Board Report: March 25, 2021

March 26, 2021 | San Diego Community College District

Special Report to the Public

Geysil Arroyo

Trustee Geysil Arroyo echoed statements given by the Academic Senate Presidents supporting those affected by the March 15 accident near City College that killed three homeless individuals, and denouncing racist and sometimes violent acts against the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities. She thanked Chancellor Constance Carroll for her March 18 message of support for the AAPI community and asked that the Board of Trustees develop a resolution in support, as well. Trustee Arroyo also reported that she was pleased to see that the mayor announced that those Californians 50 and over will be eligible for vaccines on April 1, and those 16 and over will be eligible on April 15. She has continued meeting with representatives of each San Diego Community College District (SDCCD) institution, including most recently at City and Mesa colleges. She thanked City College President Ricky Shabazz for his thoughtfully written op-ed piece regarding homelessness in The San Diego Union-Tribune on March 23. Trustee Arroyo reported that she attended and was impressed by the March 16 Joint Board Meeting between the San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) and SDCCD.

Mary Graham

Trustee Mary Graham said that she supported Trustee Arroyo’s proposal for a Board resolution in support of the AAPI communities, and that it is important to reaffirm values in support of students. She reported that she has enjoyed participating in the Joint Board meetings since they were re-initiated and she is gratified to see the impact of that work taking place, especially as it relates to supporting students south of Interstate 8, for which she thanked various people at the District for their work, but also City College and SDCCE for their work in those communities, particularly in the areas of Dual Enrollment and Career Education.

Craig Milgrim

Trustee Craig Milgrim echoed others’ remarks about the recent accident near City College, as well as the violence in Atlanta and Colorado, and said that it’s important to continue the work of making sure that those don’t become characteristics of our country. He also agreed with Trustee Arroyo’s compliment of President Shabazz, adding that his leadership and language of inclusion are uplifting, especially when speaking for homeless people throughout the city. Trustee Milgrim reported that he has attended a number of District group events, including the March 23 virtual District Committee for Community, Inclusion and Diversity event where SDCCD College Police Chief Joseph Ramos spoke. He also attended the March 25 virtual event for the newly established LGBTQ+ District Diversity group led by Laura Gonzales at Miramar College, Michael Harrison at Mesa College, Marciano Perez at City College, Adan Sanchez at City College, and Jaime Sykes-Seiverd at the District Office; self-identified members of the LGBTQ+ community and their allies are invited to participate in future discussions. He reported that during the Joint Board meeting he was pleased to see that the mayor’s call to come up with programs for youth that will make up for lost learning during the pandemic would be met and that SDCCD facilities would be utilized, and added that he appreciates the leadership of SDUSD Board President Richard Barrera.

Bernie Rhinerson

Trustee Bernie Rhinerson agreed with his colleagues’ remarks in support of the AAPI community. He reported that from the Joint Board meeting he was particularly impressed with the update about the Dual Enrollment program, which he has worked on at the legislative level. He also reported that in his role on the Board of the Cesar Chavez Service Clubs, despite struggles through the pandemic, they have raised over $100,000 that has gone directly to the families of the Chavistas student participants to help them through the pandemic, and invited others to attend the March 31 Las Mañanitas Breakfast in support of the organization. He also commended Trustee Arroyo’s daughter, who is a Chavista at McKinley Elementary School, for her role in a video on the organization’s website.

Dr. Maria Nieto Senour

Trustee Maria Nieto Senour echoed the remarks made by her colleagues about the Joint Board meeting, President Shabazz’s op-ed piece, and the sense of grief for fellow citizens being attacked because of their ethnicity. She reported that at the Joint Board meeting, Chancellor Carroll was honored with a plaque from the SDUSD, and the SDCCD honored Superintendent Cindy Marten for her work in San Diego education ahead of her confirmation hearing as Deputy Secretary of Education. Trustee Senour asked for two volunteers to participate on the Board Self-Evaluation Subcommittee; Trustee Rhinerson and Trustee Milgrim volunteered. She also reported that the Board reviewed the work of the College Police Review Task Force and that a report would be made on this at the April 8 Board Meeting.

