President/Superintendent's Blog

Summary of the September 7, 2021 Board of Trustees Meeting

Published on 9/7/2021.

Comments/Board Business

Land Acknowledgement:  President of the Board Danny Kelley read a formal statement that recognizes and respects the Indigenous Peoples as the original stewards of the land that College of the Redwoods occupies. 

We acknowledge that the land on which we are gathered today is unceded territory of the Wiyot people who continue to live and thrive on this land today. It is surrounded by the traditional, ancestral, and present homeland of several indigenous nations including the Hupa, Karuk, Mattole, Tolowa, Wailaki, and Yurok that make up Humboldt and Del Norte Counties.

Board Committee Reports: Vice President of the Board Mathews reported that the Audit Committee met prior to the regular meeting of the Board and discussed the College’s Final Budget and the status of our student debt liability.

Consent Calendar Action Items: The Board approved several consent calendar items including:

Approve/Ratify Personnel Actions:  By Board action, Katrina Hanson will serve as a Student Services Specialist II/Enrollment Services Advisor in our Eureka Campus based Admission’s Office. Joshua Barkley and Henry Buchanan will fill two critical custodian positions on the Eureka Campus.

I want to congratulate three employees whose voluntary request transfers to new positions was approved.  Stephanie Burres had her change of status approved from Interim Benefits and Wellness Manager to the Administrative Assistant for Vice President Slaughter. I expect to complete this transfer by mid-October.  Other change of status request approved included Cameron Papp from her Academic Affairs Analysist position to a Research Analysist under Paul Chown and Alex Wright from Interim Student Development Advisor to Student Development Advisor.

The Trustees ratified my acceptance of several resignations and one retirement. Jessica Frint (Administrative Secretary II), Steven McKenzie (Director Facilities and Planning), Denise Olson (Academic Advisor, Upward Bound), and Sylvia Rivera (Professor, Nursing) resigned their positions. We are going to move forward with identifying replacements to fill these vacated mission critical roles as soon as possible. Cynthia Petrusha will retire from the District effective October 1, 2022. We will begin the recruitment process to replace Cynthia sometime within the next six months.

Several new colleagues have joined our college community. We welcome Sebastian Sisson and Jacob Young as Public Safety Officers, Darren Turpin as the Interim Assistant Director – Campus Life, and Jerry Goodrow as Professor of Welding Technology. Jerry is filling a one-year replacement non-tenure track faculty position. We also have several new associate faculty joining our faculty ranks this fall: Mary Barker – Nursing, Jennifer Burtram – Work Experience, Adrienne Castillo – Nursing, Tiffany Dodson - – Nursing, Ryan Lee – Nursing, Sophia Lemmo – Forestry and Natural Resources, Randee Litten – Nursing, Derek Long – Drafting Technology, Carly Michael- Administration of Justice, Kyle Orr – Biology, Isabelita O’Shaughnessy – Nursing, Janis Polos – Nursing, Sonya Rose – Nursing, Jonah Simmons – Construction Technology, and Stephonie Zwald- Nursing.

Window Replacement Services Request: One of the actions we are taking to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and its variants is replacing windows in several of our buildings. Thanks to the Board’s action, August-Jaye Construction, a construction company in Northern California that specializes in windows, will start the window replacement project as soon as possible. Julia Morrison will keep the District apprised on the status of this important work.

Action/Discussion Items

Approve Final Budget: We presented the District’s Final Budget for Board approval. I attached the 32 page Final Budget document to this article. Here’s a high level summary of the budget.


  • Actual revenues received in 2020-21 out-performed projections, resulting in a 2021-22 State Budget that includes a 5.07% COLA, comprised of a catch-up COLA for 2020-21 and a small COLA for 2021-22, as well as the addition of on-going and one-time funds to address deferred maintenance, student basic needs, outreach and retention, and COVID-19 recovery. Also included in the State Budget is the full repayment of the apportionment deferrals.
  • The Redwoods Community College District 2021-22 Final Budget revenue assumes a Student Centered Funding Formula (SCFF) estimate that is based on FTES, Supplemental, and Student Success count projections.  FTES numbers reflect the District’s participation in the Emergency Conditions Allowance for 2020-21 and 2021-22.  This means that 2019-20 FTES will be used to calculate the funded 3-year average and basic allocation.  2019-20 FTES was 3,780.85, and actual 2021-22 FTES is estimated to be 2,400-2,500, based on fall 2021 enrollment trends.
  • The 2021-22 Final Budget is built around the assumptions of minimizing operational costs as much as possible, achieving operational efficiencies, and continuing to strengthen the ending fund balance. 
  • We received about $282,360 in additional revenue to hire additional fulltime faculty.


