STANDARD SEVEN: FINANCIAL RESOURCES
Financial resources are sufficient to achieve, maintain, and enhance the goals and objectives of the college. The level of financial resources provides a reasonable expectation of financial viability and improvement. Financial management exhibits sound budgeting and accounting. Financial planning is based on institutional planning involving the governing board and broad staff participation.
Standard 7A: Financial Stability
7A.1: Current and anticipated income is adequate to maintain high quality programs.
DESCRIPTIO The current level of funding is derived from the district and is adequate to maintain the quality of current educational programs at Los Angeles Mission College, although quantitatively, some programs have been reduced. Moreover, because the current level of funding does not allow for program expansion, the college strives to augment its base income with external sources to expand programs and services.
EVALUATION: The college has a reasonable expectation of financial viability and improvement. Although, each year for the past five years the district allocation to the college has been lower than the colleges anticipated need, to date the college has successfully met this deficit through a variety of means such as off-loading pertinent expenditures to other programs and supplemental funding generated by Amnesty (SLIAG), Greater Avenues for Independence (GAIN), and other nondistrict sources.
The college recognizes the impact on the district of the states declining level of economic support and does not expect the district to be able to support the college at the desired level. The college is not satisfied with just maintaining its high quality programs. Our goal is continuous and neverending improvement. But, the buildings and programs we plan for the future will further stretch our resources.
To meet our goals, we have been pursuing all possible alternatives for funding. The college president and a faculty member have been working closely with the state legislature to minimize the financial impact on the college. For example, our individual and collaborative efforts may be able to create an extension of SLIAG funding for four more years.
The president has been successful in working with and obtaining donations from service clubs such as the Rotarians and the International Rotarians. An existing, but weak, college Foundation is being strengthened through Title III.
PLAN: The college will continue these efforts to enhance the revenue stream by increasing dedicated revenue, continuing the work of the Foundation, working with the City of San Fernando Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA), and expanding revenues through contract education.
Specific projects we will continue to work on include:
7A.2 Plans exist for the payment of long-term liabilities.
DESCRIPTION: The district office administers, monitors, and handles the payment of long-term liabilities. Most of the long-term liabilities are certificates of participation for capital construction. The state sells revenue bonds then takes the payments for the bonds out of the districts allocation. The college accepts the responsibility for maintaining the campus physical resources in reasonable operating condition and according to health and safety standards.
The only long-term liabilities at the campus level are long-term leases. The Office of Administrative Services handles funding and approval for payment of the lease obligations. The vice-president of administrative services maintains detailed files on each lease agreement.
The district office is developing a Risk Management and Legal Services program to further reduce long-term liabilities.
EVALUATION: The current system of administration of long-term capital construction liabilities at the district level and the lease obligations at the college level are working well. The staff members in Budget and Accounting at the district office administer and closely monitor long-term liabilities. At the campus level, Administrative Services staff sets up the annual budget for payment of lease obligations and verifies the accuracy of invoices prior to the approval for payment.
The net effect of the districts Risk Management and Legal Services program will be to reduce the long term liability by averting the possibility of liability suits.
PLAN: The college will formally review the various components of Administration Services to analyze, process, and make recommendations. The review is expected to take place over a five-year time period.
At the district level, the general counsel plans to increase staff to provide training programs for campus personnel in risk management. The district will also continue to handle the payment of long-term obligations.
7A.3 Cash flow provision and/or reserves are sufficient to provide fiscal stability and to meet the needs of the institution.
DESCRIPTION: The district's main office, through the vice-chancellor of business services, does the actual cash flow analysis for the nine colleges and the district as a whole. Los Angeles Mission College receives its annual budget allocation and uses this funding amount to organize, plan, and direct its operational budgeting process. Thus, the college uses this funding amount as its annual cash flow provision. Similarly, funding reserves are planned at the district office level. The fiscal stability needs of the college's institutional requirements are addressed in the following paragraph.
The annual general fund budget allocation by the college has been lower than the actual need for the last five fiscal years. The college has met this deficit in allocation by off-loading pertinent expenditures to other programs such as SLIAG and GAIN and other programs. As these special programs are being phased out, other special programs are being implemented.
