President/Superintendent's Blog

Summary of the December 10, 2019 Regular Meeting of the Board of Trustees

Published on 12/10/2019.

Comments/Board Business

Member Comments: Trustee Dorn thanked the Board for sending him to the CCLC 2019 Annual Convention. Trustee Dorn mentioned that he attended several important sessions including: Hemp research, Brown Act, issues related to public records act, and the involvement of community colleges in the 2020 Census process. He also noted how impressed he was with the CR Nursing students and the Nursing faculty he encountered during his recent hospital stay.

Trustee Mathews mentioned the meeting she had with Marty Coelho, Foundation Vice President Monica Sperling, Foundation Board Member Don Olson, and Rory Johnson to discuss the Redwoods Room and Board Scholarship Fund, fundraising in Crescent City, and repurposing of Del Norte’s Challenge Grant Fund ($29,353).

Trustee Biggin noted that she completed the Recertification of the Excellence in Trusteeship Program. She also mentioned that she attended the CR Holiday Party. I want to thank Cynthia Petrusha, Tina Wahlund, and Susan Wiegman for their work to make sure that the party was enjoyable. It was very well organized. Thank you Cynthia, Tina, and Susan.

Board Workshop Topics and Dates: The Trustees approved several topics they would like to discuss at future board workshops:

  • Long-term budget forecasts
  • Cohort tracking
  • Career Pathways (stackable degrees)
  • The College Promise movement
  • Progress on the District's Open Education Resources (OER) initiative
  • The District’s OPEB obligation
  • The Board's role in advocacy
  • Connecting institutional research metrics to the evaluation of Board Policies
  • Brown Act Training

They also agreed to hold three workshops next year: January 18, 2020 (Saturday); April 18, 2020 (Saturday); and August 22, 2020 (Saturday).  President Emad suggested that the Trustees consider adding discussion of long-term pension liabilities to the list of workshop topics.  The President of the Board will determine which topics to discuss at each particular workshop.

Trustee Travel to the Community College National Legislative Summit on February 8, 2020: I am proud to announce that Trustee Kelley was appointed to the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) Governance and Bylaws Committee. Trustee Kelley is one of three California community college trustees appointed to a national committee that has trustees from boards representing community colleges from across the country. Trustee Kelley’s appointment signals that the ACCT recognizes his commitment to the community college system.  The Board approved his travel to the February 8 legislative summit in Washington, D.C.

Status of Board of Trustees Requests: There are two outstanding board requests remaining:

  • C.R. History—Cathy Cox is gathering some information that may be useful in creating the CR History document.  It will take a least this year to complete this request.
  • Update on Board Policy (BP) 7330 Communicable Disease and Vaccinations—The College Council tabled the document for further review and discussion with our bargaining units.

The request related to Administrative Procedure (AP) 6620 Naming was removed from the list since I submitted the draft AP to the Board’s ad hoc committee tasked with reviewing the document. The ad hoc committee will meet prior to the January 7, 2020 Board meeting to review the draft AP.

Conferences for Board of Trustee Attendance for 2020: All people elected to a community college board have something to learn about their role.  The Trustees and I believe that having well informed and skilled board members are essential to the success of our Board and the District. To that end, I included a discussion item in the Board of Trustees meeting that suggested the conferences Trustees may want to consider attending next year.

Community College League of California (CCLC) Effective Trusteeship and Board Chair Workshop

January 24, 2020

Sacramento, California

Suggested Attendees: President and Vice President of the Board

CCLC Annual Legislative Conference

January 26-27, 2020

Sacramento, California

Suggested Attendees: One Trustee

CCLC Annual Trustees Conference

May 1-3, 2020

La Jolla, California

Suggested Attendees: Two Trustees

CCLC Student Trustee Workshop

August 7-9, 2020

San Francisco

Suggested Attendee: New Student Trustee

CCLC 2020 Annual Convention

November 19-21, 2020

San Francisco, California

Suggested Attendees: Two Trustees

Organizational Procedures

Board Member Conduct and Obligations: The Board maintains high standards of ethical conduct for its members. President of the Board Emad reminded the Board of Trustees of the importance of respecting the letter and intent of the Ralph M. Brown Act. 

