LONG BEACH - The Long Beach City College Board of Trustees on Wednesday will consider a final list of 12 programs slated to be cut this fall under a round of budget reductions, officials announced Thursday.
The 12 programs include: auto body technology, aviation maintenance, audio production, interior design, welding, automotive technology, real estate, photography, air conditioning/refrigeration/heating, diesel mechanics, carpentry and diagnostic medical imaging.
The plan has been met with backlash from faculty and students who say the programs, especially the career technical courses, are essential for the local workforce.
In a statement released this week, Long Beach Councilwoman Gerrie Schipske said the aviation maintenance program is an important supplier of jobs in the region's many airports and airfields.
"We have to think seriously about the types of jobs for which we are training our workforce," Schipske said in a statement. "With the Long Beach Airport here, and our important place in the nation's aviation history, it makes sense that we maintain this highly ranked program."
Lynn Shaw, president of the faculty union, said the arts and trade programs are a vital part of the college.
"These programs prepare people for jobs that can't be exported to other countries. We need carpenters, we need mechanics," she said.
College officials said up to 18 full-time faculty could be laid off by the fall semester. The college has about 200 academic programs and more than 300 full-time faculty.
In September, more than 200 students and faculty flooded a board meeting in protest of the planned cuts. Many were from the photography department.
College administrators said the cuts are necessary to help fill a $6.4 million dollar budget hole left from years of state funding reductions. LBCC officials originally planned to cut up to 17 programs but decided to save a few following the passage of Gov. Jerry Brown's November tax measure.
Programs planned for elimination that were saved include: film, sheet metal, human services, medical assisting and radio-television.
Officials said the recommendations were made following input from faculty, union representatives and administrators.
LBCC President Eloy Oakley has said the reductions will allow the college to focus more resources on the core courses needed for transfer and graduation as the college faces growing demand. Last fall, hundreds of students were put on waiting lists for core courses despite efforts to increase class sizes by about 10 percent.
Oakley said the college remains committed to career technical education.
"I am painfully aware of the tremendous impacts these reductions will have on our students, faculty, and staff, but these recommendations are critical for the long-term fiscal health of the college," Oakley said in a statement.
The college would save $2.4 million from the proposed program cuts, but the savings will not be enough to close the budget shortfall. Officials are considering additional cuts including reductions in management, full-time faculty and other staff.
The Board of Trustees will consider the issue at 5 p.m. Wednesday at the Liberal Arts Campus T Building, Room 1100, at 4901 East Carson St.
Faculty and students plan to protest at the meeting.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story had the incorrect number of faculty layoffs that could result from the cuts. LBCC officials said up to 18 full-time positions could be cut.