President/Superintendent's Blog


Summary of the College of the Redwoods Board May 7, 2019 Meeting


Comments/Board Business

Member Comments: Trustee Kelley commented that he attended the RREDC meeting and the Annual California Co-Op Conference in Sacramento. Trustee Mathews attended the Del Norte Open House and Scholarship reception. Trustee Mullery attended the Annual Trustee Conference. Trustee Biggin was re-elected to the CCCT Board.

Board Committee Reports: The Audit Committee of the Board met prior to the regular meeting and interviewed three potential auditing firms.

Swear In Student Trustee: I am happy to report that Ms. Christine Peters was sworn in by President of the Board Emad to serve as our new Student Trustee.  Christine’s term will begin on May 15. On behalf of the Board and the Administration, I want to thank Ms. Florentina Jones for serving as the Student Trustee for 2018-19. Florentina did a fantastic job advocating for students.

Consent Calendar Action Items

Approve/Ratify Personnel Actions: By Board action, we have an opportunity to welcome some new staff and faculty to our college community. Sadly, we will also say goodbye to several colleagues.

Cynthia Luke (Lead Cashier), Jessica Niemi (Student Services Specialist II), Ron Rudden (Gardener I), and Brett McMurray (Special Programs Academic Advisor will start on May 8, 2019. Rosa Hernandez (Student Development Advisor) will start on June 3, 2019. All five new hires are replacing someone who left the District.

Two staff members changed positions effective May, 2019. Heather Hammers moved from Account Clerk III to Accounts Payable position. Kathryn Keyser moved from Assistant Director Upward Bound to the Director of Trio Success.

We welcome a new tenure track faculty member and two associate faculty to our college community. Bryan Kramer will replace retiring Professor Michael Richards in the Automotive Technology department effective August 1, 2019. Thank you to staff and faculty who served on the selection committee. I also want to specially thank Kerry Mayer for closing the deal.

We also welcome two new associate faculty to the District. David Sedgwick will join the Del Norte faculty as an associate faculty of Music.  Erica Talavera will serve as an associate faculty of Nursing Science/Clinical Practice on the Eureka Campus.  We are very fortunate that David and Erica have agreed to join our college community.

The Trustees ratified my acceptance of two resignations and five retirements.  Jesica Rawlings resigned as an Account Clerk III in the Business Office as of April 18. Assistant Professor of Forestry Mickey Jarvi resigned his faculty position effective at the end of this faculty contract year. I wish them the best.

We are going to say goodbye to three faculty members. Michael Butler (Mathematics), Daniel Calderwood (CIS), and Ruth Moon (Librarian) have elected to take advantage of the early retirement contract language and announce their intent to retire from the District effective May 16, 2020. It struck me during the Board meeting how much these faculty members have influenced us in very positive and profound ways.  I want to thank Michael, Daniel, and Ruth for everything they’ve done for our students and the District.

We will also say farewell the Garry Patrick and Steven Roper. Garry will retire on June 7, 2019 and Steven will retire on June 5, 2019. Thank you to both of these wonderful colleagues for their service to the District. They will soon learn that being retired does not mean that they will get a day off.

Approve/Ratify Contracts, Agreements, MOUs: The Trustees approved or ratified several contracts, agreement, and MOUs. I want to highlight the GHD contract because of the $1,300,000 price tag. GHD’s scope of work will include ensuring that the UIR work is in conformance with the DSA approved plans and specifications and assisting with Close-out certification to DSA that the UIR project is constructed in conformity with the approved plans and specifications and all applicable codes and authorities. The State funded UIR project will pay for the GHD engagement.

Authorize Sale of Construction Technology House #43, 1630 Xavier Court, Fortuna, CA with a $425,000 Listing Price and Authorize the President/Superintendent to Accept a Reasonable Offer and to Execute the Required Documents: The Board approved the sales plan for Construction Technology House #43 in Fortuna and authorized me to accept a reasonable offer and to execute the required documents.

