Board Report: August 31, 2023

September 1, 2023 | San Diego Community College District

Special Report to the Public:

Geysil Arroyo

Trustee Geysil Arroyo thanked those at San Diego City College who provided International Overdose Awareness Day pins to the Board, and the colleges for all they do to prepare and welcome students back. In preparation of an October presentation at the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) Leadership Congress in Las Vegas, she also reported that she met with Acting Chancellor Gregory Smith and Trustee Bernie Rhinerson on how the District creates safe spaces.

Mary Graham

Trustee Mary Graham said the start of the semester feels more like pre-pandemic times. She reported that she attended the San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council dinner with her fellow Trustees and applauded the work the grad students and UC system are engaging in towards organizing. Trustee Graham reported that the Chancellor Search process is continuing with applications being accepted through October 2. Additional updates from the committee included that partner Academic Search is seeking opportunities to engage with constituents about needs and challenges throughout the District, work during a September 20 meeting will be for the creation of questions and writing prompts for the interview process, and candidate forums will take place the week after the Thanksgiving holiday. Trustee Graham also acknowledged Trustee Bernie Rhinerson for his leadership role in securing greater participation by California districts in the ACCT, which has led to greater involvement in national advocacy.

Craig Milgrim

Trustee Craig Milgrim said that he attended the Labor Council dinner, which highlighted the grad students and post-doctoral students who are organizing at UC San Diego. He reported that a recent Gallop poll showed that unions are increasing and Americans see that as good. Trustee Milgrim called out the amazing enrollment numbers, which he said is the result of hard work across the District.

Bernie Rhinerson

Trustee Bernie Rhinerson said it’s great to see the excitement of the new semester and hear from the Faculty Senate representatives. He said that he had a busy summer with his grandchildren and is looking forward to getting back to work. He reported that he and Trustee Milgrim are working hard as the Bond and Facilities subcommittee, and noted a later agenda item related to that work. Additionally, he said he and Trustee Milgrim will meet in September as part of the Board Budget Study and Audit subcommittee. Trustee Rhinerson reported that he was appointed to the ACCT Pacific Region Nominating Committee and he will help seek out new leadership coming from California, Oregon, Washington, the Pacific Islands-area, Idaho, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, Alaska, and Hawaii to serve on the Board. He said Community College League of California has become very active screening candidates from California to make sure colleges are represented at the national level.

Maria Nieto Senour 

Trustee Maria Nieto Senour said that she attended wonderful convocations at colleges and noted that each was special and unique with a lot of enthusiasm. She recognized the singer who performed “Imagine” at San Diego College of Continuing Education’s Convocation on August 30.

Gregory Smith

Acting Chancellor Gregory Smith reported that the assembly and senate budget bills and higher education trailer bills have been amended to clarify the $75 million in funding approved for City College is intended to provide an ongoing resource to maintain affordable rental rates and a commitment to secure state financing in the 2024 budget act. He said this move would translate to lower rental rates on the housing provided by the SDCCD, and he thanked the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office and other advocates for their work on this amendment. Acting Chancellor Smith said the District is following several assembly and senate bills of interest and he will provide updates throughout the semester. He said a new comprehensive report on the impact of the College and Career Access Pathways (CCAP) programs show those students have greater overall high school success outcomes, are significantly more likely to enroll in college within one year of completing high school than non-CCAP students, complete transfer-level math and English in their first year of college, and are more likely to obtain an associate degree. He said this is a clear priority of state Chancellor Dr. Sonya Christian and of the District.

Acting Chancellor Smith recognized the updated technology set-up in the Board meeting space and thanked Associate Vice Chancellor Peter Maharaj, as well as Dan Sandoval and John Kalchik for their work on the project. He said that this was the first Board meeting to start the academic year during the 50th anniversary year celebrating the District’s establishment in 1973. Acting Chancellor Smith reported that the SDCCD has exceeded 12,000 full-time equivalent student enrollments for the fall semester at the credit colleges, which is 99% of the overall target, and he thanked everyone involved in the efforts. He said he joined each of the August convocation events and congratulated everyone on a wonderful start of the new academic year. Acting Chancellor Smith recognized August 31 as International Overdose Awareness Day, a coordinated campaign to help end the stigma, shame, and silence our culture has attached to drug use and addiction, and shared how his life had been touched by an overdose. On September 5, the District will host Congressmember Scott Peters at San Diego Mesa College for an event to raise awareness of fentanyl and provide ways to help save lives through education and awareness. He reported at the September 14 Board meeting the final budget for the 2023-2024 fiscal year will be presented for adoption and recognized the whole Finance and Business Services Division for their work. He also recognized the hard work of the groundskeepers to prepare the campuses for the new academic year, particularly as tropical storm Hilary affected the San Diego region, and acknowledged the video created by David Brooks spotlighting that department created by the Communications and Public Relations Department under the direction of Director Jack Beresford. Acting Chancellor Smith shared his report with Vice Chancellor Joel Peterson who provided an update on the Police Advisory Committee.

