Board Report: November 12, 2020

November 13, 2020 | San Diego Community College District

Special Report to the Public:

Dr. Maria Nieto Senour

Trustee Maria Nieto Senour began the reports with statements pertaining to recent elections. She congratulated Trustees Bernie Rhinerson and Mary Graham on their re-election to the Board, indicating that this would continue the tradition of excellence and stability. She congratulated Trustee Sean Elo-Rivera on his election to the San Diego City Council, noting that this will also be a loss for the Board. Trustee Senour also commented that, even though ballots are still being counted in a few states, she is greatly encouraged by President-elect Joe Biden’s and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris’ groundbreaking win, and that she is looking forward to having First Lady Dr. Jill Biden, a community college professor, in a place of influence, along with the appointment of a new Secretary of Education.

Sean Elo-Rivera, J.D.

Trustee Sean Elo-Rivera indicated that this would be his last report and that he has mixed emotions as he leaves the Board to join the San Diego City Council. He said that he believes that education is impacted by what happens outside the classroom and that his service on the City Council would afford him the opportunity to help set public policy in important areas benefiting education. Trustee Elo-Rivera expressed his appreciation for his experience on the Board, especially working with his fellow Board members and Chancellor Carroll.

Mary Graham

Trustee Mary Graham expressed appreciation to the voters for her re-election to the Board. She said that she is also sad to see Trustee Sean Elo-Rivera leave the Board, but that she is eager to see what he will accomplish for youth and others while serving on the San Diego City Council. She thanked Mesa College Academic Senate President Manuel Velez for his comment regarding academic freedom in relation to proposed mandated curriculum for ethnic studies, and said that she would support a resolution for an ethnic studies graduation requirement if one were brought to the Board. She noted that given the serious division in the nation, everyone, especially educators, would need to be patient and work hard to help the country unite.

Craig Milgrim

Trustee Craig Milgrim reported that the get-out-the-vote movement was evident on both sides during the recent election, and that this was just the first step in an effort to reverse the problems of the past four years. He asked for all to make a commitment to continue to vote and exercise their franchise. Trustee Milgrim congratulated Trustees Mary Graham and Bernie Rhinerson on their re-election, and said that he has appreciated the advice and friendship they have provided. He said that he is proud of Trustee Sean Elo-Rivera for his grassroots campaign, and shared his appreciation for everything he’s done while serving on the Board. Concerning discussions of equity and inclusion efforts, Trustee Milgrim shared that racial and ethnic-based outreach efforts frequently do not include LGBTQ students and that it is important that LGBTQ students be included.

Bernie Rhinerson

Trustee Bernie Rhinerson thanked voters for re-electing him and Trustee Mary Graham to the Board, and that given current challenges, stable leadership is more important than ever. He said that he will miss Trustee Sean Elo-Rivera, but remarked that there now will be a supporter of community colleges on the San Diego City Council. He remarked that there is a lot of important work to be done and that he looks forward to what lies ahead.

Dr. Constance Carroll

Chancellor Constance Carroll reported that there will be many positive changes as the result of the presidential election outcome. The incoming President-elect and Administration promise to strengthen funding for education in the wake of COVID-19, to institute policies and financial support benefiting students, and to continue to support DACA and other vulnerable categories of students. There is currently great interest nationally in who will be chosen for the post of Secretary of Education. The Chancellor also reported that she, Trustee Bernie Rhinerson, Mesa College President Pam Luster, and Communications Director Jack Beresford have just completed their meetings with legislators from San Diego regarding forthcoming legislation. Dr. Carroll indicated that the College Police Review Task Force has been meeting and is well on the way to shaping future recommendations regarding policy and practices. Miramar College President Wes Lundburg chairs the task force and Continuing Education Professor John Bromma serves as co-chair. Also, efforts are underway to strengthen the representation of noncredit students in the activities and reports of the student trustees.

