Board Report: July 22, 2021

July 23, 2021 | San Diego Community College District

Special Report to the Public:

Geysil Arroyo

Trustee Geysil Arroyo welcomed the new student trustees and academic senate presidents, and wished Chancellor Carlos Cortez well as he begins his new role. She said that she attended the Miramar Classified awards in June, and an event where food and information about the vaccine and pathways to becoming a citizen were distributed to community members in City Heights. Trustee Arroyo reported that she was invited to join the Board of the Employee Rights Center Labor’s Training - Community Development Alliance, founded by former Trustee Peter Zschiesche, which offers legal services regarding employment and labor law and recently was awarded recognition from Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez. She also reported that she recently took some time off and encouraged others to do the same.

Mary Graham

Trustee Mary Graham reported that the Trustees participated in a Board Retreat with Chancellor Cortez on July 15. She said she agreed with Trustee Arroyo’s suggestion to take time for yourself.

Craig Milgrim

Trustee Craig Milgrim welcomed Chancellor Cortez to his first public meeting as Chancellor. He thanked the Student Trustees for including student voices from Continuing Education in future discussions and decisions. Trustee Milgrim reported that he attended a going away event for City College Vice President of Student Services Denise Whisenhunt, his first in-person event since the start of Covid-19. He reported that the newly-created Office of Child and Youth Success within the San Diego Mayor’s Office, which the Board passed a resolution in favor of in October 2020, was included in this year’s budget, which the San Diego City Council passed on Monday. He also reported that he met with the Director of San Diego County YMCAs, who contracts with the City of San Diego for child care referrals, and a member of the Chicano Federation, to expand efforts of child care and family services to the attention students and employees of the District.

Bernie Rhinerson

Trustee Bernie Rhinerson said that it was good to see everyone in person during the recent Board Retreat with Chancellor Cortez, and he welcomed Chancellor Cortez to his new role as CEO. He reported that he attended with City College President Ricky Shabazz and Chancellor Cortez a meeting with Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) Senior Vice President Jee Hang Lee to plan the October 13-16 in-person ACCT Leadership Congress conference being held in San Diego, where the Board of Directors will be invited to a dinner at City College, and Congress attendees will be able to tour the various District campuses. In regards to public comment against vaccine requirements, Trustee Rhinerson encouraged students to get the vaccine. He also reported that he connected with Roger Showley, a chairperson on the Committee of 100 for Balboa Park, who wants City College to participate in collaborative planning that will include long-range plans for the college, Balboa Park, and San Diego Unified School District.

Dr. Maria Nieto Senour

Trustee Maria Nieto Senour said that she attended Denise Whisenhunt’s farewell. Along with Chancellor Cortez, she reported she attended a training for the new Student Trustees, remarking that the Board is off to a good start with this administration.

Dr. Carlos O. Turner Cortez

Chancellor Carlos Cortez reported on three pieces of legislation that, thanks to the advocacy of Chancellor Emerita Constance M. Carroll, are moving forward to the Senate Appropriations Committee, including AB 421 (Ward), to use the Census Date for certain noncredit courses; AB 576 (Maienschein) to allow community colleges to collect apportionment funding for courses taught on military bases; and the baccalaureate expansion bill, AB 927 (Medina). He also reported that the ACCT Leadership Congress will be held from October 13-16 in San Diego and the SDCCD will be the host district. Chancellor Cortez thanked the Board of Trustees for the opportunity to serve as CEO of the District. He congratulated Denise Whisenhunt and College of Continuing Education Vice President of Student Services Star Rivera-Lacey who have accepted positions as Presidents of Grossmont College and Palomar College respectively. Chancellor Cortez said he participated in several Pride events, including the Resilient Community March on July 11 and Pride Live on July 17, and looks forward to participating in an in-person Pride Parade with the District next year. He reported that the District has received more than $130 million in stimulus funding, over $50 million of which has been distributed, that will continue to be awarded as direct student aid. Chancellor Cortez reported that the District received a $35 million grant from the State of California for structural improvements of the Educational Cultural Complex’s historic theatre, community room, and surrounding areas, for which he recognized California Senators Toni Atkins and Ben Hueso, and Assemblymembers Lorena Gonzalez, AkilahWeber, and Chris Ward for their efforts. He also recognized Congressmember Scott Peters for his support of a $975,000 grant through the Congressional Community Funding Project to support the buildout of open education resources. Chancellor Cortez reported that the District exceeded $2 million in fundraising for the San Diego Promise, and will continue to grow those funds during an event in the fall recognizing Chancellor Emerita Carroll. While in-person classes will grow to 25-30% in the fall, and a plan is in place to return to pre-pandemic operations in the spring, Chancellor Cortez said that the health and safety of students and all employees is a top priority, and the continued pandemic will be monitored closely. He reported that he will return to work at the District office starting August 1.

