Board Report: October 7, 2021

October 8, 2021 | San Diego Community College District

Special Report to the Public:

Geysil Arroyo

Trustee Geysil Arroyo reported that she and the other trustees attended the Trustee Advisory Council meeting on September 30 and heard from local stakeholders in the community, as well as a presentation from Vice Chancellor of Educational Services Susan Topham and Dean of Online & Distributed Learning Brian Weston about the various course formats to be offered post-COVID-19. She also said she attended the October 1 press conference at the Educational Cultural Complex where it was announced that the College of Continuing Education secured $35 million in funding from the State of California to restore the historic ECC Theatre thanks to the efforts of Senate pro Tempore Toni Atkins and other local government officials.

Mary Graham

Trustee Mary Graham said that she was unable to attend the ECC press conference, but recognized that the community has long awaited such a transformation of the theater space. Trustee Graham also recognized that the state’s community college baccalaureate program would not have been possible were it not for the efforts of former SDCCD Board Member and State Senator Marty Block who championed the legislation, and acknowledged Chancellor Emerita Constance Carroll and others for their efforts, as well.

Bernie Rhinerson

Trustee Bernie Rhinerson reported that the ACCT Leadership Congress is being held October 13-16 in San Diego and 1,000 trustees from around the country will attend the event, which will allow for the SDCCD to highlight its colleges and the San Diego area, including a welcome dinner at City College on October 12. He said that during the conference, he and fellow Trustees will give presentations on the District’s response to COVID-19 and entrepreneurial education; in preparation for this, he met with a Miramar College student who launched Cromchies, a healthy wafer cookie business, with the help of the Miramar REC Innovation Lab that is current supporting 42 student companies, some of which will be featured on Shark Tank.

Dr. Maria Nieto Senour

Trustee Maria Nieto Senour reported that the October 1 press conference was well attended by local officials including former Board Member and current Councilmember Sean Elo-Rivera, Councilmember Monica Montgomery Steppe, Assemblymember Chris Ward, and Senators Toni Akins and Ben Hueso, and said she appreciated the story of some found boxes of photos and awards that led Chancellor Cortez to launch the fundraising campaign. She also expressed delight over the passage of AB 927 and said it will provide community colleges the opportunity to offer much-needed degrees to people who otherwise may not have gotten a bachelor’s degree.

Dr. Carlos O. Turner Cortez

Chancellor Carlos Cortez reported that AB 576 (Maienschein), which would allow community colleges to offer closed classes on military bases, and AB 927 (Medina), which would make permanent the baccalaureate pilot and expand four-year degrees across the state system have been signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom. San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria visited the Homelessness Program for Engaged Educational Resources (PEER) at San Diego City College, shortly after the City of San Diego renewed funding for the program. Mesa College has been awarded their first ANAPISI (Asian American Native American Pacific Islander - Serving Institutions) grant from the U.S. Department of Education, which will provide $1.5 million to support underserved Asian American, Native American, and  Pacific Islander students. Miramar College has preparations underway for their inaugural Equity Conference that will include a keynote address from Chancellor Emerita Constance Carroll. The College of Continuing Education’s Education Cultural Complex held a press conference to announce a $35 million grant to renovate the historic theater, which was made possible by California Senators Toni Atkins and Ben Hueso along with Assemblymembers Lorena Gonzalez, Chris Ward, and Akilah Weber. He also shared that he attended the October 2-4 National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship's Board of Directors meeting and annual conference at the Mall of American near Minneapolis, Minnesota. He shared that he met family members of George Floyd and visited George Floyd Square and is optimistic about a potential partnership with the new George Floyd Global Memorial. Next week, the District will serve as the host institution for the fall 2021 Congress of the Association of Community College Trustees, which will convene in San Diego. ACCT will recognize Margaret Lamb, Executive Assistant to the Chancellor, with the 2021 Pacific Region Professional Board Staff Member Award for her exemplary service, and is nominated for the national award. The award will be announced publicly during the ACCT Leadership Congress. He also offered special thanks to City College students Rebecca Webb and Francisco Hernandez for their contributions to today’s college presentation.

Victoria Owusu

Student Trustee Victoria Owusu announced that the City College Associated Student Government (ASG) voted to increase its scholarship fund from $7,000 to $10,000, add more feminine product dispensers to campus restrooms, and increase the number of water dispensers around campus. She reported that Mesa College is working on Homecoming plans, as well as Homeless and Hunger Awareness and Restorative Justice weeks; and that its Associated Students (AS) elections are now closed. At Miramar College, she reported that the ASG partnered with the campus Equity Summit, October 28-29, for a Student Art Contest and scholarship in honor of Chancellor Emerita Constance Carroll; the ASG is working on organizing in-person, outdoor events for Fall Fest and Indigenous People’s Day; and ASG President and Student Trustee Edward Borek acknowledged the District for helping raise $5,000 for the September 23-25 AIDS Walk & Run. Student Trustee Owusu also reported that at the College of Continuing Education, the Associated Student Body (ASB) is preparing to hold an election, and they are highlighting Hispanic Heritage Month on social media. She also reported that at the United Student Council it was shared that the ACCT dinner will be held at City College on October 12, and that the District has created student-focused videos relating to the opening of financial aid applications for Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and California DREAM Act.