Taylor Carpenter

Student Trustee Taylor Carpenter thanked the Board for listening to the community in its open door sessions prior to the public Board meeting. She reported that City College is finding creative alternatives for students online and mentioned that students will continue to struggle through the pandemic, especially with the County’s recent move back to the COVID-19 purple tier and the tightening of restrictions that is required by this category. Student Trustee Carpenter reported that Miramar College is finalizing Associated Student Government (ASG) scholarships this week and recently hosted a live town hall on Zoom to address questions about online learning, and in the future plan to unify the student body through more virtual events. She reported that at Mesa College senators are working on projects for racial justice, Pathways, and the Mesa 2030 Plan, and that she is hopeful and appreciative of the support systems in place at the college. Additionally, Student Trustee Carpenter said that the student trustees are making an effort to be more inclusive of noncredit student voices and she provided an update that students celebrated Veterans Day by participating in the virtual Continuing Education event on November 10 and that students will participate in the “Tell Your Story Before They Do” President’s Town Hall virtual event on November 18.


At its regular meeting of November 12, 2020, which was conducted in a virtual format, the Board of Trustees:

- Announced from Closed Session the approval of the Tentative Agreement with the American Federation of Teachers, Local 1931, Classified Bargaining Unit for the period December 1, 2020, through June 30, 2023.

- Held a campus meeting in virtual format with San Diego Mesa College that included a welcome and overview from President Pamela T. Luster, Academic Senate President Manuel J. Vélez, Classified Senate President Charlie Lieu, and Associated Students President Taylor Carpenter; a presentation on Addressing Racial Inequality: Our Focus on Anti-Blackness from President Pamela T. Luster, Equity Librarian Edeama Onwuchekwa, Librarian and Department Chair Alison Steinberg Gurganus, Vice President of Student Services Ashanti Hands, Counselor Michael Temple, Counseling Department Chair Leroy Johnson, and Classified Employees Trina Larson, Eva Parrill, Cloris Johnson, Anda McComb, Mona King, Carla Grossini-Concha, and LaKeita Platts; a presentation on Visioning 10 More Years of Equity and Excellence from Vice President of Administrative Services Lorenze Legaspi, Acting Dean of Institutional Effectiveness Bridget Herrin, and Gensler employees Eva Conrad and Deborah Shepley; a presentation on Completion from Strong Workforce Faculty Lead Tasha Frankie, Vice President of Instruction Isabel O’Connor, Instructional Designer Katie Palacios, and Fine Art Faculty and DE Activities Director Cara Smulevitz; a presentation on Pathways and Partnerships from Associate Professor of English and DEBER Activity Director Jorge Villalobos, student Karina Vidrio, Dean of Exercise Science, Health Education, Dance, and Athletics Ryan Shumaker, and Dean of Student Development Ailene Crakes; a presentation on Community from Music Department Chair and FPAC Secretary N. Scott Robinson, Dance Faculty and FPAC Chair Blythe Barton, Art Gallery Director Alessandra Moctezuma, and Communication Studies Faculty Veronica Gerace; and a presentation on Stewardship from Events and Operations Administrator Jacqueline Collins, Culinary Arts/Culinary Management Faculty Tonya Whitfield, Director of Resource Development Krista Stellmacher, Vice President of the San Diego Mesa College Foundation Liz Armstrong, and Vice President of Student Services Ashanti Hands, and closing remarks from President Pamela T. Luster.

- Heard public comments from Dwayne Hill who congratulated re-elected Board of Trustees members Mary Graham and Bernie Rhinerson, and for Trustee Sean Elo-Rivera’s election to the San Diego City Council, representing District 9. Mesa College Academic Senate (AS) President Manuel Velez reported that at the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges’ (ASCCC) Fall Plenary, two resolutions pertaining to the Ethnic Studies requirement for California Community Colleges were passed, both of which were authored by Mesa College faculty and administrators. He said that this is a significant accomplishment for the college’s Chicano Studies and Black Studies departments. Velez also thanked Trustee Mary Graham for her comments during the October 8 Board Meeting where she said that she questioned whether a resolution on an Ethnic Studies requirement falls under academic freedom and what the appropriate role of the Board should be in addressing it. Professor Velez said that he believes these issues are issues of curriculum, not academic freedom, and that the Board could appropriately address a resolution. Miramar College AS President Laura Murphy shared that Miramar College was also represented at the ASCCC Fall Plenary and that the college is responding to the statewide Call To Action by creating an Equity Coordinator position, developing an Equity Statement, and participating in the California Community Colleges Equity Leadership Alliance, which is a project of the University of Southern California (USC).