Approve Student Trustee Privileges for 2019-20. The Trustees approved the recommendation to recognize new Student Trustee Christine Peters as a full member of the Board at meetings with the authority and compensation in accordance with Board Policy BP 2015. Christine will participate in discussion of issues and receive all materials presented to members of the Board (except for closed session).

Approve Emeritus Faculty Nominations: The Board granted Faculty Emeritus status to two outstanding retiring faculty members—Professor Steve Brown and Professor Michael Richards. I want to share a partial list of their accomplishments on the part of the District.

Professor Brown’s accomplishments include:

  • Served as Co-president of the Academic Senate, Division Representative for the Academic Senate for nine years, Dean of CTE, and Division Chair of Business and Technology.
  • Served as an Executive Committee Member of the Academic Senate and Chair of the Academic Standards and Policies Committee.
  • Awarded Faculty of the Year
  • Served as a member of the State Academic Senate committee for Occupational Education.
  • Co-authored three National Science Foundation grants.
  • Authored ATMAE accreditation self-studies for the Construction, Drafting, and Manufacturing programs.
  • Served as President of ATMAE's Community College Division and Team Chair for eleven ATMAE accreditation visits.
  • Served as a member of two ACCJC Visiting Teams.
  • Developed a non-credit STEM Guitar Building course.

Professor Richards’ accomplishments include:

  • Served as Co-President of the Academic Senate.
  • Served on the Academic Senate and multiple terms of membership on the Executive Committee of the Academic Senate.
  • Helped develop the Program Review process.
  • Sought and maintained NATEF Accreditation for the Auto Technology Program.
  • Served as a Vice-President and subsequently the President of the California Automotive Teachers Association.
  • Served as a Board Member for North American Conference of Automotive Teachers for three years.
  • Served as a member of the Vocational Leadership Institute of Academic Senate for California Community Colleges for three years.
  • Served as a NATEF Evaluation Team Leader for multiple Site Visits of Auto Programs in California, Oregon, Texas, and Oklahoma.
  • Led effort to acquire multiple vehicle donations to be used for training purposes.
  • Developed and implemented Hybrid Vehicle Training into the Automotive Technology curriculum.

Action/Discussion Items

Monthly Financial Status Report: You may remember that our 2018-19 Final Budget included an ending fund balance of 6.3%.  The Chancellors Office’s downward adjustment to their student-centered funding formula revenue triggered a recalculation of our ending fund balance to 5.5%.

2019-20 Preliminary Budget and Multi-year Forecast: We merged information from the Governor’s January Budget Proposal, the Chancellor's Office (CO) funding model webinars, and the Legislative Analyst's (LAO) Office reports to develop a preliminary budget for multi-year budget forecast. Here is a brief snapshot of the information we discussed with the Board:

  • At this time, the State budget cannot support the costs of the Student Centered Funding Formula so the CO is only guaranteeing Hold Harmless revenue levels for all districts.
  • The 2019-20 Preliminary Budget assumes the LAO’s cost of living adjustment (COLA) projection of 3.1% and not the Governor’s COLA proposal of 3.86%.
  •  The 2020-21 and 2021-22 budget forecasts incorporates the Governor’s COLA projection of 2.86% for 2020-21 and 2.92% for 2021-22.
  • The two revenue scenarios (a worst case and a best case) will reflect the fluidity of the Chancellor's Office and State budget assumptions.  The first scenario assumes the Hold Harmless provision for State apportionment.  The second scenario assumes apportionment per the Student Centered Funding Formula (SCFF).
  • It is important to keep in mind that our 2018-19, 2019-20, and 2020-21 budget assumptions are unpredictable. The Chancellor’s Office is still revising the funding model and the outcome of the State’s budget negotiation is uncertain.

The Board will approve a Tentative Budget at their June meeting that incorporates the Governor’s May Revised Budget assumptions.  Our Final Budget will be approved next September that reflects the negotiated actions taken by the Governor and the Legislature to finalize the State’s budget. I attached the preliminary budget and the budget forecasts to this article.