EVALUATION: The college was underfunded before it obtained its permanent site in June 1991. The move to the permanent site generated additional fixed operationing costs such as maintenance of plant and utility expenses. Due to the state's economic condition, these increased fixed costs have severely impacted the college.
In spite of these limitations, the college has ensured that the cash flow needs are met by the following measures.
A hiring moratorium on noninstructional staff has been initiated. The Budget Advisory Subcommittee must recommend any new hiring of these noninstructional staff. Wherever possible, the hiring of staff is being paid from specially funded program moneys. Department supervisors have been asked to closely monitor their expenditures in supply, printing, and postage accounts. Utility savings are being realized through the closure of buildings during idle times. Room arrangements are standardized as opposed to on-demand set-ups, lowering labor costs. The second floor of the Conference Center building is being used for classroom instruction to reduce the cost of renting space off campus.
PLAN: The college will institute a review system for all units of the college. The review will include cost effectiveness, efficiency, and identification of conservation measures to reduce expenses in Academic Affairs, Instructional Services, Student Services, and Administrative Services.
Standard 7B Financial Planning
7B.1 Financial planning is based upon the educational master plan and provides for staff participation and budget approval by the governing board.
DESCRIPTION: For too long now, financial planning has been survival planning with only the most general consideration of the educational master plan. The master plan contains numerous goals, strategies, and objectives that typically require additional investment of some sort.
The district provides the general Operational Plan Instructions with the annual budget allocation. The college participates in its shared governance process by way of the committees such as the Budget Subcommittee and the Mission Planning and Advisory Council (MPAC).
The final operations plan is reviewed by the Budget Subcommittee before approval by MPAC and the college president. When the need arises, special all-college meetings are held to inform all staff members of the budgetary issues facing the college in the current operational planning period. The approved operations plan is then submitted to the district for technical review and approval by the board of trustees.
The college budget process is open and available to all campus personnel.
EVALUATION: Since moving to the new campus, faculty participation in financial planning has greatly improved. For example, a faculty member is now chair of the Budget Advisory Subcommittee.
PLAN: The college will continue practicing shared governance in financial planning, following the district timelines in preparing the college operational plan, and evaluating yearly the effectiveness of our approval process for financial planning.
7B.2 The policies, guidelines, and processes for developing the budget are clearly defined and followed.
DESCRIPTION: The district policies, guidelines, and processes for developing the budget are clearly defined in the Operational Planning Instructions and memorandums from the vice-chancellor of Business Services.
On the local level, the vice-president of administrative services follows the Operational Planning Instructions and memorandums, and provides an analysis of the impact of the allocation and technical, financial information to various clusters, departments, and units in the college as well as to the Budget Advisory Subcommittee.
The various clusters, departments, and units submit budget requests for expenditures that are reviewed by the various chairs and heads who submit the requests for expenditures to the Budget Subcommittee. These requests are then assigned priorities and forwarded to MPAC for final approval. The college president may accept, reject, or make modifications to any of the recommendations submitted to the MPAC committee.
EVALUATION: Although the policies, guidelines, and processes for developing the budget are somewhat lengthy and time consuming, they are clearly defined and followed. It is an open process which allows time for free exchange of information and debate of ideas among the college community.
PLAN: The college will continue to adhere to the district policies, guidelines, and processes for developing the budget.
7B.3 Financial planning takes into account long-range projections regarding programs, services, costs, and resources.
DESCRIPTION: The district Office of Research and Development is responsible for the projections of attendance-driven revenue. The projections are based on enrollment trends and financial information from the state chancellors office.
The college provides projections of the dedicated revenues, such as contract education, and facility rental, to the district for the calculation of actual allocations. The responsibility for projecting its own dedicated revenues is also the colleges.
In general, Mission uses its Master Plan to take into account long-range projections regarding programs, services, costs, and resources through the various committees. The vice-president of administration receives information from these committees regarding changes in programs and services. Our financial projections are based on the combination of these two sources of information, the Master Plan, and information from the committees.
EVALUATION: The current financial planning of the college does take into account long-range projections regarding programs, services, costs, and resources. However, we need to take advantage of the resources available through some of the specially funded programs, such as Title III, to assist in long-range financial planning.
