Sunday, March 13, 2005

Close Oxnard College?

The Ventura County Community College District is in financial turmoil. The number of cuts and layoffs are staggering for the three colleges of the VCCCD - Ventura, Oxnard and Moorpark.

The Ventura County Star's Sunday editorial is soft, pablum- like and offers little if any guidance. "Protesting the cuts demonstrates the importance of programs to individuals and the community. For the most part, Ventura County residents, at least, understand." Actually most residents do not understand. They will understand when they or their children attempt to use one of the three colleges and they will understand when they pay their taxes and there are no community college services available for them.

This is shameful.

The Star understates the severity of the problem and does not offer any constructive solutions.

As a former Trustee of the VCCCD and President of the Board I will offer mine bluntly and in a straightforward manner.

It is time to close Oxnard College.

There I said it.

Oxnard College has always been too small (with limited class offerings) and duplicates services that could be handled at Ventura College. There is too much administratve overhead for the students served.

Transportation in Ventura County is better. There are ways students can travel to Ventura from Oxnard and Camarillo in an expeditious manner. There is distance learning and the internet. Students from these communities will benefit from expanded course offerings at Ventura and Moorpark.

Now, with regard to falling enrollment. It is time to consolidate the campuses, reduce administrative staffing and offer full catalogues of classes, including student run newspapers. Cafeterias need to operate at the colleges. Sports programs are essential for mind and body.

So.... close Oxnard College....sell the land and use the money savings to bolster Ventura and Moorpark Colleges.

If the Board of Trustees needs a vote of the people then put it on the next available ballot and make the financial and political arguments.

Get Going!

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