  • The total unrestricted general fund expenditure budget for 2021-22 totals $30,913,152, which is an increase of $2,252,694, or 7.9%, from 2020-2021 expenditures.
  • Increases to the salary budget were driven by a pass-through of the 5.07% COLA to permanent staff, as well as an increase in the number of class sections.
  • The benefits budget was also increased as a result of the increase in salary budget.  
  • The other operating budget reflects the removal of one-time expenditures offset by a partial reinstatement of the athletics budget, as well as an addition of $100,000 to address diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives, as recommended as a budget assumption priority by the Board of Trustees, and $400,000 for student accounts receivable (bad debt).  The result is an overall decrease.    


  • The 2021-22 Final Budget for transfers-out provides $90,000 for the Child Development fund, $59,567 for the Shively Farm fund, and $820,000 for the OPEB fund, for $969,567 total.

Monthly Financial Status Report:  Our monthly report covered the July 1-31, 2021 period and showed a projected 2021-22 ending fund balance of 16.4%. This report matched the proposed final budget presented at this Board meeting.

Our planned transfers out are comprised of the following:

  • $90,000         Child Development Center
  • $59,567         Shively Farm
  • $820,000         OPEB fund
  • $969,567         Total

Approve Amended BP 2900 SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) Vaccination Requirement and AP 2900: The Trustees approved a resolution at the August workshop that gave me the authorization to implement put an employee and student vaccination mandate into effect. The Board approved a revised policy and new administrative procedure that operationalizes the resolution.

For information, as of September 2, 202, forty California Community Colleges have implemented vaccination mandates for faculty and staff. The list of community colleges with mandates include: Allan Hancock, Butte, Cabrillo, Cerritos, Chaffey, Chabot-Las Positas, Coast, Compton, Foothill, Gavilan, Glendale, Grossmont, Kern, Lake Tahoe, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Los Rios, Marin, Mira Costa, Mt. San Antonio, Mt. San Jacinto, North Orange, Palomar, Pasadena, Peralta, Rancho Santiago, Rio Hondo, Riverside, San Diego, San Joaquin Delta, San Jose, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Santa Clarita, Santa Monica, Southwestern, State Center, and Ventura. Of the 75 California community college districts, 41 are not requiring students to be vaccinated as they returned to on-campus classes this fall—which leaves 35 districts requiring proof of vaccination for students sometime during the fall semester.

I attached the approved Board Policy 2900 and Administrative Procedure 2900 to this article. Both of these documents are effective as of today, September 7, 2021.

Informational Reports

Accreditation Update—Midterm Report: A draft of the District Midterm Report was presented in the informational section of this Board agenda. I want to thank Dr. George Potamianos and Dr. Dave Bazard for their excellent work on the draft Report. I encourage everyone to read the Report and provide feedback via email to George and/or Dave. The Report will be presented to the Academic Senate for review in the next few weeks. I intend to bring the final Report to the Board for approval at their October 5 meeting.

Organizational Reports

Academic Senate: President Wall’s written report noted the following:

We are in challenging times. However, in the words of Albert Einstein, “In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” As we begin a new academic year, not quite the way we had hoped, I am honored to be serving this year as the Academic Senate President. I am happy to have Chris Gaines serving with me as Vice President. I look forward to continuing the collegial facilitation of dialogue between faculty as it relates to academic and professional matters forwarding recommendations that always put student success first.

While many faculty were off contract this summer, taking some much deserved time to recharge after an intense 2020-2021 academic year, they also spent a significant amount of time thinking about how they might use what they learned teaching online to enhance their face-to-face courses. Others were working on how they would facilitate high flex options where students did part of the course online and would meet in-person or via Zoom part of the time. We also had several faculty who worked in service to the college over the summer, serving on hiring committees for new faculty and directors along with working to draft the narrative of the Educational Master Plan. Those faculty were: Jennifer Burlison, Chris Callahan, Chris Gaines, Levi Gill, Derek Glavich, Bert Hafar, Caroline Haug, Jessica Howard, John Johnston, Tami Matsumoto, Maria Morrow, Jon Pace, Mike Peterson, Melody Pope, and Sean Thomas.

The Senate met this past Friday, under our new division structure. We jumped right into reviewing several important plans and reports. We reviewed the Draft ACCJC Midterm Report, Draft Educational Master Plan, and CR’s ESL Adoption Plan. We also reviewed a number of faculty nominations for emeritus status. As you know we had several esteemed faculty colleagues who retired this past year. We will miss them and wish them the best. Those emeritus nominations have been forwarded onto the President for consideration.

