Community College Chancellor visits Gavilan College

Gilroy – California Community College Chancellor Mark Drummond
visited Gavilan College for the first time Wednesday, as part of a
statewide tour of California’s 109 community colleges.
Gilroy – California Community College Chancellor Mark Drummond visited Gavilan College for the first time Wednesday, as part of a statewide tour of California’s 109 community colleges.

The visit served as an opportunity for faculty members and students to meet Drummond, and raise issues of concern. Kinsella was first to acknowledge that it was unusual for Gavilan to receive such attention from the chancellor.

“Gavilan is one of the smaller community college campuses – our issues are a little bit different,” said Gavilan President Dr. Steven Kinsella. “(Drummond) wants to really make sure his agency has a grasp on the issues.”

Drummond has served as chancellor for the past 16 months, and is familiar with Gilroy area. He was raised in Palo Alto, and remembers when Gavilan was built.

“I drove by wondering, why would anyone build a college in there? It’s the middle of nowhere,” he recalled.

Drummond alerted the audience about the ongoing education conflicts in Sacramento, and where he stood on the battleground.

“I don’t agree with this tinkering of Proposition 98. We’re just the tail on the dog – but it’s still our lifeblood,” he said, referring to the funding community colleges receive.

He made predictions about enrollment fees, and promised to keep costs down: “Unfortunately for our students, the general thought is the cost of California Community Colleges is way to low. The thought is “That’s a helluva bargain.” And that’s said by legislators who should know better,” he scoffed.

Gavilan students have already experienced a two-fold increase in enrollment fees over the past two years. From 1999 to 2003, the cost of attending was stable – costing $11 per credit unit. Then in 2003, the fee hiked to $18 per unit, followed by another bump this year, increasing to $26 per unit.

Drummond promised to push for a leveling out of costs.

“Part of my job is being an advocate for you,” he said.

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