President/Superintendent's Blog


CR's October 9, 2020 Times Standard Article


Published on 10/8/2020.

In my September 11 Education Matters column, I wrote that one of the challenges CR will face in the future is a significant change on our Board of Trustees. I noted that we would have four trustees whose terms of office will expire in December 2020. Board President and Area 6 representative Dr. Colleen Mullery and Area 7 representative Mrs. Sally Biggin will face challengers for their seats on November 3.

Mr. Bruce Emad’s term on the board will end in December, and he has decided he will not run for re-election as the trustee for Area 5. Since we did not have any candidates file to run for his seat, it fell to the Board of Trustees to appoint a qualified person to succeed Mr. Emad. Additionally, Dr. Bonnie Deister resigned as trustee for Area 1, so the Board had to appoint someone to fill her seat.

We sent out a press release earlier this week announcing that the Board of Trustees voted to appoint Dr. Rebecca Robertson to succeed Mr. Emad in Area 5 for a full four-year term and Mr. Tracy Coppini to serve the remainder of Dr. Diester’s term in Area 1. I want to welcome Dr. Robertson and Mr.Coppini to the Board and am excited to work with them as we lead the college through some very challenging times ahead. Their backgrounds are perfect for the Board.

Dr. Robertson holds a Ph.D. from Oregon State University, a Masters of Arts in Social Science with an emphasis in Globalization and the Environment from HSU, and a Bachelor’s of Arts in Anthropology from HSU. She has a wealth of community college and university experience to bring to the Board. She served as an associate faculty member at College of the Redwoods in the Anthropology Department from 2002-2005, as HSU’s Transfer and Graduation Counselor from 2007-2008, and as a visiting professor with the University Study Abroad Consortium (USAC), Universidad del PaƬs Vasco, San Sebastian, Spain in 2009. She also currently serves as a faculty member in HSU’s Department of Anthropology. She is the Director of the HSU Applied Anthropology and Ethnographic Research Lab and Coordinator of the Applied Anthropology Masters of Arts Program.

Mr. Tracy Coppini is a fourth-generation rancher in Ferndale who has been in business for nearly thirty-seven years. His transition onto the board should be an easy one, as he has ten years’ worth of prior experience on our board, serving Area 1 from 1997 to 2017. During his tenure as a board member, Tracy, along with our other trustees, led the district through a very difficult budget challenge, which led to the establishment of a firm financial foundation for the College.

Today I would also like to take a moment to share some observations and to thank Mr. Bruce Emad for his long service on our Board of Trustees. As I reflect on the last thirteen years, two things strike me: how Mr. Emad’s heart has always been in the right place and how collaborative and forward thinking he has been in guiding the district.

From the outside, CR appears to move effortlessly, but I know how difficult it has been in reality. My deep thanks go to Mr. Emad for his commitment to the hard work that was involved in continually improving and remaking College of the Redwoods.

I have been blessed to get to know him personally, and I thank him for his friendship and the opportunities I have had to learn from him.

Finally, I want to thank the entire Board of Trustees for the trust and confidence they have invested in me to serve as President of College of the Redwoods. I am truly honored and proud to lead this strong and vibrant institution alongside the Trustees. I know that we will work together to champion the cause of CR, to steward its mission, and to strengthen and secure its future.

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