While California’s community colleges have not experienced the same extent of budget cuts as the University of California system, Santa Barbara City College’s finances have nevertheless taken a hit this fiscal year.

According to SBCC Superintendent and President Andreea Serban, the college has been forced to cut staff, student workers and lab supplies. Still, the smaller colleges have fared better than their UC counterparts, she noted.

“When comparing the cuts applied to the UC system and the community college system, we see they are not equivalent,” Serban said.

However, the city college was still forced to reduce its expenditures by over $4 million.

“The UC system received a higher level of reduction than the California Community College system, of which we are a part,” Serban said. “That being said, however, this fiscal year, 2008-2009, we at SBCC have reduced our expenditures by $4.2 million, which is 4.8 percent of our restricted general fund budget.”

Serban said most of the reductions were made to hourly staff, student workers, supplies, printing, travel and professional development. Lab supplies in particular will not be replaced, she said.

“There will be no replacement of equipment this year,” Serban said. “In terms of impact on students, the immediate and direct impact is that the hours of certain student services have been reduced when compared to the past.”

According to Serban, class sections will not be reduced and the community college won’t see any departments or majors removed as a result of the budget crisis.

“We have seen a fairly significant increase in enrollment of students, and we have not cut any course sections and we are not cutting any programs or majors,” she said.

Serban said federal work-study students will not be affected by SBCC’s budget cuts. However, general student workers will be affected in terms of opportunities for jobs and hours this spring, she added.

“It’s important to note that we are committed to serving those students who wish to excel in higher education,” Serban said. “We are careful not to cut funds from the educational experience, such as the class sections and the quality of our professors.”