Victor Valley College

March 21, 2014 10:31 PM
Brooke Self, Staff Writer

VICTORVILLE • The fight over Victor Valley College’s accreditation in recent months has been closely linked to its finances, forcing college officials to confront a structural budget deficit that is projected to balloon to $6.3 million this year.

VVC’s Chief Financial Officer GH Javaheripour reported in September that the deficit for 2013-14 was projected to be $3.8 million. However, the college’s latest follow-up report to the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges reveals a deficit that reaches $5.6 million in 2013 and is expected to increase by $700,000 due to rising health insurance costs and step and column salary increases.

“The $3.8 million I had primarily mentioned at the budget workshop was impacted in 2012-13 by some revenue reduction of about $1.7 million,” Javaheripour said Friday. “When we closed our books (in October) it ended up being $5.6 million for last year.”

Javaheripour said that amount carried over to create the deficit for 2013-14. Academic salaries increased by $707,000 more than what was originally projected in 2012-13, classified salaries rose by $380,00 and benefits jumped by $618,000.

“So you add all of these up and you come up to the $5.6 million deficit as of June 2012-13 for the last fiscal year,” Javaheripour said. “For this year, we haven’t closed the year.”

On March 11, the Board of Trustees proposed three policies to rein in its spending and block school officials from taking from a $29 million reserve that has helped them to balance the budget in recent years. The Guaranteed Investment Contract could sustain the college for several years by wading off its structural deficit, according to the Feb. 7 report from the ACCJC. However, accreditation officials have recommended and required that VVC’s budget not be balanced with the one-time funding.

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