A Study Team Identified Serious Concerns
San Marcos, CA (Nov. 12, 2019) – The Palomar Community College District (PCCD) is actively reviewing the findings of a self-subscribed fiscal review by the Fiscal Crisis Management Assistance Team (FCMAT). The District requested the 18 factor review by FCMAT in early August and the highly qualified assistance team initiated their assessment in late September. The genesis of the request was a result of an Institutional Effectiveness Partnership Initiative (IEPI), initiated by Superintendent/President Joi Lin Blake, Ed.D., and monitored by an assigned technical assistance team designated by the California Community College Chancellor’s Office (CCCO). A resulting objective of the IEPI was a need to further examine the District’s fiscal and operational policies and procedures.
Superintendent/President Blake submitted the request for review to FCMAT and in doing so was commended by the California Community College Chancellor’s Office for her proactive approach in addressing the long-term fiscal health of the District. In the letter, Assistant Vice Chancellor of College Finance and Facilities Planning, Frances Parmelee, CPA, stated, “We commend Palomar College for its participation in the IEPI process and for proactively reaching out to FCMAT to complete a FHRA (Fiscal Health Review Analysis) and follow-up report. The FHRA is a valuable tool that can highlight specific areas where fiscal operations can be improved.”
The PCCD Fiscal Health Risk Analysis report from FCMAT indicates the current financial condition of the District is the result of a long history of inadequate practices that have led to antiquated business practices, and to systemic structures and processes that are outdated, unsustainable and an impediment to long-term institutional effectiveness. The report goes on to state, the District will need careful planning to balance its limited growth funding and increased operational expenses. The report came with the following recommendations:
- Immediately begin bargaining with all constituent groups and reviewing all aspects of contracts.
- Establish a comprehensive internal auditing capacity that meets the industry standard for fiscally independent districts.
- Review the management structure in all academic and nonacademic areas.
- Update and follow a comprehensive districtwide planning process that drives budget development.
- Establish and follow a college-wide comprehensive enrollment management plan that uses demographics, enrollment trends, program review and facility capacities as well as other relevant information.
- Conduct a data integrity study to validate all data used for decision making and to ensure it is accurate and understood consistently by all users.
- Integrate position control and enrollment management with the financial reporting systems in accordance with standard and best practice.
- Establish and follow a comprehensive training program to include:
- Board of trustees – training in understanding the budget and in governance responsibilities to better understand the district’s specific financial benchmarks.
- Data integrity – training in understanding reporting tools and their purposes.
- Department-specific – training in Education Code, Title 5, and labor law provisions.
Superintendent/President Blake stated, “We invited FCMAT to review our fiscal and business management strategies due to historical financial decisions that have placed the District at risk. Our commitment is to the success of our students and ensuring the public trust of residents within this region. We will work diligently to address the recommendations provided to us.”
Julie Lanthier Bandy, Acting Director, Public Affairs, 760-744-1150, ext. 2365
Tom Pfingsten, Communications, 760-744-1150, ext. 2960