Board Report: September 14, 2023

September 15, 2023 | San Diego Community College District

Special Report to the Public:

Geysil Arroyo

Trustee Geysil Arroyo thanked the Academic Senate presidents for their start-of-semester updates, the colleges for increasing mental health support services, and the San Diego and Imperial Counties Community Colleges Association (SDICCCA) interns who shared their experiences toward becoming counselors. She also recognized the Instagram #ThrowbackThursday feature that has been highlighting news and photos from the past 50 years of the District and commended the District for its growing social media audience. Trustee Arroyo wished everyone a celebratory Hispanic Heritage Month.

Mary Graham

Trustee Mary Graham thanked all the public speakers for their comments, and mentioned the meeting energy felt like it was pre-pandemic. She provided a Chancellor Search update sharing that the search committee is meeting next week to discuss questions and writing prompts for the candidates.

Bernie Rhinerson

Trustee Bernie Rhinerson reported that he attended a September 5 news conference at San Diego Mesa College with Representative Scott Peters, along with members of the public health and medical communities, who shared about the dangers of fentanyl. He noted that all SDCCD college campuses have Narcan and fentanyl test strips available to help prevent or reverse possible overdoses. Trustee Rhinerson said he recently had lunch at the Mesa College student-run restaurant 72Fifty and advised others to do so, too. He reported that he, along with Trustee Craig Milgrim, as part of the Budget Study and Audit Subcommittee, met with Acting Vice Chancellor Nancy Lane and Acting Chancellor Gregory Smith to review the budget report for the Board Meeting, and he worked with Trustee Arroyo and San Diego City College President Ricky Shabazz on a presentation they will give during the October Association of Community College Trustees Leadership Congress about SDCCD safe spaces, how they’re funded, and why they’re important to student success. He noted he will be touring the Educational Cultural Complex with San Diego College of Continuing Education President Tina M. King next month, and he wished everyone a happy Rosh Hashanah celebration.

Dr. Maria Nieto Senour

Trustee Maria Nieto Senour encouraged everyone to get the newest COVID-19 booster when it is released at the end of the month.

Gregory Smith

Acting Chancellor Gregory Smith shared that Governor Gavin Newsom signed the higher education trailer bill, SB 142, which commits the state to provide funding for the construction of student housing, resulting in lower rental costs for students and SB 447, sponsored by Senate President pro Tem Toni Atkins, which ends the ban on state-funded travel to states with anti-LGBTQIA+ laws and shifts the focus to outreach and inclusion with LGBTQIA+ communities living in those states. The Governor has until October 14 to sign or veto further bills, including Assembly Bill 91, which would offer low-income residents in Mexico living near the U.S. border the ability to take classes at SDCCD colleges at the resident tuition rate. He shared that College of Continuing Education will host at the ECC the Vision 2030 – A Call to Action: Adult Education Summit, in partnership with the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office and the North Orange County Community College District, and feature a panel of presenters, speakers, and participants, including Secretary of State Shirley Weber; Assemblymembers David Alvarez and Chris Ward; state Chancellor Sonya Christian; Chancellor Byron Breland and President Valentina Purtell from North Orange; and SDCCD Chancellor Emerita and CEO of the Community College Baccalaureate Association Constance M. Carroll, and he will join Presidents Ricky Shabazz, Ashanti T. Hands and Tina King in representing the District. Acting Chancellor Smith also recognized local members of the Nandi Organization (Nesha Savage, Janue Johnson, Ebony Tyree, Erin Charlens, Ashanti Hands, Tina King, Roberta Krauss, Janelle Williams Melendrez, Shakerra Carter, and Denise Whisenhunt), which serves, supports, and empowers Black women professionals and students in the California Community College system, and will host its 2023 Symposium on October 5 in Los Angeles.

Acting Chancellor Smith reported that the SDCCD started the fall semester with nearly 12,300 full-time equivalent students enrolled at its three credit colleges, just shy of 50,000 individual students and over 125,000 individual enrollments in more than 5,000 class sections across our District. Enrollment numbers for College of Continuing Education will be available soon. He noted that September 15 marked the beginning of Hispanic Heritage Month, which will include a variety of districtwide events through October 12, including the September 15 City College Chicanx/Latinx Educator Network event featuring a panel with Deputy Chancellor for the California Community Colleges Daisy Gonzales, Monarch School President and CEO Afira DeVries, Southwestern College Superintendent/President Mark Sanchez, President Tina King, and Vice Chancellor Susan Topham. He stated that later in the meeting, the Board would consider the 2023-2024 adopted budget, noting the progress has been made toward restoring the general fund unrestricted ending fund balance, adding $10 million in the 2022-2023 fiscal year. Acting Chancellor Smith reported 14 new full-time faculty positions — four positions each to San Diego Miramar College and the College of Continuing Education and three positions each to City College and Mesa College — were being brought forward for the Board’s approval, bringing the total creation of new faculty positions to 39 since 2021. Acting Chancellor Smith shared his report with Vice Chancellors Laurie Coskey and Michelle Fischthal, who shared about the September 14 Innovation Day event at Petco Park that featured several SDCCD programs and students, and with Vice Chancellor Joel Peterson, who provided an updated on the Police Advisory Committee.