Ixchel Valencia Diaz

Student Trustee Ixchel Valencia Diaz reported that City College held a club rush on August 24, and the Associated Student Government tabled alongside faculty, classified professionals, and administrators to welcome students during Welcome Week. She said that Mesa College athletics held the Olympian Olympics on August 18, and the college hosted Welcome Week from August 21-25 with various department booths and resources for the fall semester. She also reported that Mesa College’s Black Leadership Fellows and UMOJA held a Black Student Meet and Greet on August 23, and campus Student Health Services held a Blue Moon healing under the starts event on August 30. At San Diego Miramar College, Ixchel said a successful Jet Jump Start was held on August 16 and Convocation took place on August 17. She said that College of Continuing Education hosted Reg Fest from July 18 through August 16 where students were offered clothing suitable for job interviews; the Associated Student Body held a planning event for the fall semester; and the Educational Cultural Complex opened its first student lounge.


At its regular meeting of August 31, 2023, which was conducted in-person, with online participation available, the Board of Trustees:

- Announced the following actions from Closed Session that the Board unanimously approved the waiving of attorney client privilege for an investigation report related to a Title V complaint, and termination of a classified employee at San Diego College of Continuing Education.

- Announced that the SDCCD Police Officers Association and District have agreed to jointly provide initial proposals for bargaining of a successor agreement. Response to the proposal was made available in the documents for this meeting, and the item will be on September 14 meeting agenda for additional public response.

- Heard public comment from Mohamed Musse who suggested that the SDICCCA internship be paid, and from Vincent Ghio who recommended the creation of an online system for both ticketing and parking for all SDCCD intercollegiate events. City College Academic Senate (AS) President Maria-Jose Zeledon-Perez shared that a larger number of students are attending in person and many events are being held contributing to a lively atmosphere. She continued, students are excited to learn and engage, a Friends of City College golf tournament fundraiser was held, and faculty are excited about submitting proposals for zero textbook grants. Mesa College AS President Andrew Hoffman reported that the AS held a retreat, which was valuable. Topics discussed included the dropping of foreign language requirements by some institutions. The AS also talked about mental health, Artificial Intelligence, transparency with funding, and parliamentary procedure. AFT President Jim Mahler also participated. Lastly, the AS website was discussed. Miramar College AS President Pablo Martin said enrollment is up, energy is great, and the college held a successful Jet’s Jump Start event. The events helped build positive relationships and continued healing. He continued by sharing that the website review task force met and many faculty are getting involved; students are benefitting from wrap-around services, and that faculty are concerned about the loss of some tenure-track individuals who have left for other institutions. College of Continuing Education AS President Richard Weinroth thanked Acting Chancellor Smith and Board President Senour for attending the August 30 convocation, which was an amazing experience. He continued that it is great to see so many faculty attending events. The college has 17 new faculty hires and enrolment is up 150%. He concluded that he is looking forward to a wonderful year.

- Adopted revisions to Chapter 6 – Business and Financial Board Services (first reading 7/20) as part of a comprehensive six-year review to ensure currency.

- Adopted a resolution directing the Acting Chancellor to advance negotiations with the San Diego Building and Construction Trades Council on a draft Community Benefit Agreement that will apply to future large scale SDCCD construction projects, following comments by Cori Schumacher, Carol Kim, Ansermio Estrada and Cristina Marquez who urged approval of resolution.

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

- Authorized agreements with healthcare agencies for use of clinical facilities by students enrolled in District health occupation programs; and with and with the Neighborhood House Association to provide education, childcare, health and social services to Head Start and Early Had Start eligible children and families at City and Mesa colleges.

- Authorized an agreement with the San Diego County Office of Education, San Diego Quality Preschool Initiative for the Child Development Centers at City, Mesa, and Miramar colleges.

- Authorized the designation of September 17, 2023, as Constitution Day at City, Mesa, Miramar, and Continuing Education colleges.

- Accepted a grant from the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office (CCCCO) for Innovative Best Practices at City College.

- Accepted grants from the California Department of Social Services and from the California Department of Education and the California Department of Social Services for the operation of Child Development Centers at City, Mesa, and Miramar colleges.

- Accepted grants from the Foundation for Grossmont and Cuyamaca Colleges for the Strong Workforce Partnership Work-Based Learning project at Mesa College; and the Job Placement Case Management project, College Based Marketing project, and Pathway Navigation project at College of Continuing Education.

- Authorized a Service Agreement with Biocom California Institute for the Southern California Biotechnology Center at Miramar College to implement the AMGEN Biotech Experience (ABE) program for regional high schools.

- Authorized agreements with Navy Command for vocational training conducted by the San Diego College of Continuing Education Foundation’s Employee Training Institute; and with LeadingAge California for the Gateway-In Project at College of Continuing Education.

- Heard a quarterly report of the budgeted expenses to actuals.

- Authorized the use of the Monarch School as an off-campus facility by City College; the USS Midway Museum as an off-site campus facility by College of Continuing Education; and the KIPP Adelante Preparatory Academy as an off-campus facility by City College.

- Authorized the lease of rooftop space at the Mesa College LRC to DISH Wireless LLC for a cellular tower.

- Approved a lease with the City of San Diego for continued use of an airplane hangar at Montgomery Air Field for the Miramar College Aviation Program.

- Adopted resolutions providing authority for the District to enter into an agreement with the California Department of Rehabilitation (DOR), and declaring Acting Chancellor Gregory Smith the individual to sign and execute any and all documents required by the DOR; and accepted a grant from the DOR for the districtwide Cooperative Sub-Minimum Wage to competitive Integrated Employment Project.

- Authorized a voluntary severance incentive for eligible Food Services contract employees.

- Approved purchase orders completed during July 2023; the District’s Report of Participation in the San Diego County Investment Pool; and various personnel actions including the certification of short-term personnel service effective on or after September 1, 2023.

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