Election of Officers: President, Vice President, and Clerk: The ad hoc committee of the Board recommended the following slate of candidates for 2020-21 at the November Board meeting:

  • President of the Board--Trustee Dr. Colleen Mullery
  • Vice President of the Board--Trustee Danny Kelley
  • Clerk of the Board--Trustee Dr. Bonnie Deister

The slate of candidates was not approved. By policy, President Emad called for nominations and a vote for each position individually. Ultimately, Trustee Dr. Mullery was voted as President, Trustee Kelley as Vice President, and Trustee Dorn as Clerk.

The newly elected Board officers will assume office at the January Board meeting and serve for one year or until their successors are elected.

It may be helpful to provide a brief summary of the duties of each of the Board officers.
The role of the President of the Board is very extensive. Dr. Mullery will preside at all regular and special meetings, call special meetings as provided for bylaw, sign documents on behalf of the Board of Trustees, and represent the District in its relations with other Board member. Dr. Mullery will also consult with me on board meeting agendas, communicate with individual board members about their responsibilities, assure board compliance with policies on board education, self-evaluation, and CEO evaluation, and represent the Board at official events or ensure board representation.

Mr. Kelley will perform all of the duties of the President of the Board in case of the absence, resignation, or temporary incapacity of Dr. Mullery. 

Mr. Dorn will certify actions taken by the Board of Trustees whenever such certification is required for any purpose; maintain records or reports as are required by law; and perform other duties as may require official signature by the Board of Trustees of the District.

Review Code of Ethics and Trustee Protocols - BP/AP 2715: Consistent with Board Policy the Trustees reviewed BP/AP 2715.

Consent Calendar Action Items

Approve/Ratify Personnel Actions: The Board approved and/or ratified several personnel related items. We say “hail” to new classified staff and three members to our faculty ranks.  I am pleased that we will add six new staff members to our college community:

  • Bret Butler, Custodian I – Evenings
  • Brandon Costa, Maintenance Specialist II – Painter
  • Adrian Dobson, Custodian II – Evenings
  • Lydia Leonard-Rhodes, Student Services Specialist II – Del Norte
  • Roben Printy, Custodian I – Evenings
  • Antonio Villarruel, Custodian I – Evenings

By Board action, beginning Spring semester, Amy Murphy will serve as Assistant Professor, CIS (one semester replacement), Chelsea Teale as Associate Faculty of Geography, and Vanessa Vrtiak as Associate Faculty of Sociology. I want to note that the Amy’s compensation will be paid from strong workforce funds and not the general fund.

Several of our colleagues had their employment status changed:

  • Michele Holper moved from an Instructional Support Specialist II – DSPS .39 FTE position to Instructional Support Specialist III – ASC .86 FTE
  • Scott Stephansky’s status was changed from an Instructional Support Specialist II – Greenhouse .337 FTE to an Instructional Support Specialist II – Greenhouse, Range .36 FTE
  • Steven Walker moved from Administrative Office Assistant II – Library to Instructional Support Specialist III – ASC – Evenings effective

We also will also say goodbye to several colleagues who have elected to resign or retire from the District:

  • Robin Cardona, Student Services Specialist IV – EOPS, resigned as of November 11, 2019
  • Heather Hammers, Account Clerk III, resigned as of December 6, 2019
  • Crystal Morse, Veterans Program Coordinator, will resign on January 2, 2020
  • Barbara Jaffari, Professor of CIS/Office Technology, will retire on May 16, 2020
  • David Holper, Professor of English, will retire on December 17, 2021

Approve Curriculum Changes: The Trustees approved non-substantial curriculum changes to thirteen courses.  They also approved the new Social Justice Studies ADT for fall 2020. The program learning outcomes for our new degree include the application of different theories of justice and social justice to analyze real-world examples, analysis of how the diversity of lived experience affects human expression and identity, and the application of social science methods and concepts in the analysis of how different strategies further varied theories of justice and social justice.

