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College Roll Stays Level in Glendale, Falls at L.A. School

September 12, 1985|SAM ENRIQUEZ | Times Staff Writer

Glendale Community College officials breathed a sigh of relief last week when it became clear that enrollment for the fall semester will remain steady at about 10,000 students.

A few miles away, however, Los Angeles City College officials faced another tight funding year as enrollment slipped by 15% from last year. The college draws students from many of the same communities as Glendale College.

Because state funds are based on enrollment, its steady enrollment will allow Glendale College to pay for budgeted new teachers and equipment, officials said.

Although preliminary enrollment figures suggest that Glendale's students are taking fewer classes, creating the potential for a drop in state funding next year, the college this summer hired 11 additional full-time and 22 part-time teachers based on current enrollment.

Funding for New Buildings

Also, Glendale College officials say, they are certain that the Legislature will approve funding next year for a $4.5-million, 36,000-square-foot classroom and faculty office building, to be completed by 1988.

"We're not looking at any cuts in the short to medium term," said Dr. John Grande, the college's administrative dean.

At Los Angeles City College, where enrollment in the last five years has dropped from 23,000 students to an estimated 14,000 this fall, officials are "trying to make due" on a campus that is already understaffed and in need of repairs and new equipment, said Dorothy Hata, the college's vice president.

Staffing for the school's maintenance crew and admissions has been halved over the last several years, Hata said. There is no money to buy new library books this year, and needed upgrading of buildings on the 57-year-old campus has been put on hold. Lawns remain uncut because the school's only lawn mower is broken and money problems have delayed its repair.

Open Faculty Positions

Although one new full-time teacher has been hired for fall, many faculty positions remain unfilled.

Enrollment that is lower than expected in the nine-campus Los Angeles district forced an $8.2-million reduction last week by the Los Angeles Community College Board from what had already been considered an extremely tight 1985-86 budget. This year's $216.3-million total budget for the Los Angeles system was described by board member Lindsay Conner as "cutting into the bone and muscle."

Hata said she did not know where the additional budget cuts can be made at her campus.

"If you are going to run an educational institution, you have to have supplies such as books and audio-visual equipment," Hata said.

Los Angeles district officials say that additional funding must come through increased enrollment. Even if Los Angeles residents attending Glendale College enrolled at nearby Los Angeles community colleges, Hata said, the increase would not be enough to solve Los Angeles' budget crunch.

Districtwide, enrollment at Los Angeles community colleges has declined to an estimated 89,000 students this year, from 139,000 in 1981.

'Have to Be More Creative'

"All of us are going to have to be more creative about telling people about our program," Hata said. "We have increased competition from the UC and California State systems because their enrollment is also down."

In an effort to keep its enrollment steady, Glendale College has aggressively been selling itself for the past two years with its Glendale College Foundation, a nonprofit corporation headed by a school administrator.

The foundation last year raised $161,000 in private donations after regularly showing a 20-minute slide presentation at business luncheons and to local community groups. The photographs of the campus, classrooms and athletic facilities attempt to convey a simple message: that Glendale College is the best two-year school in the area.

Los Angeles students who attend Glendale College and responded to a survey conducted last spring overwhelmingly agreed.

About half of the students attending Glendale College live outside the district boundaries, which coincide with the Glendale city limits. An estimated one-quarter of the student body lives in Los Angeles despite a state law requiring them to enroll at one of the Los Angeles community colleges.

Fighting Over 2,500 Students

The Los Angeles and Glendale college districts now are fighting over about 2,500 students who attend the Glendale school but live in the Los Angeles communities of Eagle Rock, Highland Park and Glassell Park.

Although Los Angeles district officials say they are willing to concede to Glendale the Los Angeles students who are already enrolled there, new students must attend one of the nine Los Angeles campuses, said Dr. Kenneth Washington, vice chancellor of educational services for the Los Angeles district. In the absence of a transfer agreement between the districts, Glendale College is breaking the law by accepting the Los Angeles residents, Washington said.

Representatives from both districts have met twice to negotiate an agreement.

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