Approve Audit Committee Recommendation for District Auditor: The Audit Committee of the Board reviewed and the materials of the three finalists and recommended CWDL Certified Public Accountants to serve as the audit firm for the District covering 2018 through 2022-23. The Board approved the Audit Committee's recommendation.

Approve Vision for Success Goals: The State established a new funding formula in July 2018. The legislation that created the funding formula called on community colleges to more strongly link financial planning with broader educational planning. Specifically, it established that we must take certain actions, including the adoption of college- level performance goals that:

  1. Are aligned with the system wide goals in the Vision for Success,
  2. Are measurable numerically, and
  3. Specify the timeline for improvement.

The law also specified that our Board of Trustees:

  1. Adopt the goals at a board meeting,
  2. Include in that meeting’s agenda an explanation of how the goals are consistent and aligned with the system wide goals,
  3. Provide the written agenda item and summary of action to the Chancellor’s Office.
  4. Align our annual plan to our local goals, and
  5. Align our budget with our annual plan.

The Trustees approved the Vision for Success Goals with reservations having to do with the uncertainties of the funding formula.

I want to thank the Institutional Effectiveness Committee (IEC) for developing the Vision for the Success goals and fashioning Annual Plan actions that link those goals with our institutional planning process. I also want to thank Paul Chown for leading open forum discussions on the Eureka Campus, Del Norte Campus, and Klamath/Trinity Instructional Site locations to review the Vision for Success goals and develop actions to meet those goals. I attached our goals to this Board meeting summary blog article.

Draft 2019-20 Annual Institutional Plan: Paul Chown discussed the draft annual plan with the Board of Trustees. The attached Annual Plan once finalized, will be included in the Institutional Effectiveness Report and disseminated at the fall 2019 convocation.

Several of the actions in our annual plan relate to distance education, AB 705 and Guided Pathways work, the AP 4020 and AP 4021 processes, student outreach and completions, student homelessness, professional development, workforce development, and institutional planning. Also included in the Annual Plan are actions that were generated from the open forums Paul Chown led related to the Vision for Success goals.

Informational Reports

Sabbatical Leave Presentation - Dr. Mark Winter: Dr. Winter discussed the results of his Fall 2018 sabbatical. The primary objective his sabbatical was to take a training through the CCC @One for Peer Online Course Reviewer (POCR). The secondary objective was to create an online course in Research Methods in Psychology (Psych 2).

Accreditation Update--Dr. Angelina Hill, Accreditation Liaison Officer (ALO): A visiting team from the Association for Technology, Management, and Applied Engineering (ATMAE) performed a site visit to reaffirm our Construction Technology and Manufacturing Technology programs. A visiting team from the Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) Education Foundation also evaluated our Automotive Technology program. The exit reports from both visiting teams were very positive. Congratulations to our Career Education faculty colleagues.

Angelina and George Potamianos presented at the 2019 ACCJC conference last week. Their presentation focused on our successful Institutional Self-Evaluation process and commendations we received related to Institutional Effectiveness. Take a look at the picture of George at the conference that I attached to this article. Yes, that’s George in a suit.

Capital Projects Update: Steven Roper and Fred Sturner provided an update on several capital projects. Professor Todd Olsen provided public comment related to including a pool in the planning phase for the New PE/Gym Complex.

Here’s a brief summary of Steven and Fred's report:

Utility Infrastructure Replacement Project - This is a complete replacement of the campus utility systems with new systems better able to survive strong ground movement and that conform to the requirements of the Alquist-Priolo Earthquake Fault Zone Act and the Seismic Hazards Mapping Act.  The budget for the project is $36,557,955 fully state funded by a state capital outlay grant.

