Board Report: May 16, 2024

May 16, 2024 | San Diego Community College District

Special Report to the Public:

Geysil Arroyo

Trustee Geysil Arroyo thanked those who came to share public comments. She said that she attended the Lavender Celebration ceremony at City College along with Trustee Craig Milgrim, and that she will attend the Miramar College Commencement on May 17. She reported that she is part of Chancellor's Transition and Evaluation subcommittee, as well as the Board Evaluation and Goal-Setting subcommittee where, along with Trustee Maria Nieto Senour, she met Monday to review Board goals and thanked Chancellor Gregory Smith, Amanda Ficken-Davis, and Margaret Lamb for their help in formulating questions for an evaluation to help the Board set future goals.

Mary Graham

Trustee Mary Graham echoed Student Trustee Diego Bethea’s recommendation to seek out mental health care and appreciates others who speak out to help break down the stigmas related to mental health. She reported that she is a part of the Chancellor’s Transition and Evaluation subcommittee, along with Trustee Arroyo, which is in the process of reviewing feedback received from the recently completed evaluation surveys. She said that she has participated in second-level interviews for a new vice chancellor of People, Culture, and Technology Services and she looks forward to the final selection announcement soon. Trustee Graham thanked City College AS President María-José Zeledón-Pérez for her service.

Craig Milgrim

Trustee Craig Milgrim also echoed Student Trustee Bethea’s recommendation to seek and access a good therapist. He said that he worked closely with Mesa College on its May 17 research conference but had to bow out of being a judge in order to attend the Miramar College commencement. He reported that he worked with Chancellor Smith to find funds to help send students to the American Association for the Advancement of Science conference where community college students will participate for the first time ever. He reported that he attended all of the college Lavendar Graduation Celebrations.

Bernie Rhinerson

Trustee Bernie Rhinerson reported that smile season is in full swing, and on May 16 he attended the Friends of Downtown scholarship luncheon event where he and donors got to hear the stories of several City College students. He said that in preparation of bringing a resolution forward during the July 11 Board Meeting, he has been working to raise funds and promote the need for a bond on the November ballot. He said he has been working with Vice Chancellor Joel Peterson to include language and provisions in the bond that would require student internships as part of jobs over a specific amount. Trustee Rhinerson presented 2023-24 Student Trustees Diego Bethea (City College), Ixchel Valencia Diaz (Mesa College), Saigeldeep Ghotra (Miramar College), and Adriana Dos Santos (College of Continuing Education) with plaques commemorating their service to the Board and District.

Dr. Maria Nieto Senour

Trustee Maria Nieto Senour said that she attended several year-end events along with her colleagues. She reported that she served on the Board Evaluation and Goal-Setting subcommittee with Trustee Arroyo and she is looking forward to receiving input from the rest of the Board. She said that she appreciated others for bringing up mental health care in such a public way, and she shared her recent experience with a therapist. She recognized former Board Member Evonne Seron Schulze who recently moved out of the country and said her presence in San Diego will be missed.

Gregory Smith

Chancellor Gregory Smith reported that Governor Gavin Newsom released the May Revision to the January Budget Proposal on May 10 and said the District is grateful to see public education as a priority with stable, predictable funding. He said the proposed COLA has increased from 0.76% to 1.07%, which would bring at least $3.4 million in additional revenue to our colleges and District, and that the revision continues to fund community colleges without deferrals. He said the shortfall in state revenues last year and in the current year will be an ongoing concern. Chancellor Smith noted that City College successfully applied for $75 million to use in constructing its first student housing program and the District is reviewing details on how the funding parameters might impact that program. He reported that the Nursing Baccalaureate pilot bills, Senate Bill 895 and Assembly Bill 2104, are being reviewed by the respective appropriations committees.

Chancellor Smith shared his report with Mesa College President Ashanti T. Hands and the Mesa College Speech and Debate Team under the leadership of Kim Perigo. He announced that Mesa College student Husna Ayoubi was awarded the Jack Kent Cooke Transfer Scholarship, and that District commencements are set to begin May 17 with Miramar College being first. He also thanked the faculty for their work throughout the past year, and he recognized outgoing AS President Zeledón-Pérez. Chancellor Smith, on behalf of Vice Chancellor Joel Peterson, shared that the College Police Advisory Committee has been reviewing the use of tasers in law enforcement with no recommendation on the matter; he said the next step will be to engage independent research with a focus on whether tasers actually achieve a reduction in use of lethal force or whether they result in more acts of violence against civilians, and he expects that work to continue into the fall semester.