Approve Bond Project Status: We spent $306,974 of Measure Q funds during the month ending October 31, 2019.  For those of you tracking our “Q” funds, we have spent a total of $44,184,975 so far and have less than $400 thousand in unspent money in the budget.

Action/Discussion Items

Approve Academic Calendar: The Trustees approved a 2020-2021 academic calendar negotiated between the CRFO and the District.  The new academic calendar, which includes Summer 2021, meets the required minimum of 175 academic days and includes two 16-week semesters.

There has been some discussion on how the District recognizes Cesar Chavez Day over the last several year. The faculty and I agree that it is important to recognize the position impact Cesar Chavez has on our society. However, I also agree with CRFO that removing another instructional day from our academic calendar will have a negative effect on our academic mission.  Therefore, rather  than close the District, we are going to keep the District open and host Cesar Chavez Day activities and events for all of our students and employees.

Approve Request for Proposals for Solar Microgird: The Board supported my recommendation to publish a request for proposal (RFP) for design-build services for a hybrid microgrid that would supply electricity to the Eureka Campus.  Why is this important? The recent Public Safety Power Shutdowns coupled with unannounced losses of power to the Eureka Campus we have experienced over the past few years clearly shows that we have to explore options relative to securing a long-term resilient campus power supply.

Monthly Financial Status Report:  Our monthly financial status report showed that we realized a higher than expected ending fund balance in 2018-19 of 8.8%.  With the adjusted beginning fund balance, the current estimated ending fund balance for 2019-20 is $2,450,900, or 7.9%.

Approve Employment Agreement with President: The Board approved an amendment to my current contract. By the Board’s action, my current contract will sunset at the end of this academic year. A new contract will begin on July 1, 2020 and end on June 30, 2024. The Board and I may alter, amend, or terminate my contract by mutual consent.  I want to share with you, for the sake of openness and transparency, the key terms of the contract:

  • I may unilaterally terminate the agreement for any reason by providing written notice of resignation or retirement to the Board at least sixty (60) days prior to the effective date of termination.
  • The Board may reassign, suspend, demote or dismiss me for cause for any reason per Education Code sections 87732 or 87735 or for the material breach of the performance of my duties and responsibilities provided in the agreement.
  • The Board may terminate the contract at any time prior to the stated termination date of the agreement at its sole discretion without cause. In the event the contract is terminated without cause, the District shall pay me, within thirty (30) days, an amount equal to the salary and benefits on the remaining portion of the agreement, or twelve (12) months, whichever is less, pursuant to and subject to the limitations set forth in Government Code section 53260 and 53621.
  • The new contract provides the percentage included in the 2020-2021 State Budget Act as the cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for community colleges and a $900 monthly expense allowance (up from $600 per month). The COLA is the same percentage amount provided to all District employees.  

I want to thank the Board of Trustees for the trust and confidence that they have invested in me with this amended contract. I am truly honored and proud to serve as President of this wonderful institution.

Accept District Audit Report: The Audit Committee of the Board met immediately prior to this regular meeting and approved the audit report. John Dominguez a representative from the District’s independent auditor firm Cossolias, Wilson, Dominguez, Leavitt CPAs (CWDL) provided a very in-depth discussion of the results of the audit. The Board accepted the report.

Approve Sabbatical Recommendations for 2020-21: The Trustees approved my recommendation to grant one semester sabbatical leaves to Professor Sean Thomas and Professor Shannon Sullivan. I included a brief synopsis of their proposals to this blog article. Congratulations to Sean and Shannon.

Informational Reports

District Compliance with the Fifty Percent Law and Faculty Obligation Number Requirement: The 50% Law and the Faculty Obligation Number (FON) have been both guiding principles and sources of discussion in the California Community College System for several years. Despite attempts to reform them, these statutory and regulatory requirements have remained essentially unchanged. I provided a brief background of the requirements and our compliance with those requirements with the Trustees.