Work has begun on the new Waste Water Treatment plant and the Site Utilities Replacement projects.  Wahlund Construction has provided a new schedule which shows completion of the Waste Water Treatment plant and leech Field in June of 2020. Upon completion of this project, we will no longer be a Surface Water Discharger and we will not require a State certified Grade 3 operator for the Waste Water Treatment Plant.

We had to request a new start of construction date for all eight of the UIR projects because of the seismic issues we encountered during the planning phases of the UIR project. Our current schedule calls for all work to be completed by June of 2021. We do not anticipate any problems meeting this schedule.

Creative Arts Building Drop and Replace - The Art Building Drop and Replace is a seismic replacement project. The budget for the project is $26,343,785 fully state funded by a state capital outlay grant.

The Chancellor’s Office (CO) and the Department of Finance (DoF) have approved our Preliminary Plans for the new Creative Arts complex. We will have the requisite funding document on July 15th to begin the Working Drawings phase.

Mr. Fred Sturner has been working with the CO and the DoF to obtain additional funding for this project to ensure that all of the Fire Life/Safety needs are met. Fred has been able to add in excess of $2,000,000.00 to the project for a Fire Road and building sprinklers. Fred and Steven have also been able to add additional funding to deal with the asbestos abatement when the current Creative Arts building is demolished.

We plan to begin construction of the new Creative Arts building in July 2020 and complete it by December 2022. 

Physical Education Replacement Building – This is a seismic replacement project. Funding for this project is from a $60,648,000 state capital outlay grant. 

Mr. Fred Sturner has received assurances from the DoF that we will be funded for Preliminary Planning and Working Drawings beginning late July, 2019. We anticipate being funded at $60,000,000.00 for this project. We anticipate that the construction of the new building and the demolition of the old PE complex will take about three years.

ACCJC Annual Report and Annual Fiscal Report: We provided the ACCJC annual report and a fiscal annual report to the Board as information. The annual report contained information about courses and programs with ongoing assessment. The report called attention to the fact that the number of courses that can actually be assessed will always be fewer than the number of courses in the catalog. This is because some courses in the catalog are new and might not have had a chance to be offered and assessed and courses in the catalog can become inactive over the life of the catalog and are no longer available to be assessed. Programs not being assessed are newer programs that have not been active long enough to be assessed, such as in noncredit.

Organizational Reports

CRFO: President Michelle Haggert: Michelle spoke about the faculty contract and CRFO's advocacy work.

Management Council: President Ron Waters: Ron noted the work that the managers are doing to implement the new medical benefits plan. Ron also thanked Garry Patrick and Steven Roper for their work on the part of the District.

Administrative Reports

President/Superintendent's Report: My written report included recognition of two of our associate faculty.  Gabrielle Gopinath had her article Artists without Galleries: What happens to Humboldt's art scene when its venues disappear? published in the April 11, 2019 North Coast Journal (Vol XXX Issue 15).  Here’s the link to Assistant Professor Gopinath's article: https://www.northcoastjournal.com/humboldt/artists-without-galleries/Content?oid=13799705

David Wilson also had his article Stargazing on the North Coast published in the Insider Humboldt Fun, Right Now magazine.  David’s article and wonderful pictures can be found at this link:https://www.humboldtinsider.com/humboldt/under-the-milky-way/Content?oid=13864982

I also recognized the numerous donors who have given money to support our students facing housing and food insecurity while pursuing higher education. Thanks to the kindness and generosity of the community the total funds raised to date are now in excess of $88,000. The list of donors included the following organizations, businesses, and individuals. Some donors have requested to remain anonymous.