Dr. Constance M. Carroll

Chancellor Constance Carroll reported that she and the leadership team for the AB 927 advocacy effort met with representatives from the California Department of Finance and the Governor’s Office to elicit their support for the community college baccalaureate expansion bill. The Assembly Committee on Higher Education is scheduled to hear the bill on April 22 and letters of support have been requested. Dr. Carroll also indicated that she and the Chancellor’s Cabinet are finalizing the remaining distribution and plans for the federal stimulus Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) allocations, which together are anticipated to exceed $100 million for the SDCCD. The Chancellor indicated that the County Public Health Department has been working with the District on the use of the Continuing Education Educational Cultural Complex (ECC) as a vaccination site, effective next week. She invited Board members and others to attend the news conference, which has been organized by Supervisor Nora Vargas, on Tuesday, March 30, at 9 a.m. at ECC. She ended her report by congratulating Dr. Carlos Turner Cortez on his appointment as the next Chancellor and indicated that she would provide support for the transition.

Sanam Azai

Student Trustee Sanam Azai reported that the Associated Student Governments (ASG) at the three credit colleges are focusing on elections for the next school year, though they are finding a lack of involvement due to the virtual setting. For Women’s History Month, the San Diego College of Continuing Education’s Associated Student Body held events that included a March 22 cooking event where female chefs Megan Leppert, Nikki Austria, and Liz Trevino held a virtual cooking class from SDCCE’s West City Campus and shared experiences of working in a male-dominated industry, and the March 25 Unsung She-roes, Celebrating the Women behind DSPS featuring faculty members Marie Doerner, Gina Grossini-Concha, Melissa Hough, and Heike Kessler-Heiberg, plus SDSU professor emeritus Dr. Bobbie Atkins.


At its regular meeting of March 25, 2021, which was conducted in a virtual format, the Board of Trustees:

- Heard public comments from an anonymous “student advocate” who expressed concern regarding recent statements by the Chancellor on social justice issues which the writer interpreted as negative inferences regarding the previous President and conservatives; and from 12 individuals expressing their congratulations and support of the appointment of Carlos Turner Cortez as the next Chancellor of the SDCCD.

- City College Academic Senate (AS) President Masahiro “Masa” Omae shared that the college community was shaken by recent incidents including violence directed at the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community as well as the deaths of three homeless individuals who were struck by a vehicle while seeking shelter under a bridge. He said the college hosted the Social Justice and Education Conference March 24 and 25, which included the theme “Dignity to Dream” and reported that the AS passed a statement of solidarity and support for the AAPI community.

- Mesa College AS President Manuel Velez reported that the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges (ASCCC) will hold its Plenary April 15 to 17 and that the Area D meeting is being held this weekend with Ethnic Studies as one of the topics of discussion. The AS has elected three executive officers as well as four adjunct senators. He expressed the college’s thoughts for their colleagues at City College following recent events and that the AS is working with the AAPI community and Black Lives Matter Task Force to express its support and to work on anti-racism initiatives.

- Miramar College AS President Laura Murphy said the college stands in solidarity with its colleagues in light of recent events and that the state senate was considering resolutions pertaining to support for the AAPI community, Ethnic Studies, and equity for adjunct faculty. She said that the college is looking at Guided Pathways as a vehicle for promoting equity with “interest areas” established to guide students and student success teams being assembled to support students in specific areas. She reported that elections for all senate executive positions will take place in April and that an Equity Task Force is being assembled under the AS to discuss suggestions for improving the student experience.

- Following public comments, approved the appointment and contract of employment of Carlos Turner Cortez as Chancellor of the San Diego Community College District (SDCCD) by a vote of 4-1, followed by remarks from Dr. Turner Cortez.

- Adopted a resolution in support of Assembly Bill (AB) 22 (McCarthy) Childcare: Preschool Programs and Transitional Kindergarten: Enrollment.

- Adopted revisions to Chapter 2 – Board of Trustees Board Policy BP 2200 – Board Duties and Responsibilities (first reading February 11).

- Approved the removal of Evonne Seron Schulze and Cris Sotomayor from the Trustee Advisory Council (TAC) with appreciation for their advice and support.

- Heard a presentation about Decisions and Plans Regarding COVID-19 by Chancellor Constance Carroll and Vice Chancellor of Educational Services Susan Topham.

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

- Approved agreements between the Naval Consolidated Brigs at Pendleton and Miramar and the San Diego College of Continuing Education (SDCCE) and SDCCE Foundation to provide instructional services and vocational training to military personnel.

- Accepted a grant from the California Department of Education, as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, for the operation of Child Development Centers at City, Mesa, and Miramar colleges.

- Adopted the San Diego County Treasurer’s Pooled Money Fund Investment Policy as the SDCCD’s Investment Policy.

- Approved the nomination of Richard Fernandez (Instructional Assistant – Library, City College) as the District’s nominee for the California Community Colleges Classified Employee of the Year Award for 2020, to the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office.

- Approved various personnel actions; and purchase orders prepared during the month of February 2021.

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