Diego Bethea

Student Trustee Diego Bethea reported that on April 18 City College held a research symposium that drew nearly 1,000 people; Miramar College held its last student government meeting on May 10; and College of Continuing Education hosted a mental health fair on April 15 and its annual scholarship on April 26. He said that “smile season” leading up to commencement on all of the campus has included a variety of celebration on each campus; and all of the colleges held successful student government elections at the end of April. Student Trustee Bethea also called to focus the importance of making sure to get your mental health checked and encourage others to look past the stigmas that may prevent them from getting the help they need. 


At its regular meeting of May 16, 2024, which was conducted in-person, with online participation available, the Board of Trustees:

- Heard public comment from Masha Melnik, Eva S. Arteaga, Andrea Lopez Rivera who spoke in support of 32-hour workweek for AFT Classified Professionals, and from Kim Perigo who thanked Vice Chancellor Susan Topham and her team for their work in support of communications studies. City College Academic Senate (AS) President María-José Zeledón-Pérez shared her excitement about seeing so many students at the meeting. She highlighted several events taking place on campus culminating with the college’s May 23 commencement. She thanked the Board as she ends her term as AS President and said it had been an incredible experience. Mesa College AS President Andrew Hoffman acknowledged a tragic loss of life on campus at Mesa and another unfortunate incident which has caused grief and sorrow. Mental health services are being highlighted in communications but there seems to be confusion about the communication protocols during such incidents including lines of authority. He said he hopes clearer lines of communication will result. Mesa is also hosting several celebrations in addition to commencement on May 24. Miramar College AS President Pablo Martin read from a resolution on faculty rights and academic freedom and expressed his pride in the work being done by the AS. He thanked President Wes Lundburg for hosting a lunch for the AS and said he was looking forward to Friday’s commencement ceremonies. SDCCE AS President Richard Weinroth reported the SDCCE graduation is June 11 and it will be an opportunity for the college to come together to celebrate its students. He shared about a recent conference focused on noncredit education in which the college was well represented. He said the college was well acknowledged. He concluded by expressing his concern about single sign-on and implementation at the college, which he described as a very big lift since it requires multi-factor authentication. He said the college will need support to ensure students can navigate and stay enrolled. All of her fellow AS Presidents and several Board members thanked Zeledón-Pérez for her service.

- Adopted revisions to Chapter 3 – General Institution Board Policy, Chapter 6 – Business and Financial Services Board Policy, Chapter 7 – Human Resources (first readings).

- Approved the addition of Eric Felix (nominated by Trustee Arroyo) to the Trustee Advisory Council (TAC).

- Approved a new logo for the San Diego Community College District for use in all District publications, stationery, and promotional materials.

- 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; and renewed an agreement with the San Diego Workforce Partnership for the Alcohol and Other Drug Studies program at City College.

- Following public hearings, adopted the College and Career Access Pathways (CCAP) Dual Enrollment Partnership Agreement with six public charter schools; and adopted the Education Protection Account Funding and Expenditure Plan (Proposition 30) for 2023-24.

- Entered into agreements with the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office (CCCCO) for the Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA) Grants at City College and Miramar College; and for the UMOJA Campus Program Plan at Mesa College.

- Accepted a grant from the Foundation for Grossmont and Cuyamaca Colleges for the Strong Workforce Program at College of Continuing Education.

- Entered into a subcontract agreement with the San Diego Community College Auxiliary Organization for the Youth Wellness Program.

- Authorized travel for students in the Mesa College Physical Sciences Department to participate in a 10-day geoscience-themed field excursion from June 5-14 in the Mammoth Lakes, Calif. area.

- Authorized the ratification of Emergency Action taken to replace a transformer and breaker at Miramar College.

- Adopted the Strategic Energy and Environmental Plan (SEEP) to guide sustainability and environmental efforts and initiatives.

- Heard a presentation on the Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Plan for 2023-26 by Chancellor Gregory Smith and Acting Vice Chancellor Aimee Gallagher. The Board agreed that additional work was needed before the final plan could be approved.

- Authorized the use of Logan Memorial Educational Campus as an off-campus facility by City College.

- Authorized an agreement with Helix Systems to provide hosting management, integration services, and ongoing support and services to implement and maintain Simplifier, SharePoint, and other relevant software.

- Heard a report on the districtwide Honors Program from Coordinators Kelly Meyhew and Sarah Pitcher.

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

- Approved purchase orders completed during April 2024; the 2023-24 Third Quarter Financial Report; the District’s Report of Participation in the San Diego County Investment Pool; the master list of off-campus locations for 2023-24; and various personnel actions including the certification of short-term personnel service effective on or after May 17, 2024.

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