  • Coast Central Credit Union
  • Humboldt Area Foundation
  • Open Door Community Health Centers
  • St. Joseph Health System
  • The McLean Foundation
  • The Rose Perenin Foundation
  •  Emily Arents, CNM, RN
  • Wendy Bates
  • David Bazard and Mary Mallahan
  • Sally and John Biggin
  • Vicki and Steve Bradford
  • Steve Christianson - 2003 CR alumni
  • Marty and Kim Coelho
  • Butch Conley
  • Larry and Ruth Connolly
  • Dr. Bonnie Deister, Trustee
  • Michael and Tamara Dennis
  • Aline Faben
  • Keith Flamer
  • Walt and Becky Giacomini
  • Michelle Haggerty
  • Marina and Joe Hash
  • Angelina Hill
  • Nancy R. Ihara
  • Indivisible Ferndale
  • Katie Wendt Manning '77
  • Carol Mathews, Trustee
  • Julia Morrison
  • Dr. Colleen Mullery, Trustee
  • Jennifer Ourique
  • In memory of John and Rose Petrusha
  • The Quist Mazzocoo Family
  • Jesica Rawlings
  • Aaron and Christine Reiher
  • Thawatchai Ronne
  • Dave and Gaby Somerville
  • Monica Sperling
  • Barbara and John Vernon
  • Mike and Beth Woyak

My written report also noted that I received a request from the Art and Music faculty to name the new Creative Arts building after Floyd Bettiga. I attached the letter that explains their support to the Board meeting agenda.

My verbal comments drew attention to the fact that the Humboldt County Supervisors had not responded to the letter our Board sent a letter to the Chair of the Humboldt County Supervisors on March 5 asking for their help to procure a Post-Certified sworn sheriff’s deputy on our campus. I stated that Education Code Section 72330 permits community colleges to establish a police department. I have informed President Emad and Vice President Mullery that, using Ed Code as rationale, I intend to take the necessary steps to create an armed police department.

All we have to do is look at the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre that left 32 dead and 17 wounded, the 2008 rampage at Northern Illinois University that resulted in five deaths and wounded 21, the Umpqua Community College shooting in 2015 that killed 10, and the University of North Carolina Charlotte shooting that killed two people, and the recent shooting at a high school in suburban Denver to understand that we have to do more to maintain a safe and healthy environment for all of our students, faculty, and staff. 

I thanked Joe Hash and Kintay Johnson for their presentation to the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors.

Vice President of Instruction Report: Angelina’s written report noted the Academic Senate’s support to join the California Virtual Campus-Online Education Initiative (CVC-OEI). The CVC-OEI was supported because the initiative offers CR technology and resources to support student success, and because the OEI Course Design Rubric was been endorsed by the College as the standard for online classes.

The CVC is partnering with the California State University (CSU) system to provide the “Finish Faster Online” initiative. The initiative involves creating a comprehensive list of all California Community College’s (CCC) online summer offerings that will be made available to all CSU and CCC students. The initiative is designed to encourage students to enroll in community college classes to complete their degree requirements and finish faster. The most popular courses sought after in past years of Finish Faster have been Statistics, Calculus, English Composition, Oral Communication, and any science with a lab component.

Vice President of Administrative Services Report: Julia’s written comments updated the Board on our transition from a brick and mortar bookstore to an online service. She noted that in December of 2018 the Bookstore Task Force made a recommendation to adopt an online/virtual bookstore.  The Board of Trustees subsequently approved moving forward with a Request for Proposal (RFP) process to solicit proposals from various vendors that host virtual bookstore services. A committee reviewed all RFP responses and evaluated each using the following criteria: Impact on student success, affordability to students, and the completeness of the RFP response. 

We elected to pursue an agreement with MBS (a division of Barnes and Noble) since it ranked highest due to level of flexibility, ease of access, the completeness of the RFP response, the commitment to guarantee buyback prices for students, as well as 24/7 customer support for both students and faculty. 

Julia and her staff are in the process of negotiating the contract language with MBS. I anticipate forwarding the final contract for Board ratification at the June Board meeting.  