Fifty Percent Law

The impetus for the 1961 50% Law is quite straightforward: The Legislature wanted to improve classroom instruction by requiring a specific level of spending on instructor salaries.  We satisfied the 50% law requirements in 2018-19.  Our annual CCFS-311Q Financial Status Report, submitted to the State on November 4, 2019, noted that the District's 50% Law calculation for 2018-19 was 53.94%. I attached the annual report to this organizational report.

Fulltime Obligation Number (FON)

The FON was established in 1989 as a means of ensuring that colleges, at a minimum, increase their number of full-time faculty workforce in proportion to their growth in credit FTES. Our obligatory fall 2019 full-time faculty compliance number is 60.2. Our total full-time equivalent faculty is 74.9—or 14.7 above the compliance number.  For those of you tracking our compliance over time, our Fall 2018 compliance number was 55.2 with a total full-time equivalent faculty number of 77.5—or 22.3 above the compliance number. 

While this is good news in terms of our compliance with Education Code and Chancellor’s Office requirements, I am committed to hiring faculty in mission critical areas to ensure student success/completion and enrollment growth. The fall 2019 Compliance Report is provided for further information.

Organizational Reports

Academic Senate: Co-President Sokolow mentioned that the Senate is going to engage in conversations related to long-term instructional vision and the Education Master Plan.

CRFO: President Haggerty mentioned that the faculty are actively involved on advocacy on the state level.

CSEA: President Engman noted that the classified union supports recognizing Cesar Chavez day as an official District holiday. She recognized the resignation of Crystal Morse and hiring of several new employees in the maintenance department.

Management Council: President Waters publically recognized the following Management Council and CSEA members for their work during the recent power outages: Steve McKenzie, Fred Flores, Molly Blakemore, Ashley Mitchell, Anthony Finck, Jordan Hamill, Ericka Barber, Ernie Shull, Charles Reed, Max Capps, Kevin Crotty, Jose Ramirez, Kirk Frischknecht, and Tom Cossey. He also thanked Crystal Morse for her support of veterans in the police academy.

Administrative Reports

President/Superintendent's Report:  My written report touched on the following:

  • I intend to send a five member CR team to the March 18-20 human centered design meeting. If you are not familiar with the concept, the foundational principle of human centered design is that you should truly understand the people who experience a problem before you design a solution to serve them. Empathy is about understanding the problem by immersing yourself in the community that will be affected by your design. The design process as a whole, is about asking questions instead of making assumptions about why things are the way they are. This design model dovetails nicely with the Interest Based Approach we’ve adopted for the District. It will also help us build stronger relationships with our local community.
  • I agreed to host a public forum for County Supervisor candidates on January 28, 29, or 30 in the Eureka Campus Theater;
  • I submitted the revised draft AP 6620 Naming Facilities and Properties to the Board through its Ad Hoc Committee (Emad, Dorn and Kelley) for discussion. The Ad Hoc Committee will meet at noon on January 7, 2020 to review the daft AP; and
  • In case you missed the recent press release disseminated by the Humboldt County economic development function, Marty Coelho was selected to serve on the Humboldt County Collective Cannabis Marketing RFP Ad Hoc Committee. Marty will join several other ad hoc committee members to receive, review, and score marketing proposals from companies interested in developing a cannabis marketing strategy for the County.

My verbal comment was related to scheduling a meeting with Assemblymember Wood’s office.

Vice President of Instruction Report: Angelina’s written report noted that Dr. Peter Blakemore’s article, Accelerating English Composition: A Communal Conscious Choice, describing our smooth implementation of AB 705 was featured in the most recent issue of the Journal of the Faculty Association of California Community Colleges (FACCC). I attached the full FACCCTS article, in which Dr. Blakemore describes the English Department's journey to improve student outcomes to this blog article. Peter’s story starts on page 10 of the article.

