Board Report: January 25, 2024

January 26, 2024 | San Diego Community College District

Special Report to the Public:

Geysil Arroyo

Trustee Geysil Arroyo reported that, during the Martin Luther King, Jr., holiday weekend she attended the MLK parade, Jackie Robinson YMCA Human Dignity Award Breakfast, and Alliance San Diego All Peoples Celebration. Additionally, she attended the Miramar College REC Innovation Lab ribbon cutting ceremony on January 24, noting the inspiring stories and innovation of students, and the Chancellor Emerita Constance M. Carroll Arts and Humanities Building naming ceremony at City College on January 25 along with fellow Trustees Mary Graham, Bernie Rhinerson, and Maria Nieto Senour. She noted that a highlight of the month was the January 18 board retreat where, for the first time, student trustees were invited to participate, and she said she appreciated hearing directly from them the struggles and triumphs they have experienced at each of their respective campuses.

Mary Graham

Trustee Mary Graham shared that she was appreciative of the MLK weekend events and said it helps set the tone for the semester. She echoed Trustee Arroyo in appreciation of having student trustee voices at the board retreat.

Craig Milgrim

Trustee Craig Milgrim commended Trustee Bernie Rhinerson for taking on the duties of Board President. He said he used the winter break for rest and relaxation, and he has been working on the committee at the American Association for the Advancement of Science to diversify the STEM workforce and he has been asked to write a portion of a report focusing on the role of community colleges.

Bernie Rhinerson

Trustee Bernie Rhinerson presented Trustee Senour with a crystal gavel in recognition of her service as the SDCCD Board President from 2015-2023. He reported that he delivered checks totaling $20,000 ($5,000 for each of the four colleges) for the Board of Trustees scholarship funded by the Scott A. and Elizabeth V. Christensen Charitable Foundation. He also noted his efforts last month with Trustee Milgrim on the upcoming bond campaign and presented images showing the need for monies to update Mesa College facilities and said he’ll continue to do so for each of the colleges at all future meetings until the November election.

Dr. Maria Nieto Senour

Trustee Maria Nieto Senour reported that she attended several events that her fellow trustees mentioned. She recognized Trustee Rhinerson for the good job he’s doing so far as Board President, but noted it was difficult to get used to her new seating arrangement.

Gregory Smith

Chancellor-Designate Gregory Smith reported that Governor Gavin Newsom on January 10 presented his initial proposal for the state’s 2024-25 budget, which positively demonstrated a commitment to public education and the community college system with no proposed budget cuts or deferrals, but negatively showed a budget deficit between $38-$68 billion, including a possible $8 billion reduction in Prop 98 guaranteed funding. He will provide further updates at future Board meetings throughout the spring. Chancellor-Designate Smith said that this weekend representatives from SDCCD will travel to Sacramento for the Community College League of California’s legislative advocacy conference to advocate around community college funding and encourage support for a program which would allow community colleges to begin offering a baccalaureate degree in nursing. Additionally, SDCCD will advocate for legislative changes to rename “noncredit” education to properly recognize the importance and value of adult and career education programs, equalize funding for adult education programs, and expand employment opportunities for students pursuing workforce certificates. Chancellor-Designate Smith reported that the week of February 5, representatives will travel to Washington, D.C. to advocate for federal support for our colleges and District, notably addressing more equitable Pell Grant awards.

Chancellor-Designate Smith acknowledged the devastating impacts of the rains we experienced earlier this week in many parts of San Diego, especially in southeast San Diego, and recognized the impact on San Diego College of Continuing Education, which had flooding at multiple campuses, and he thanked those helping with cleanup efforts to reopen facilities. He added that the District will share ways in which those impacted can seek assistance, and that the College of Continuing Education Foundation will partner with the San Diego Chapter of the Black American Political Association of California to distribute $30,000 in funds to southeast neighborhood residents for hotel vouchers, gas cards, and other basic needs support. He shared his report with Candace Katungi and members of San Diego Mesa College’s Ethnic Studies Faculty Council (MC-ESFC), which received an Academic Senate for California Community Colleges 2023-24 Exemplary Program Award in recognition of outstanding community college programs. Chancellor Smith recognized Associate Vice Chancellor of Information and Technology Services Peter Maharaj as an Olympic-caliber athlete and coach who recently spent a week leading Team USA’s cycling team in Germany. He thanked Price Philanthropies for its $50,000 donation to the San Diego Promise and recognized Chancellor Emerita Carroll who brought the free tuition program to SDCCD. He reported that during the meeting the Board would vote on improvements to Classified Professional compensation through the RAF, which included, effective January 1, 2024, the District becoming a living wage employer with permanent employees earning at least $30.58 per hour. Chancellor-Designate Smith closed his report by sharing that the Police Advisory Committee continues its review on the impact of tasers, and the committee is looking into ways in which students, employees, and community members can raise any concerns they may have regarding College Police.