Vice President of Student Development Report: Joe’s written report included the following:

  • On Wednesday, April 17, forty-one of our students made the trip to Humboldt State University (HSU) to the HSU campus and meet with the faculty. HSU provided the transportation via bus, in fact the response was so good that a second bus was ordered.  The HSU faculty seemed very pleased with the turnout and would very much like to continue to offer this type of program for CR students in the future. 
  • AB 302 will require the College to provide monitoring of the parking lot overnight for our homeless students. We will also have to provide access to accessible restrooms, have students sign a liability waiver, provide eligible students an overnight parking pass at no charge, set hours of operation for the parking lot and provide a set of parking rules and regulations for overnight use.  We are developing a plan that will allow our students who self-identify as homeless or housing insecure to stay overnight in the Eureka Campus main parking lot. 
  • The Multicultural Center (MCC) will hold its second annual graduation celebration on Thursday, May 16 in the Theater on the Eureka Campus to express appreciation for the achievements, commonalities, and cultural differences that characterize the experiences of our diverse students.
  • Our track & field team competed in the Golden Valley Conference Championship Meet at Yuba College. The men's team took third place and the women's team fifth place.  Individuals with outstanding performances which will allow them to move on to the Nor Cal Trials meet were:
  • Maria Overton:  10K (1st), 5K (2nd), 1500 meters (2nd), 800 meters (4th)
  • Savannah Henniger:  Shot Put (1st), Hammer Throw (3rd)
  • Olivia Dillard:  Discus (4th), Hammer (5th)
  • Earl Buchanan:  100 meters (1st), 200 meters (1st)
  • Grant Van Emmerik:  400 (1st)
  • Jarid Jorgensen:  Hammer (st), Discus (2nd)
  • Men's 4 x 100 Relay (1st):  Tana Liana, Grant Van Emmerik; Donald Snowton, Earl Buchanan

Director of Human Resources Report: Wendy pointed out our professional development offerings increased by 37% compared to the 2017/2018 academic year. There was a 60% increase in course offerings as well as a 57% increase in attendees attending Convocation course offerings this year. Additionally, there was a 43% increase in course offerings as well as a 102% increase in attendees in FLEX activities.

Executive Director of College Advancement and the CR Foundation Report: Marty updated the Board on some of the great work our Foundation has been engaged. I want report on a few:

  • The Foundations’ Ad Hoc Strategic Planning Committee began the short and long-term planning process. The committee discussed the Foundation’s overall strategic approach on how to have an impact on students, businesses, and the community. The committee determined that building partnerships/coalitions would be more efficient and effective, versus focusing on special events. The committee met again on April 18 and produced a draft purpose statement, mission statement, goals, and strategies for the Foundation Board to review at the May 15 board meeting.
  • He and Pru Ratliff were recognized at the Redwoods Regional Logging Conference for expanding CR’s Truck Driving Program to include training in logging trucks. 
  • Marty and I met with Betty Chinn and key staff to discuss potential partnership opportunities. Kintay Johnson and Margaret Talcott will work with Betty Chinn to add specificity to the collaboration.
  • To date $88,250 has been raised for the Redwoods Room and Board Scholarship Fund. At $96,000 the College will be at two years funding for the program.  Grants were written and submitted to US Bank requesting $10,000 and to the Christin & Jalmer Berg Foundation requesting $18,000 to support the Redwoods Room and Board Scholarship Fund.
  • An Athletics Booster Event at Old Growth Cellars hosted by Rex Bohn and Jim Pastori has been tentatively set for June 6. The event will provide an opportunity to build ongoing support for CR’s Athletics from a new group of boosters.
  • Dr. Justine M. Shaw was selected as the Dr. Eugene Portugal Award winner with the fascinating presentation "After the Apocalypse: The Archeology of an Ancient Maya Household after the Maya Collapse."  

Future Agenda Items, Reports, Requests for Information Report:

Approve a Trustee Request to Place an Item on a Future Agenda or Direct Staff to Give a Regular Report: The Trustees made the following requests: 1) To review the AP 6620; 2) To schedule meetings with Assembly Member Wood and Senator Mike McGuire to discuss the funding formula; and 3) To review the recommendations made by other groups such as CCCT and the CEO groups related to the funding formula.

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