Chancellor Judy C. Miner sent the following message via email to Foothill-De Anza district employees.
May 12, 2020
I'm writing to update you on three important issues that affect how we serve our students.
Discussion at the colleges has resulted in a decision to offer two forms of instructional delivery districtwide in Fall 2020:
- Classes that are 100% online
- Classes that are hybrid with face-to-face instruction that can move to online should public health matters dictate a return to shelter-in-place.
No courses will be scheduled as 100% face-to-face.
Face-to-face services at the colleges and the district office are still under consideration as we develop plans for returning to campus in a way that will protect public safety. We are awaiting more detailed guidance regarding requirements for:
- Physical distancing
- Personal protective equipment (PPE)
- Health checks
- Contact tracing
We anticipate limited demand for face-to-face services, which also would be relatively expensive to provide safely given the aforementioned requirements. Therefore, we will continue to collaborate with union representatives to determine how we can best support remote work. Your safety and the needs of your families are important parts of our return-to-campus planning.
I want to thank Susan Cheu, Raquel Puentes, and Sirisha Pingali for an outstanding budget presentation prepared for Administrators/Supervisors and Chancellor’s Advisory Council on May 8. Susan updated the slides late into the evening of May 7 as we received news from the Department of Finance that the state’s fiscal picture is even more grim than projected at the end of April. The slide show is available at https://www.fhda.edu/_about-us/_participatorygovernance/_05.08.2020_State_and_FHDA_Budget_Outlook-V2.pdf
There is no doubt that we will have to make budget reductions. The extent and timing have yet to be determined, but we will rely on an accelerated governance process that uses your existing procedures and structures.
The May budget revision will be announced on May 14 and the Community College League of California (CCLC) will hold a budget advocacy webinar on Tuesday, May 19 at 11:00 a.m. If you’d like to know more about our system’s efforts in response to massive cuts, you may register using that link. The state expects to have a fuller picture of its revenue decline by August and another budget revision is likely at that time.
LAWSUIT AGAINST EDUCATION SECRETARY BETSY DEVOS
Our district has joined the state Chancellor's Office and four other California community college districts as named plaintiffs in a lawsuit filed yesterday against Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. The legal action challenges the restrictions imposed by the U.S. Department of Education that exclude many of our students, for arbitrary reasons, from direct federal emergency aid under the CARES Act.
The district joined the lawsuit because we want to support the most vulnerable of our students, many of whom are currently deemed ineligible for CARES emergency assistance as a result of Secretary DeVos' interpretation of the legislation.
As an open access institution, we are the social safety net for veterans, the newly unemployed as a result of COVID-19, and those who were unable to finish high school, to name just a few of the populations we serve. Lacking a high school diploma or a completed Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) should not stand in the way of our students pursuing their educational goals and ultimately contributing back to our communities.
The district is doing everything it can using Foothill-De Anza Foundation funds to support all students who are facing financial emergencies as a result of the coronavirus. We hope in the near future to be able to draw on the federal CARES Act relief funds allocated by Congress to provide direct aid to students who are struggling to continue their education.
Even though we face unprecedented challenges, what is not unprecedented is Foothill-De Anza’s ability to navigate through crises and still offer excellent programs and services guided by an equity agenda. The next several years are likely to see increased enrollments served by fewer resources. I believe we “got this” because I believe in you.
With appreciation and admiration for all you do,