She also mentioned that:

  • We are on track to open the new online bookstore to students on December 16 for spring 2020 book purchases. CR’s Bookstore Manager, Ashley Mitchell, is working with IT, the Business Office, special programs, and marketing to implement the new online bookstore and get word out to students. Students will be informed about the new bookstore via fliers, emails and text messages. 
  • We have initiated the search for four general funded tenure-track faculty positions this month in Communication Studies (Del Norte & Pelican Bay), Computer Information Systems (Eureka), and two Registered Nursing (Eureka).  We are also starting the search process for two non-tenure track full-time faculty positions in Eureka funded through the College's Strong Workforce program in Social Work and Construction Technology - Fine Woodworking/Residential.   

She also noted that the faculty prioritization committee will meet again to assess the effectiveness of the new faculty prioritization procedure and inform the Academic Standards and Policies Committee as they continue working on the procedure.

  • The ACCJC has significantly changed the way it requires colleges to gain approval to carry out a substantive change (e.g., change in mission, legal status, locations, curricular programming). Until now, colleges needed to include in a substantive change proposal for ACCJC approval for all new programs for which more than 50 percent of course offerings can be completed online. Moving forward, colleges that have already had an online substantive change approval (CR included) no longer need to do this.
  • The College was visited in October and November by a Partnership Resource Team (PRT) that the Administration asked to help us enhance professional development. The PRT, chaired by the President of Santa Rosa College, consisted of peers from Chabot, Sierra, Sacramento, and Grossmont College. The PRT met with over 30 of our colleagues, including classified staff and faculty leadership. The PRT told me, at the closing meeting, that the PRT was impressed with our talent and commitment to the institution.

As next steps, faculty and staff will work on a plan to strengthen learning communities using the advice that the PRT provided. The PRT can provide up to $200,000 to help CR carry out the plan. The PRT will come for their third and final visit in the spring during which they will track CR's progress carrying out the plan.

Angelina commented on the work the Academic Senate, Deans, and Human Resources will do to bring in a cohort of new faculty in fall 2020.

Vice President of Administrative Services Report: Julia updated the Board on the progress we’ve made to improve our power resources. She noted that we are purchasing three generators ranging in size from 45 - 125 KV for the Eureka Campus. These new generators, in addition to the units we already have, will provide power to the Residence Halls, Dining Services, Child Development Center, the Waste Water Treatment Facility, and key areas in the LRC. 

Placing a generator power at the LRC will allow us to maintain power to our internet, phone, email, the data, and the website systems.  A more permanent back-up power solution will be installed at the LRC as part of the UIR project.

Julia also mentioned that the Student Housing request for proposal (RFP) was released on November 25.  The proposals are due on January 17, 2020 @ 2:00 pm. Julia and her staff will provide a mandatory walkthrough for interest firms on December 13.

I want to share the goals for the new student housing project:

  • Enhance the campus experience for all students, faculty and staff;
  • Honor local Native American architecture;
  • Achieve housing affordability for students in a quality on-campus residential environment. When determining relative affordability, such comparison shall include the comprehensive cost of housing including rent, utilities, internet, furniture and other direct and indirect costs of housing;
  • Promote student equity, access and success, with progression to degree or certificate completion, and/or transfer, by engaging student residents in an enriching and secure living/learning environment;
  • Support CR’s Facilities Master Plan and sustainability; where sustainability includes social equity, economics, and the environment;
  • Achieve facility and operational savings (to further promote affordable rent) through innovative and efficient design and construction, without compromising overall Project quality;
  • Provide reliable positive cash flow for CR to support the indirect costs of housing as well as the overall educational mission of the District;
  • Create substantial programmatic and spatial ties to academic and student services to support student development;
  • Maintain student housing affordability within the local market;
  • Provide a sustainable, environmentally appropriate facility that is energy and water efficient;
  • Maximize, to the extent reasonably practicable, the utilization of firms located and operating in Humboldt County;
  • Seek private sector innovation and efficiencies, and encourage financing and design solutions that respond to actual and anticipated environmental concerns, permits and commitments;
  • Enhance the College’s strategic goal of being making CR the college of choice; and
  • Provide broad based services to keep students on campus.

We expect to present a recommendation for the qualified firm to the Board at the February 4th meeting, and the successful firm will be notified on February 5th.