While these remain challenging times, the Academic Senate remains committed to working with you as we serve the higher education and workforce needs of our community now and into the future.

President Erin Wall verbally stated that the Senate is here to work with the Board.

CRFO: President Michelle Haggerty stated that CRFO has been working with the District over the summer on several issues including faculty reassigned time and COVID protocols. She noted that faculty are exhibiting stress as a result of the administrative changes, relatively new academic deans, and changes in administrative support in the academic divisions. She also noted that the number of faculty have decreased over time from a high of about 120 to 62.

CSEA: President Tami Engman thanked the District for appointing Rory Johnson as the District Chief Negotiator with CSEA. His knowledge of the district and his past service as a CSEA member lend themselves to the role. She also noted that the MOU negotiated between the District and CSEA related to the impacts and effects of Resolution 782 was ratified by the membership.

Student Trustee: Student Trustee Rimmey mentioned that the ASCR has finalized its meeting schedule. She also mentioned that she attended the student trustee workshop last month.

Administrative Reports

President/Superintendent's Report: My written report noted the names of several faculty, staff and administrators recognized during the fall convocation ceremony.

Recognition for Years of Service- 30 Years—Cynthia Hooper; 20 Years—Chris Romero and Jon Pedicino; 15 Years—Jessica Herrera, Shereen Cockrum, Edith Ramirez, Greg Toleno, Shannon Sullivan, and Mike Peterson; 10 Years—Scott Pieper, Myke Magdaleno, Angelina Hill, Ashleigh Johnson, Debbie Romero, and Erin Jones; and 5 Years—Denise Olson, Amber Buntin, Marty Coelho, Kelly Carbone, Michele Bradley, Alex Wright, Shane Stodola, Bernadette Johnson, Cheryl Norton, Ashley Vandal, Elisa Abelleira, Cameron Papp, Courtney Sousa, David Duberow, Anibal Florez, Jamie Sehon, and Ernest Shull.

New College Community Colleagues- Classified Staff—Brynn Brynn Allen—Administrative Assistant II Athletics (Eureka), Morgan Beebe—Instructional Support Specialist CIS (Eureka),

Joseph Burrell—Interim Public Safety Officer (Del Norte), Emily Chang—Instructional Support Specialist EOPS/ASC (Eureka), Breauna DeMatto—Instructional Support Specialist Greenhouse (Eureka), Jade Euan—Lead Public Safety Officer (Eureka), Ethan Hale—Gardener I (Eureka), 

Katrina Hanson—Enrollment Services Advisor/Student Services Specialist IV (Eureka), Courtney Harte-Bukoske—Student Service Specialist II/Instructional Support Specialist II (Del Norte), Gretchen Johnson—Instructional Support Specialist II (Eureka), Ranae Liles—ECE Assistant II (Eureka), William Madaras—Instructional Support Specialist III Woodshop (Eureka), Gabrielle Meyer—Student Services Specialist II (Eureka), Haley Michel—Custodian I (Eureka), Crystal Morse—Interim Evaluation Specialist (Eureka), Andrew Nichols—Academic Advisor Special Programs (Eureka), Jessica Noggle—ECE Assistant I (Eureka), Tasha Reveles—ECE Associate (Eureka), Lisa Ross—Administrative Office Assistant II (Eureka), Matthew Shell—Student Services Specialist III/Evaluation Specialist (Eureka), Sebastian Sisson—Interim Public Safety Officer (Eureka), Mariah Southworth—ECE Assistant II (Eureka), Joshua Stanley—Public Safety Officer (Eureka), Anissa Vang—Student Services Specialist II/Instructional Support Specialist II (Del Norte), Anna Villagomez—Student Development Advisor (Eureka), Scarlet Arris Weaver—Interim Administrative Secretary II Career Education (Eureka), Jeanette Whitley—ECE Assistant I (Eureka), and Jacob Young—Interim Public Safety Officer (Eureka); Faculty—Daniel Chick—Assistant Professor of Communication Studies (Del Norte), Carolyn Perkins—Assistant Professor of Social Work and Human Services (Eureka), and Ernest Shull—Assistant Professor of Automotive Technology (Eureka); ManagersGreg Allen—Interim Manager of the Basic Law Enforcement Academy (Eureka), Mike Perkins—Director of Administration of Justice, Public Safety and Response (Eureka), Michele Schneider—Interim Certified Athletic Trainer (Eureka), Darren Turpin—Interim Assistant Director and Campus Life (Eureka), and Montel Vanderhorck—Interim Career Center Manager (Eureka); and Administrators—Clinton Slaughter—Vice President of Student Services (Eureka).