Namod Pallek

Student Trustee Namod Pallek reported that City College will hold a Club Rush on September 18. He said Mesa College is hosting events related to Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, including a panel discussion held on September 6 and a Harmony Within event coming up on September 20, and the college will have its Club Rush September 19-21. Student Trustee Pallek said Miramar College’s Career Center held an open house on September 6 to provide career resources, Associated Student Government held its elections on September 1, and that the Miramar College Foundation will work to allocate resources to basic needs at the school. He also reported that College of Continuing Education held its fall Convocation on August 30, welcome week from September 5-14, and a grand opening of its student lounge on September 13. He said SDCCE also added new services to help support immigrants, Black student success, LGBTQIA+, and student mental health.


At its regular meeting of September 14, 2023, which was conducted in-person, with online participation available, the Board of Trustees:

- Heard public comment from Abubakar Haji and Mohamed Musse who expressed their gratitude for several SDCCD administrators and employees who helped guide them to and through the SDICCCA internship. City College Academic Senate (AS) President Maria-Jose Zeledon-Perez shared about several events being held as part of the start of the new academic year. She continued that the SEEDs@City urban farm is selling fresh fruit and vegetables and that the campus is busy with a lot of community engagement. The AS held its first meeting and conducted some professional development with several new senators. The Academic Senate for California Community Colleges Area D meeting is in October with the plenary in November, so faculty are working on resolutions. Mesa College AS President Andrew Hoffman reported that today was the first day of Hispanic Heritage Month and it was festive. Also, Mesa College has submitted its application to offer a physical therapist assistant bachelor’s degree. Constitution Day will be celebrated on Monday with events. The first AS meeting was held and a report was shared on the new Test Proctoring Center on campus, which former AS President John Crocitti has advocated for. The AS also heard from the college’s new mental health counselor and a proposal for automatic parking. Miramar College AS President Pablo Martin said that Club Rush was this week as part of a vibrant college hour. The college is pursuing several grants to benefit students. The college’s research office is gathering information on technology needs and concerns. He concluded by sharing that the AS continues to meet virtually. College of Continuing Education AS President Richard Weinroth shared that the college will host the first Adult Education Summit with an amazing lineup of speakers on October 5 and 6. The focus will be on preparing students for the workforce. A student lounge was opened at ECC, which is an important opportunity for them to relax, get a snack and connect with other students. The college’s research center at North City is bigger and better. Student Affairs now has two mental health counselors on campus, which will greatly benefit students. He concluded by acknowledging President King for closing the campuses during convocation so that all employees could participate.

- Adopted revisions to Board Policy Chapter 3 – General Institution, Chapter 7 – Human Resources, and Chapter 6 – Business and Financial Services (first reading) as part of a comprehensive six-year review to ensure currency.

- Appointed Trustees Arroyo  and Rhinerson as the Board’s voting delegates and Trustee Senour as alternate to the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) Leadership Congress on October 9-12, 2023, and nominated members for election to the ACCT Board of Directors, including Deborah Ikeda, State Center Community College District, CA, for Regional Director; and Anay Abraham, Miami-Dade College, FL, Amanda Howland, College of Lake County, IL, and Oscar Valladares, Rio Hondo College, CA, for Director-At-Large.

- Authorized agreements with healthcare agencies for use of clinical facilities by students enrolled in District health occupation programs.

- Conducted a public hearing and approved the SDCCD 2023-2024 Adopted Budget following a presentation from Acting Vice Chancellor Nancy Lane. The total budget is $1,019,426,697, including $616,375,169 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 Milgrim and Rhinerson).

- Accepted grants from the U.S. Department of Education for Upward Bound at City College, HSI-STEM and Articulation Program – Title III STEM at Mesa College, and AANAPISI Equity, Empathy and Excellence at Mesa College.

- Approved an agreement with the Foundation for California Community Colleges for Fresh Success and Employment Training Activities at Mesa College.

- Approved agreements with the Foundation for Grossmont and Cuyamaca Colleges for Strong Workforce Career Navigation and Credit for Prior Learning projects at Mesa College, and for Job Placement Case Management, Counseling Institute activities, work-based learning coordination, and Credit for Prior Learning coordination at Miramar College.

- Accepted grants from the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office (CCCCO) for Ethnic Studies Implementation at City, Mesa, and Miramar colleges, from UC San Diego for the districtwide Preparing Accomplished Transfers to the Humanities (PATH) program, and from the California Student Aid Commission for the Middle-Class Scholarship for Baccalaureate program at Mesa College.

- Following a presentation by Acting Chancellor Gregory Smith, Vice Chancellor Joel Peterson, Craig Adelman from LeSar Development Consultants, and Zach Flechsig from The Michaels Organization (TMO), adopted a resolution making the finding necessary under Government Code Section 4217.12 for entering into an Energy Service Agreement with TMO without formal competitive bidding, and awarded a development partnership and approved an Energy Service Agreement with The Michaels Organization for affordable housing at City College.

- Heard a report from Vice Chancellor Peterson on the close out of the Propositions S and N Citizens’ Oversight Committee (COC).

- Approved purchase orders completed during July and August 2023; and various personnel actions including the certification of short-term personnel service effective on or after September 15, 2023.

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