Vice President of Student Development Report: Joe’s written report noted that the Multicultural Center is sponsoring a series of professional development workshops conducted by Dr. Ellie Galvez-Hard, retired professor of Multicultural Studies at Sonoma State University.  Future workshops will be 'Cultural Representative Pedagogy' on December 11 and 'Building Capacity for Critical Dialog' on January 22. 

He also noted that the HSU Transfer Specialist Kailyn Doyle will continue to offer workshops to assist CR students with the application for the CSU system and that the District's three Food Pantries and Clothing Closets are accepting donations to assist CR students.  

Joe mentioned the work that DSPS and the Multicultural Center are doing to provide stress relief to students during finals week.

Director of Human Resources: Wendy’s report noted the following:

  • There have been 34 trainings provided to staff as of November 19, 2019. This is an increase of 36% from 2018. 
  • Four trainings have been scheduled for the remainder of the fall semester:
  • December 11, 2019 - Cultural Representative Pedagogy
  • December 12, 2019 - BARNGA - A Simulation of Cultural Clashes
  • December 13, 2019 - Responding to the Needs of Today's Diverse Students
  • December 13, 2019 - Enhancing Cultural Competence for Hiring Committees:  In Pursuit of Equity, Quality, and Diversity at College of the Redwoods.
  • Our January Flex activities scheduled for January 16, 2020 and January 17, 2020, will be comprised of various trainings including Online Course Share, Financial Aid, Student Learning Outcomes, and Guided Pathways. Staff will also have an opportunity to attend a workshop designed to help participants to manage bias using Cultural Intelligence (CQ) on January 17, 2020 from 8:30 a.m. to Noon. 
  • We will offer several trainings in the spring semester focused on the following:
  • Computers and Technology (Microsoft Office Applications, Canvas, Datatel, etc.)
  • Communication Skills
  • Student Resources
  • Leadership Development
  • Assessment
  • CalPERS/STRS Retirement Planning
  • Distance Education Pedagogy
  • Equity

Executive Director of Foundation Report: Marty’s written report included the following:

  • The Foundation submitted two grants - one to St. Joseph Health for their Care for the Poor Grant and one to the Rotary Club of Eureka for their Glyndon “Sign” and Ruth Smith Endowment Fund. Both grants asked for funds to provide emergency housing up to 14 days in a motel, meals in the cafeteria for up to 14 days, and up to five counseling sessions our students in crisis.
  • The Foundation Board reviewed and provided comment on the draft AP 6620 Naming document.
  • The Foundation acquired two more certificates of deposit for the Cal Trans Mitigation Fund to provide stable returns on the farm equipment fund and the interest earnings.
  • It is extremely important to Marty and me that the College acknowledges and honors the fact that our Eureka and Del Norte Campuses rest on traditional Native homelands. To that end, Marty and I are working with the Wiyot Tribe to erect signs on the southern and northern ends of the Eureka campus that recognize the fact that our Eureka Campus is located on Wiyot Lands. The signs will say “Welcome to Wiyot Land” and will be translated into the Wiyot language. Coupled with the installation of the signs, we will also contribute an annual gift from the Foundation to the Wiyot Tribe. The gift will be used by the Wiyot Tribe to support their child and elder care programs. Additionally, the Facilities Planning Committee and Cabinet are discussing ways we may honor the Wiyot Tribe on the soon to be vacant land on northern end of the Eureka campus. 

We are also working with Chairperson of the Tolowa Dee-ni' Tribe to erect a sign at the entrance of the Del Norte Campus honoring the fact that the Del Norte Campus rests on traditional Tolowa Dee-ni' land. The sign will read “College of the Redwoods Welcomes You to Tolowa Dee-ni' land" and will be translated into the Tolowa language. The Foundation will also contribute an annual gift to the Tolowa Dee-ni'.

Future Agenda Items, Reports, Requests for Information

Approve a Trustee Request to Place an Item on a Future Agenda:

The Board agreed to review BP 2210 Officers.


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