Ixchel Valencia Diaz

Student Trustee Ixchel Valencia Diaz reported that the colleges start spring semester classes on January 29. She said City College Associated Students Government members have been meeting to plan future events. She reported that Mesa College held a student leadership retreat on January 23 and the college will host various welcome week events, including a January 31 celebration for the college’s 60th anniversary. Student Trustee Valencia Diaz said Miramar College hosted Jets Jumpstart events the week of January 22 and held a spring kickoff on January 25. She reported that College of Continuing Education student government supported the MLK parade on January 14 and will hold a spring institution day on January 29.


At its regular meeting of January 25, 2024, which was conducted in-person, with online participation available, the Board of Trustees:

- Approved the termination of the employment of a tenured academic employee at San Diego College of Continuing Education, as required under Section 87732 of the California Education Code.

- Heard public comment from Ulysses Downing on a closed session agenda item. City College Academic Senate (AS) President María-José Zeledón-Pérez shared that the college hosted spring convocation with a beautiful event celebrating Chancellor Emerita Constance Carroll that included a dedication of the AH Building in her name. She continued that faculty have many interesting topics and important work to do as it begins the spring semester and that the college is back better and stronger. Mesa College AS President Andrew Hoffman reported that the college held its convocation and is celebrating its 60th anniversary. He said the college is looking forward to a big, productive spring as it continues to earn accolades and received the 2024 Library Excellence in Access and Diversity (LEAD) Award from Insight Into Diversity magazine. He shared that the California State University is claiming that the college’s proposal for a bachelor’s degree in physical therapy assistant is duplicative, but that claim has no merit. Miramar College AS President Pablo Martin said that the college hosted its convocation, and the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges visit is upcoming. He reported that many good collaborations, such as Jets Jumpstart, are happening to help break down silos. Martin said the college’s first annual poetry and performing arts festival is being held. He shared his appreciation of the land acknowledgement being read at the start of the board meeting and noted the college’s Native American Student Services and Programs will hire a coordinator and elder in residence to guide programming. SDCCE AS President Richard Weinroth reported that enrollment is up significantly this spring with 6,000 people who have used CCApply. He shared that the rain has caused severe damage which closed the Educational Cultural Complex and César Chávez. The District’s San Diego Pride parade T-shirt will be designed by a student or students. SDCCE is partnering with the San Diego Unified School District to establish two new programs in eye care careers. He concluded by sharing a summary of the college’s significant economic impact on the region.

- Approved the appointment and employment contract of Gregory A. Smith as chancellor of the San Diego Community College District.

- Administered the Oath of Office to Student Trustee Saigeldeep Ghotra (Miramar College)

- Adopted revisions to Chapter 2 – Board of Trustees Board Policies, Chapter 3 – General Institution Board Policies, Chapter 5 – Board of Trustees Policies, Chapter 6 – Business and Financial Services Board Policy, and Chapter 7 – Human Resources Board Policies (first readings 12/14/23).

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

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

- Accepted the District’s 2022-23 Independent Auditor’s Reports, which were conducted by Eide Bailly LLP. Audits for the five major funds in the District were provided: General Fund, Proposition S Fund, Proposition N Fund, the SDCC Auxiliary Organization, and the Social Security Alternative Plan. The Board’s Budget Study and Audit Subcommittee (Trustees Milgrim and Rhinerson) had reviewed the audits in depth with Acting Vice Chancellor Nancy Lane and Chancellor-Designate Gregory Smith prior to the meeting. Auditor Rachel Green addressed the Board regarding the audits. The audits were unmodified.

- Accepted grants from the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office for the Asian American Native Hawaiian Pacific Islander Student Achievement Program at City College; and from InsideTrack for the California Reconnect Coalition mini-grant at City College.

- Entered into a Master Agreement with the Foundation for Grossmont and Cuyamaca Colleges for the Regional Strong Workforce Program Sector-Automotive Project at Miramar College.

- Amended the agreement between Marine Corps Camp Pendleton Base Brig and College of Continuing Education.

- Entered into agreements with the California Department of Social Services and the San Diego County Office of Education for Child Development programs at City, Mesa, and Miramar colleges.

- Entered into agreements with EMC Corporation, Dell, Inc. to allow for the buy-back of obsolete District-owned hardware units; and with The Michaels Organization to enter into a mutually beneficial Preliminary Development Agreement (PDA) to begin the preliminary development planning stage of the City College Affordable Student Housing Development.

- Adopted resolutions authorizing the execution and delivery of an Official Statement and an Escrow Agreement in connection with the issuance of SDCCD 2024 General Obligation Refunding Bonds; and regarding compensation of members of the Board of Trustees, effective January 1, 2024.

- Adopted the Resource Allocation Formula (RAF) Agreement for the AFT Guild 1931 Faculty and Classified Professionals units, and the 2024 salary schedule for AFT Guild 1931 Faculty, Classified Professionals, Non-Academic Non-Classified Employees, Police Officers Association, Association of Confidential Employees, and the Executive Management units.

- Approved purchase orders completed during December 2023; the District’s Report of Participation in the San Diego County Investment Pool; the mileage reimbursement rate for employees who use their personal car for travel to 67.0 cents per mile, as established by the Internal Revenue Service; and various personnel actions including the certification of short-term personnel service effective on or after January 26, 2024.

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