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Seattle Colleges re-releases insolvency video

This is a developing story and there is still information that needs to be gathered. The Seattle Collegian will work diligently to make the voices of students, faculty, and staff heard as they are the ones who are going to be heavily affected by this change. We will post updates regarding this issue as soon as possible.

A video recording of a Jan. 12 online public forum with Seattle Colleges Chancellor Shouan Pan, Ph.D., and Vice Chancellor of Finance and Operations Terrence Hsiao that was shared by the Chancellor’s Office is no longer available on the original link provided to the community.  

In January, The Seattle Collegian reported on the public forum in which Hsiao said Seattle Central College will be insolvent by April 2023 if current enrollment and spending trends continue.

Missing video
Seattle Central Chancellor's Office Missing video

When The Collegian reached out to the Chancellor’s Office to ask what became of the video, Executive Assistant to the Chancellor Lilia Fomai responded in an email saying, “We recently realized that the Zoom license the district use only save recordings for 7 days.” 

Zoom’s Terms of Service does not mention an inability to save videos for longer than 7 days. “The host can choose to record Zoom Meetings and Zoom Video Webinars,” the terms specify. This was confirmed by a Zoom associate who said, “There is no 7-day license that Zoom currently offers.” 

When asked for further clarification regarding the 7-day license, Associate Vice Chancellor of Communications and Strategic Initiatives Earnest Phillips II replied, “The response you received from Lilia Fomai was incorrect. The 7-day deletion of Zoom videos is management policy that we are currently revisiting. It is unrelated to the Zoom license.” In a following email, Phillips said, “The policy is for all Zoom videos. Not this particular video…The video has been retrieved and will be made available.”

When the Collegian asked for student reactions to the status of the video, online studies student Amelia said, ”it seems fishy, I can smell it.” A business student expressed how “this can make things more complicated.”

The one hour and 39-minute video featured a 20-minute segment in which Hsiao developed an analogy comparing Central and her sister colleges, North and South, to an airline company: “The destination of an airline you can think of as our academic programs, [and] … how many flights we offer a day to a destination is the class schedule.”

Hsiao wrapped up his analogy with the load factor, which refers to the number of occupied seats on any given flight. “The load factor,” he said, “that’s really the equivalent of class size.”

21-22 Budget and preferred policy scenario
Seattle Central Chancellor's 21-22 Budget and preferred policy scenario

According to the presentation, reductions in enrollment and class sizes at Central have left the college with a $15,524,721 budget shortall for the 2021-22 fiscal year, which would necessitate cuts in instruction and administration. 

Hsiao included a quote from management consultant W. Edwards Deming, who wrote, “Survival is not mandatory.” 

As of Feb.18 the video has been now restored and can be accessed through this link provided by Fomia via  e-mail:


Juan Miguel Jocom

Juan Miguel Jocom, or Juanita Banana as his friends call him, is an Editorial Board member at the Seattle Collegian, where he focuses on writing about the experience of immigrant students at Seattle Central College. A documentarian, he hopes to create videos that will showcase the chaos and glory of humans.

As a Seattle local, he’s an aspiring granola boy, who enjoys rock climbing and jumping off cliffs. His recent documentary, Welcome to the Neighborhood, was an official selected entry for the 2021 SCOOP film fest.

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