PLAN: The college will request that Title III provide statistics on enrollment trends in various academic programs. We will take these statistics into account in financial planning.
Standard 7C Financial Management
7C.1 The organization for financial administration is clearly defined.
DESCRIPTION: The district sets policies for financial administration of the college, which are written in the Business Procedure Manual, the Personnel Guides, and Board Rules. Periodically the district office sends the college updates to these guides (CD.2).
The Los Angeles Mission College Administrative Procedures Manual describes the internal college procedures which were developed to supplement the districts Policies and Procedures Manual (CD.18). This Manual defines the responsibilities and organization of business services, accounting, budget, contracts, data processing, facilities payroll, purchasing, and administrative services. The college closely adheres to the policies set forth in this document by a system of checks and balances. For example, the initiator cannot be the same person who approves an expenditure of funds.
The chief fiscal officer of the campus is the vice-president of administration who is responsible for accounting, budget, contracts, data processing, facilities, payroll, purchasing, and administrative services. Additionally, the signature of the appropriate administrator for all expenditures in specially funded programs acknowledges adherence to the policies set by the district.
Various college committees review regularly the appropriate internal procedures to ensure that the policies are followed. The principles of shared governance are followed when a newly created or amended procedure goes through the approval process.
EVALUATION: The college follows a clearly defined district-mandated organization for financial administration. The college's supplemental procedures are adequately maintained by the process for review and approval and the lines of designated responsibility are in place.
PLAN: The Office of Administrative Services will continue to update and develop procedures annually, using the established process and will adhere to the organization for financial administration as clearly defined by both district and campus policy.
7C.2 Financial reports are timely and accurate and are routinely distributed and reviewed.
DESCRIPTION: A variety of financial reports from the district is distributed to the college on schedules ranging from weekly to annually. Some reports are distributed via courier, but most reports are automatically printed at the college via the district and college network (WAN/LAN).
The Office of Administrative Services now uses an on-line purchase system for expenditures against the college budget, significantly improving timeliness.
The vice-president of administrative services presents budget reports as needed to the administrative staff and the Budget Subcommittee. The Office of Administrative Services distributes reports to the various departments as needed. Account balances are available to the departments on the campus local area network.
The Budget Subcommittee assists in keeping the general campus faculty and staff informed of the current budget status by presenting a report at the monthly MPAC meeting.
EVALUATION: The financial reports generated by the district have greatly improved during the past five years. The reports are more meaningful and the college can get financial information that is of a greater variety and depth than was previously available.
The accuracy of the reports from the district, particularly in payroll, is still an issue. However, this is not likely to improve because the district uses a batch processing method and current balances are not available until the batch is run. On the other hand, the new network installed at our campus provides increased ability for the campus personnel to reconcile the district balances with our balances. Each individual office uses spreadsheets that list downloaded, district balances to charge against the campus expenditures, giving us more accurate financial information.
PLAN: The college plans to take advantage of technology by using an ad hoc reporting program (FOCUS) on the new district system. We will create customized budget reports and a tracking system for budget balances.
The college and district will offer training classes for faculty, staff, and administrators in FOCUS.
7C.3 The institution has policies and programs on risk management which address loss by fire and theft and liability for personal injury and property damage.
DESCRIPTION: The college maintains an on-site police force on duty twenty-four hours per day, seven days per week. Their regularly scheduled patrols include the campus proper as well as the off-site locations. The campus security system includes two-way speakers with call buttons connected to the police offices. Cameras that continuously scan the parking and peripheral areas of the campus are connected to an electronic monitoring system also located in the police offices
As a backup system, an outside agency continuously monitors the campus security system and the fire alarm system for any breach in security or threat of fire.
The seven full-time officers and six part-time officers of the college police force are further assisted by a force of six cadets who are enrolled in our Administration of Justice program.
The college is named on the district insurance policies which cover bonding employees, liability insurance, and property damage due to fire.
The college is sensitive to hazardous materials. Storage cabinets have been purchased for the chemistry and life science labs. Plant Facilities has several fifty-five gallon metal drums for hazardous material storage. Appropriate signs are in place throughout the campus.
The faculty from the chemistry and life science disciplines conducted a two-day seminar on the proper procedures for hazardous materials as part of the disaster preparedness program. The college's police captain, as safety coordinator for the campus, met with a representative from Industrial Products Co. to establish a program in compliance with Cal-OSHA standards.
