Board Report: September 9, 2021

September 10, 2021 | San Diego Community College District

Special Report to the Public:

Geysil Arroyo

Trustee Geysil Arroyo reported that she’s heard COVID protocols around the District have been going well. She said that she is impressed with the recent enrollment marketing campaign launched by the District’s Communications and Public Relations Department that includes bus wraps, billboards, and digital ads around the city and on local media outlets. She said that she joined a September 2 webinar with the California Community Colleges Organización de Latinx Empowerment, Guidance, Advocacy for Success (CCCOLEGAS), along with Trustee Senour, where Chancellor Cortez spoke about his background and incorporating his Latinx roots into his leadership role.

Mary Graham

Trustee Mary Graham thanked those who shared comments during the meeting, and encouraged faculty and classified professionals to continue to work through their unions and Faculty and Classified Senates until a functional and effective working environment can be found to keep people safe and provides opportunities to students.

Craig Milgrim

Trustee Craig Milgrim thanked Student Trustee Borek for continuing to champion the inclusion of Continuing Education students in the student government process. He reported that he attended a virtual seminar by USD on August 30 titled “Employment and Job Training Opportunities for Individuals Experiencing Homelessness” where Chancellor Cortez spoke, and said that he is impressed with the groups who assist this population. He acknowledged the t-shirt he was wearing during the meeting, which represent Upward Bound, a program he has a personal connection to, and thanked City College for its continued support of the program.

Bernie Rhinerson

Trustee Bernie Rhinerson recognized Dr. Abdimalik Buul for his appointment as the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office’s (CCCCO) Visiting Assistant Vice Chancellor, Equal Employment Opportunity Programs, and thanked him for his work while at City College. He reported that he attended, along with Chancellor Cortez and Communications and Public Relations Director Jack Beresford, a virtual meeting on September 9 featuring Julie Chávez Rodriguez, Director of the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs and granddaughter of Cesar Chávez, and got to speak with her about the administration’s support of workforce programs, as well as short-term Pell grants and free community college. He said he hopes the District can meet with her in-person to further discuss higher education policy while attending the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) National Legislative Conference in February in Washington DC.

Dr. Maria Nieto Senour

Trustee Maria Nieto Senour said that she appreciated comments made by Trustee Graham about making sure people are advocating for themselves during the process of return-to-work during the pandemic, and said that she empathized with those who are struggling. She said that the Board’s focus is to educate people, but also to keep them safe. Trustee Senour asked her fellow Trustees to submit agenda items ahead of the October 21 Board Retreat.

Dr. Carlos O. Turner Cortez

Chancellor Carlos Cortez reported on the status of the District’s three priority bills. After discussion with the Governor’s Office, AB 421 (Ward), a bill that would allow the Census Date to be used for certain noncredit courses, is being held and will be taken up next year as part of the budget process. AB 576 (Maienschein), which would allow community colleges to collect apportionment funding for courses taught on military bases, is waiting on a vote on the Senate floor. AB 927 (Medina), which would make permanent the baccalaureate pilot and expand four-year degrees across the state system, was approved today by the Legislature and is moving on for the Governor’s signature. Chancellor Cortez thanked those who shared public comments and said the District is doing its best to balance health and safety with its commitment to serving students, echoing Trustee Graham and Senour’s comments about the importance of working through the participatory governance structure and making their voices heard. He said the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted student outcomes and enrollment, especially by those who are most vulnerable and most in need of in-person services. Otherwise, the new semester is underway and enrollment remains sluggish. However, while enrollment was down 10% at community colleges nationally last year he credited faculty and classified professionals for their effort to keep the District’s decline to less than 5%. Lastly, COVID testing is now underway at each of the colleges and the County is seeing a drop in positive cases, a reversal of the national trends which can be attributed to relatively high local vaccination rates.

Edward Borek

Student Trustee Edward Borek reported that City and Mesa colleges both held their first student government meetings of the semester with each actively trying to fill vacant positions. He also shared that Mesa College held a mobile market with free food for students on September 7. Student Trustee Borek reported that there is continued effort to try and include the College of Continuing Education in the United Student Council. At Miramar College, he reported that the Associated Student Government (ASG) will meet on September 10, the third meeting of the year, and during that meeting an in-house election will be held for the treasurer position, committee assignments will be made for ASG members and students-at-large, and votes will be carried out relating to four amendments to the college’s constitution and bylaws.


At its regular meeting of September 9, 2021, which was conducted in a virtual format, the Board of Trustees:

- Heard public comment from Michael Halloran regarding the running of KSDS-FM at City College, from 13 people who expressed their feelings about returning to work on District campuses while the Delta-variant of COVID-19 continues to increase coronavirus cases, and from Justin Knott who shared his displeasure about the District’s vaccination requirements. City College Academic Senate (AS) President Darius Spearman shared that spring semester schedules are due next week and faculty members are proceeding under the assumption that the college will be returning to normal in-person classes but COVID concerns may require the conversion to online classes. He reported that COVID testing for students is underway on campus including Wednesdays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. He also mentioned that professor Paul Alexander recently authored an excellent commentary in Voice of San Diego on Senate Bill 731, which would seal some past convictions. Mesa College AS President John Crocitti reported that the AS’ first meeting will be held September 13 and that he hopes to expedite the meetings by adopting an alternative format used by the statewide Academic Senate. He shared that the semester is going smoothly and that students are complying with COVID-19 protocols. He also said that for the spring semester faculty members believe it is important to offer more classes in person as it will benefit student success and equity, but confusion remains about what will actually happen.

- Administered the Oath of Office to Student Trustee Victoria Owusu (City College).

- Reviewed the results 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.

- Authorized the designation of September 17, 2021 as Constitution Day at City, Mesa, and Miramar colleges and the College of Continuing Education.

- Conducted a public hearing and approved the SDCCD 2021-2022 Adopted Budget following a presentation from Executive Vice Chancellor of Business and Technology Services Bonnie Ann Dowd. The total budget is $872,449,308, including $552,173,840 in General Fund Unrestricted and Restricted operational funds. Board members expressed appreciation for the fact that planned budget adjustments ensure the budget is balanced. The budget had been thoroughly reviewed by the Board’s Budget Study and Audit Committee (Trustees Rhinerson and Milgrim).

- Heard a report by Vice Chancellor of Educational Services Susan Topham on Districtwide Grants Activity During Fiscal Year 2020-21.
Entered into an agreement with health care agencies for use of clinical facilities by students enrolled in District health occupations programs.

- Approved the appointment of Propositions S and N Citizens’ Oversight Committee member Rosalie Schwartz to serve a one-year term from September 7, 2021 to August 31, 2022

- Accepted a grant from the U.S. Department of Education for Upward Bound at City College.

- Approved the transfer of three positions from the Supervisory and Professional Administrators Association (SPAA) unit to the Association of Confidential Employees (ACE) unit.

- Ratified the two-year Inter-Jurisdiction Exchange (IJE) agreement with the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office (CCCCO) for SDCCD employee Dr. Abdimalik Buul to serve as the Visiting Assistant vice Chancellor, Equal Employment Opportunity Programs.

- Approved purchase orders completed during the month of July 2021; and various personnel actions including the certification of short-term personnel service effective on or after September 10, 2021.

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