- Approved an extension of Trustee Bernie Rhinerson’s period of permissible absence from the state of California, in compliance with BP 2750 and California Government Code Section 1064, for an additional period of 30 days (for a total of 90 days).

- Following comments by Chancellor Constance Carroll and a presentation by Legal Services and EEO Director Ljubisa Kostic, determined a method for filling the anticipated vacancy of Area E on the Governing Board, caused by the departure of Trustee Sean Elo-Rivera. The Board determined that it would pursue the Appointment Option rather than a Special Election upon the position becoming vacant and directed staff to develop the process components and a timeline. Trustees Craig Milgrim and Mary Graham volunteered to serve on a subcommittee to work with the Chancellor and staff in shaping the process. It was emphasized that communication with the community would be an important component of the process that all aspects of the process would be discussed and conducted at public Board meetings.

- Heard a report about SDCCD Renewable Energy with comments from Vice Chancellor of Facilities Management Chris Manis.

- Considered and approved the new Chapter 4 — Academic Affairs Board Policy (First Reading): BP 5235 Credit for Prior Learning, in response to legal and/or regulatory requirements with comments by Vice Chancellor of Educational Services Susan Topham, and the new Chapter 6 — Business and Fiscal Affairs Board Policy (First Reading): BP 6980 Sustainability with comments by Vice Chancellor of Facilities Management Chris Manis, both with approval to proceed to the next step of review and approval.

- Accepted a one-year extension to the District Strategic Plan 2017-22; and revisions to the 2020 Family Handbook for Child Development Centers at City, Mesa, and Miramar colleges.

- Accepted grants from the U.S. Department of Education for the Upward Bound program and for the Developing Hispanic-Serving Institutions Program – Title III STEM at Mesa College; from the Foundation for Grossmont and Cuyamaca Colleges for Strong Workforce – Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) Software Development Curriculum Alignment at Mesa College and Miramar colleges; from Cal Coast Cares Foundation Educator Grant for a Women of STEM speaker series at Miramar College; from Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District Auxiliary Organization for Strong Workforce Program (SWP) Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) Software Development Curriculum Alignment at Miramar College; from Foothill-De Anza Community College District for the Improving Online CTE Pathways Grant Program at Continuing Education; and from the California Department of Education for the California State Preschool Program at City, Mesa, and Miramar colleges.

- Entered into agreement in accordance with the City of San Diego to move forward with the disposition of two Future Development site properties at North Park Gateway (Woolworth Building) and Tailgate Park.

- Authorized agreements with health care agencies for use of clinical facilities by students enrolled in District health occupations programs; and with Roesling Nakamura and Terada Architects, Inc. to provide facilities master planning services for City College in connection with Proposition N; and awarded a contract to Western Rim Constructors, Inc., for the Mesa Quad Project at Mesa College.

- Approved new or revised courses and programs following comments by Vice Chancellor of Educational Services Susan Topham.

- Approved various personnel actions including the certification of short-term personnel service effective on or after November 13, 2020; the 2021-22 and 2022-23 College and Continuing Education Academic Calendars; the appointment City College student Destiny Gallegos-Munoz to the Propositions S and N Citizens’ Oversight Committee to serve a one-year term as the student representative from July 1, 2020, to June 30, 2021; the District’s Report of Participation in the San Diego County Investment Pool for the period ending September 30, 2020; and purchase orders prepared during the month of September. 

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