Edward Borek

Student Trustee Edward Borek reported that City College is recruiting for its vacant ASG positions, and will host a Virtual Welcome event on August 23 and 26, and a Student Resources Fair on September 8. He reported that College of Continuing Education leaders are planning to resume engagement activities in the fall. Student Trustee Borek said that Mesa College is planning its fall convocation and fall student government elections. He reported that Mesa College students can receive financial aid through grant funding through the summer and in the fall. Student Trustee Borek reported that Miramar opened nominations for fall in-house elections for Senate positions and will close that opportunity on September 8. He said that the Miramar Dreamer Support Program conducted an UndocuAlly Training on July 21 for Student Services professionals, and there are plans for limited in-person events including an appreciation event for classified professionals and faculty returning to campus, as well as those staff members who remained on campus throughout the pandemic. He said the Miramar ASG is planning agendas and priorities through October 1 and figuring out how to return to in-person operations when current Brown Act allowances end for remote meetings. Student Trustee Borek reported that the United Student Council wants to include a representative of Continuing Education in all future decisions and wants to continue to move toward more inclusive practices and policies across the District. He reported that these decisions, as well as advocating for more open education resources, more comprehensive services, and student community engagement during the transition back to in-person instruction, will all be priorities for the academic year.


At its regular meeting of July 22, 2021, which was conducted in a virtual format, the Board of Trustees:

- Heard public comment from Susan Frailey who requested a copy of the written requirement for vaccination policy for those returning to in-person classes and work on campuses, and urged the SDCCD to advise students they have the right to refuse the Covid-19 vaccine, which are still under Emergency Use Authorization from the FDA; a “concerned citizen” spoke about the report on distance education programming, and wanted to know how the District plans to ensure quality instruction in these online education courses; and a public comment was received from Justin Knott. City College Academic Senate (AS) President Darius Spearman and Mesa College AS President John Crocitti expressed their enthusiasm to participate in their first meeting as Academic Senate presidents and shared their appreciation to the Board and others who have supported them in taking on their new roles.

- Adopted revisions to Chapter 5 – Student Services Board Policies (first reading on 6/10/21), including edits to BP 5010 Admission of College Students, BP 4500 Student Publications, BP 5020 Nonresident Tuition, and BP 5035 Withholding of Student Records.

- Reviewed the results of the Board of Trustees’ self-evaluation for 2020-21 and set goals for 2021-22. The Board members thanked all who participated in providing feedback regarding the Board’s performance and accomplishments as they continue to evaluate their accomplishments of the last year.

- Discussed and approved the revised timeline of activities for Census-based redistricting and transition to by-trustee area elections, following a presentation by Legal Services and EEO Director Ljubisa Kostic, with comments by Board Redistricting Subcommittee member Trustee Rhinerson.

- Heard a report on distance education student success by Vice Chancellor Susan Topham, Dean Brian Weston, and Research and Planning Analyst Stephen Bass.

- Approved the 2021-22 Student Fee Schedule.

- Adopted resolutions recognizing June 19 as the Juneteenth National Independence Day and a District holiday; and for the establishment of “For the Benefit Of” (FBO) bank accounts with Cross River Bank for use in conjunction with Edquity, Inc. for the distribution of HEERF II and HEERF II Financial Aid payments to students.

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

- Approved the appointment of Propositions S and N Citizens’ Oversight Committee member Edward Borek to serve a one-year term as student representative from July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022.

- Ratified an agreement with ARCBridge Consulting and Training, Inc., for demographic and consulting services for redistricting.

- After conducting a public hearing, adopted the College and Career Access Pathways (CCAPP) Dual Enrollment Partnership Agreements with the San Diego Unified School District and three public charter schools.

- Authorized agreements with health care agencies for use of clinical facilities by students enrolled in District health occupations programs; and with Neighborhood House Association to provide education, child care, health and social services to Head Start and Early Head Start eligible children and families.

- Accepted the 2020-21 Program Self-Evaluation (PSE) for the Child Development Centers at City, Mesa, and Miramar colleges.

- Accepted a stipend from the California Department of Education, as allocated by Assembly Bill 82, for expenses incurred by the Child Development Centers at City, Mesa, and Miramar colleges under the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSA).

- Accepted grants from the San Diego Housing Commission for the Program for Engaged Educational Resources (PEER) at City College; from the County of San Diego, Health and Human Service Agency (HHSA) Workforce Education and Training for the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) Workforce Education and Training (WET) Public Mental Health Academy program at City College; from the Angell Foundation Grant Cooperative Relationship awarded to Fostering Academic Success and Transitions (FAST) Scholars at Mesa College; and from the Foundation for Grossmont and Cuyamaca Colleges for Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) Software Development Curriculum Alignment and for Improving the Student Enrollment Experience at  the College of Continuing Education.

- Entered into agreements with the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District Auxiliary Organization for the Strong Workforce Program at City College; and with the Foundation for Grossmont and Cuyamaca Colleges for the Strong Workforce Program at Miramar College for the Entrepreneurship Center renovation project, Phase II, and marketing efforts and curriculum alignment with the MiraCosta Biomanufacturing program.

- Accepted grants from the California Department of Social Services and the California Department of Education for the operation of Child Development Centers at City, Mesa, and Miramar colleges; and from the California Department of Rehabilitation for the College 2 Career (C2C) program, and for the Cooperative Workability III program.

- Authorized contracts with Treat America, LTD for all District food service operations; with Spacesaver Intermountain LLC for a High-Density Mobile Storage System for the Central Distribution Center; and with Neighborhood House Association-Nutrition Services to provide meals and snacks to children attending the Child Development Centers at City, Mesa, and Miramar colleges.

- Approved purchase orders completed during the month of May 2021; and various personnel actions including the certification of short-term personnel service effective on or after July 23, 2021, and contracts of employment for certain president, vice chancellor, and vice president positions.

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