A trained disaster preparedness team is in place, comprising the police captain, the building and grounds administrator, the vice-president of administration, and others.
Employees use the Work Environment Committee as a vehicle to bring any safety issues to the attention of the college. This committee works closely with the Administration in resolving environmental and safety issues. Some of the issues that have been successfully resolved are classroom lighting and acoustical treatment.
A districtwide ergonomics program purchased and installed devices for the clerical staff and faculty. These devices include seating, wrist and arm supports, CRT protection, and support belts.
EVALUATION: The campus has effective policies and programs on loss by fire and theft and liability for personal injury and property damage.
The college has not sustained substantial losses from either fire or theft. The monitoring of the campus via police patrol and alarm lines has worked effectively.
Of the necessity for environmental concerns and disaster preparedness both on the campus and in the community, the campus is very much aware. A safety seminar, which had mandatory attendance for campus police and plant facilities personnel, was open to the public and well attended.
The Los Angeles City Fire Department sponsored and trained the campus disaster preparedness team composed of campus employees. Ninety percent of the class completed the program and received certificates of competency. A disaster preparedness container with supplies and equipment is maintained next to the police station.
Our preparedness was validated by our response to the recent earthquake. Within hours, many of our employees were on campus to assess damage, mitigate immediate danger, prevent further water and fire damage to the facilities, and avert theft. As a result of their efforts, the campus was safely reopened in a timely manner.
PLAN: The college police captain, as safety coordinator for the campus, will review, update, and distribute informative materials annually. Regular fire and earthquake drills will be held. The Work Environment Committee will continue to work closely with the administration
7C.4 The institution's financial records and internal control processes are subjected to an annual audit by an independent certified public accountant.
DESCRIPTION: The district controller's office establishes the internal control processes and supports the financial integrity of the campus. It closely monitors the college and ensures that it meets all regulatory and compliance requirements of governmental agencies.
Each year, in August as required by ECU 84840, an independent certified public accountant conducts a complete audit of the financial records and internal control processes of all nine colleges and the district offices. The auditor reviews the regular program budgets, attendance and enrollment records, Associated Students Organization records, Financial Aid records, and Bookstore accounts, which constitute the regular district accounts. The results of this audit are distributed in the audit report (7.1). This audit is in accordance with the auditing standards described by the state Department of Finance.
Specially funded programs such as VATEA, EOP&S, DSP&S, GAIN, JTPA, SLIAG (Amnesty),Title III, and Matriculation are evaluated separately by their funding offices. For example, the Government Accounting Office (GAO) evaluates Title III.
EVALUATION: The annual audit reports show that the college exhibits sound budgeting practices, budget control, and proper records and reporting. The college assists specially funded programs by monitoring their budgets to ensure that expenditures are allowable and that transfers and chargebacks are according to district guidelines. A special program, for example, may state that it will pay for equipment purchases only; therefore, the college will allow no other charges to be transferred against that program. If a transfer or chargeback is allowable, there must be budget in the program and the budget must be located in the correct object.
PLAN: The college will continue to follow generally accepted accounting procedures as required by the California Community Colleges Budget and Accounting manual and to monitor its specially funded programs.
7C.5 Auxiliary organizations or foundations using the name of the institution conform with institutional principles of operation and support institutional goals. Their activities are carefully monitored and their financial records are regularly reviewed by an independent auditor. The institution retains appropriate responsibility and control over such organizations.
DESCRIPTION: The Los Angeles Mission College Foundation is the only institution that uses the name of Los Angeles Mission College. It consists of members of the community who donate their time.
The Foundation conforms with institutional principles of operation and supports institutional goals. The college dean of students and a college instructor are both board members, and the college president frequently attends their meetings. They have a constitution and take minutes at their meetings. Their financial records are regularly reviewed by an outside independent auditor.
EVALUATION: The Foundation exists as a support entity to the college. In the past, the Foundation has lacked direction and experience in fund raising. Over the last two years, with the assistance of Title III, the Foundation has been reconstituted and has set definite goals and activities for the current year.
PLAN: The college will:
7.1 Audit Report