially solvent. Michelle Giacomini, Marcus Wirowek and George Walters with FCMAT came to assist following a drop in Gavilan’s financial reserves, which the school has attributed to low student enrollment.
Giacomini explained the purpose of the team’s involvement and plan of action: to provide management assistance and “another set of eyes,” and to “provide an outside opinion to see if you can do things even better.” FCMAT will offer fiscal health risk analysis, alignment of vision for success and enrollment, and strategic program review.
The team’s final report—a blueprint for improving specific operations within the community college district—will be provided with recommendations for improving Gavilan College’s financial practices. Giacomini said she expects the report will be released by April.
FCMAT requested around 100 documents to review on Dec. 17, and following that review the team will request interviews with staff. While Giacomini said ahead of the review that she could not say who the team would interview, she expected to talk to Gavilan College Chief Financial Officer Mike Renzi.
Trustee Irma González expressed her interest in being interviewed. “We have been out of alignment with our board policy,” she said, referring to school policy that reserves should not drop below 5%.
Kathleen Rose, district president and superintendent, told BenitoLink she worked with the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office to get the crisis team to come to the district and help develop the 2021-22 budget. Rose emphasised that it’s about providing the best support for students and the community the district serves.
“It is really a health check-up in many ways,” she said.
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