Coast Community College District has some growing to do if it wants to continue to beef up its budget in future years, according to a presentation made to district trustees.
Andy Dunn, vice chancellor of finance and administrative services, kicked off the annual budgeting process during a study session Wednesday with the board of trustees.
In previous years, the district has been forced to cut costs when budgeting in order to stay solvent.
"We are recovering from a very difficult economic period and moving ahead to a period of steady but stable growth," he said.
With better budget years in sight, the district must focus on increasing the number of full-time students at its three colleges — Orange Coast in Costa Mesa, Golden West in Huntington Beach and Coastline, which has campuses in Newport Beach and other areas — in order to qualify for additional funding through Proposition 30.
Proposition 30, which will run through 2016, gives additional funding to California's community college system through temporary tax increases.
At the same time, the district must prepare to hire considerably more full- and part-time faculty, Dunn said.
"The community college system hasn't fully recovered from the workload reduction," he said
Based on current trends, he anticipates the district may have to hire up to 30 faculty in the 2016-17 budget year.
Each of the colleges will then be tasked with increasing institutional costs, such as staff training, student counseling, financial aid and instructional supplies, among other expenditures, to support the growth, Dunn said.
The study session with trustees is one of several that will take place over the next seven months. Over that time, staff will begin to put together the district's budget for 2014-15, and trustees will have final approval in September.
"We have many, many miles to trek down this road," said Trustee Jim Moreno, a candidate for county supervisor.