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Palomar College president placed on leave pending investigation

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Posted at 12:32 PM, Dec 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-18 18:29:51-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Palomar College has placed its president on leave pending an investigation.

The college district announced Wednesday that Superintendent and President Joi Lin Blake was placed on paid leave following a report warning of the college district's fiscal instability.

“It is my request that we all respect the privacy of all parties at this time. Doing so will allow us to focus on the important work of the District. Together, we will remain focused on student success, our response to the FCMAT report and building toward a successful spring semester," Kahn wrote in a release.

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That Nov. 8 Fiscal Crisis Management Assistance Team (FCMAT) report identified several serious concerns regarding the district's fiscal health. The report cites that the college district's adopted 2019-20 budget will have a $11,748,859 deficit. According to the district in the report, the 2018-19 budget had a $1,220,001 deficit.

The report stated that the district's salary and benefits costs "continue to increase year after year at a rate greater than revenue growth."

The college district "has a high probability of fiscal insolvency in the near future" at its current pace, the report warned. The report adds that in two years the district "will have consumed all reserves and will be forced to borrow $6.5 million from an external source to remain solvent."

The district said placing Blake on leave was not as a disciplinary action but "as a precautionary measure to protect all parties."

In a corrected statement, the Palomar Community College District Board of Trustees said Assistant Superintendent and Palomar Vice President Jack Kahnh has assumed administrative responsibility of the district. An acting Superintendent/President was not named.