At its regular meeting of October 7, 2021, which was conducted in a virtual format, the Board of Trustees:

- Announced the following action from Closed Session: unanimously denied an appeal of the administrative determination of a Title 5 Investigation.

- Held a campus meeting with City College that included welcome remarks from President Ricky Shabazz, Vice President of Instruction Tillie Chavez, Vice President of Administrative Services John Parker, Acting Vice President of Student Services Marciano Perez, Jr., Academic Senate Acting President Darius Spearman, Classified Senate President Sean Ryan, Supervisory and Professional Administrators Association Site Director Josolyn Hill, and Associated Students Government President and Student Trustee Victoria Owusu; a presentation on Welcome Home City from Emily Saldine, David Howard, Michael Evans, Zaira Martinez and Marco Circosta; a presentation on the PEER Program from Masa Omae, Kirin Macapugay, Jennifer Cosio, Jose Enriquez, Rebecca Webb, and San Diego Housing Commission Executive Vice President of Strategic Initiatives Lisa Jones; a presentation on MathX Mental Health: A Collaborative Pilot Program from Leslie Easton, Nadia Sayeh, Alex Felty, and Carlos de la Lama; a presentation on the VITA Program from Rose LaMuraglia, Shana Carr, and Francisco Hernandez; a presentation on Campus Ready from James Covalt, Matlida Chavez, John Parker, and Marciano Perez, Jr.; and closing remarks from President Shabazz.

- Heard public comment from Stanley Nadal who voiced concern about the recent resolution from the American Federation of Teachers Guild, Local 1931’s regarding the Occupied Palestinian Territories. City College Academic Senate (AS) President Darius Spearman shared that the college celebrated Asian-Pacific Islander culture September 27 through October 3 with a panel of students and employees; and that October is Disability Employment Awareness Month with a focus on disability justice. Mesa College AS President John Crocitti reported that the college has initiated a long-term study of a proctoring center which would benefit distance education students and others with exams. Miramar College AS President-Elect Pablo Martin said the college is one of the top in the state for guided pathways; that scholarship criteria is being reviewed with an equity-based lens; the Leading Equity, Anti-Racism and Diversity (LEAD) Office will present its inaugural Equity Summit on October 28-29 where Chancellor Emerita Constance Carroll will speak about her DEI work and Mayor Todd Gloria will be presenting; discussions are underway about which possible baccalaureate programs could be proposed; and events are being held to celebrate Latinx Heritage Month and Indigenous Peoples Day.

- Approved the selection of criteria to be utilized in drawing trustee areas in compliance with the California Voting Rights Act and Federal Voting Rights Act provisions regarding Board of Trustees elections, following a presentation by Legal Services/EEO Director Ljubisa Kostic and demographer Priti Mathur.

- Approved the Board Meeting schedule for January 2022 through June 2022.

- Adopted a resolution pursuant to Government Code section 54953 (e) as amended (AB 361), allowing for virtual meetings.

- Following a presentation by Executive Vice Chancellor Bonnie Ann Dowd and Stradling Yocca Carlson & Rauth attorney David G. Casnocha, and a recommendation by Chancellor Carlos Cortez, adopted a resolution authorizing the refunding/refinancing of General Obligation Bonds in order to provide a major financial saving for the taxpayers.

- Approved new or revised courses following comments by Vice Chancellor of Educational Services Susan Topham.
- Entered into an agreement with health care agencies for use of clinical facilities by students enrolled in District health occupations programs.

-Heard reports on 2021 Veterans Day activities at City, Mesa, and Miramar colleges, the College of Continuing Education, and the District Office and on a Request for Proposals that will be released to find a consulting firm to assist in the development of a Districtwide Strategic Plan both by Vice Chancellor Susan Topham.

- Entered into a subcontract agreement with the Foundation for Grossmont and Cuyamaca Colleges for the Strong Workforce Pathway Navigation at City College.

- Approve the submission of the SDCCD State Scheduled Maintenance Five-Year Plan (2021-22 through 2025-26) to the California Community Colleges system office.

- Accepted a grant from the U.S. Department of Education for Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions (AANAPISI) “Equity, Empathy & Excellence” to reduce equity gaps and increase academic success, retention, graduation and transfer rates at Mesa College.

- Entered into agreements with the Biocom Institute for the AMGEN Biotech Experience to San Diego County High Schools and Community Colleges at Miramar College; and with the California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) to provide the Academy Instructor Certification Course (AICC) at Miramar College.

- Approved an amendment to the consultant agreement with Roseling Nakamura and Terada Architects, Inc. in connection with Proposition N master planning services relating to campus student housing at City College.

- Approved purchase orders completed during the month of August 2021; various personnel actions including the certification of short-term personnel service effective on or after October 8, 2021; and the 2021-22 Annual Financial Report.

- Established and funded Women’s Beach Volleyball team as a co-curricular sport at San Diego Miramar College.

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