My verbal comments included a “shout out” to Molly Blakemore for the wonderful CR Podcast series she created.

Vice President of Administrative Services Report: Julia’s written report discussed the following:

  • FCMAT Fiscal Health Risk Analysis—The Fiscal Crisis and Management Assistance Team  developed a Fiscal Health Risk Analysis  analytical tool that community college districts can use to perform a fiscal health and risk of insolvency self-assessment. The greater the number of "no" responses in the analysis, the greater the overall score, which points to a greater potential risk of insolvency or fiscal issues.  A score of 40% or more is considered high risk; a score of 25%-39% is considered moderate risk; and a score of 24% or lower is considered low risk. Our score is 19.3%, or low risk.
  • Budget Open Forums—Several budget forums have been scheduled to allow for district-wide discussion of the adopted 2021-22 Final Budget and Multi-year forecast. All staff, faculty, administrators, and students have been encouraged to attend. Here’s the 2021-22 Final Budget Open Forum schedule:

Wednesday, September 8, 2021 from 10:30 am – 11:30 am  
Dial: (669) 900 6833
Meeting ID: 950 0253 3232
Passcode: 779493
Wednesday, September 15, 2021 from 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Dial: (669) 900 6833
Meeting ID: 920 9952 7782
Passcode: 258052
Friday, September 17, 2021 from 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Dial: (669) 900 6833
Meeting ID: 942 0690 6410
Passcode: 828398

Interim Vice President of Instruction Report: Kerry’s written report noted the following:

  • We are working on an MOU outlining CR’s partnership with the Rancheria in the development of the Tribal Education Code for their Toma Resilience Campus. CR’s role will be to provide input on the establishment of appropriate policies governing the implementation of post-secondary and professional certification instruction, and will focus on facilitating the implementation of concurrent enrollment programs, providing input and guidance on the creation of appropriate classroom spaces, and offering input on the creation of a Regional Occupational Center affiliated with the TRC.
  • Our academic administrators met with Larry Oetker of the Humboldt Bay Harbor Commission to continue planning for the college’s aquaculture wet lab space which will most likely be housed in the HBHC’s new facility adjacent to the Nordic Aquafarms facility in Samoa. She and her staff have also continued to consult with representatives from Nordic on finalizing detailed specifications for this state-of-the-industry laboratory space. Additionally, Mike Haley has been in communication with academic administrators and faculty members in the Fisheries Biology Department at Humboldt State University regarding the creation of aquaculture curriculum pathways that would ensure the articulation of aquaculture courses in order to facilitate seamless transfer from CR to HSU for students pursuing an aquaculture degree or certificate.
  • She and the deans have been working on drafting the spring 2022 schedule of classes. They are using the following goals to guide their work:
  1. Create a stable schedule that students, faculty, and staff can count on and that is not subject to multiple changes (class cancellation, reduction in class caps, and modality/location changes).
  2. Create an equitable schedule that meets the needs of a diverse student population.
  3. Create a schedule that can weather unforeseen COVID impacts (like a new vaccine-resistant variant).
  4. Create a schedule that is both efficient in terms of cost versus FTES-generation and meets student needs.
  5. Create a schedule that addresses the elements of the Student Centered Funding Formula (Specifically: number of students earning associate degrees and credit certificates, the number of students transferring, the number of students who complete transfer-level math and English in year one, and the number of students completing nine or more CE units).

To achieve these goals, they are planning on the following:

  1. Deans and Directors will prepare a lean spring schedule that maximizes our efficiency.
  2. The spring schedule will be heavily weighted towards online classes with full class sizes (per the class caps indicated on the Course Outlines of Record).
  3. Face-to-Face classes will focus on those areas where online instruction is difficult (like the Career Education, Nursing, Physical Education areas) and where student demand has been strong for FTF instruction (core GE areas like English, Math, Communication, and Life Sciences) and will have reduced class sizes to allow for physical distancing should that be advisable.
  4. Deans will closely monitor enrollment in order to add additional class sections where needed.

Kerry answered Trustee Dr. Mullery’s question related to developing thespring schedule.

Vice President of Student Services: Clinton’s written report covered several things including following:

  • COVID-19 Mitigation efforts continue to focus on four primary activities – 1) Health Screening, 2) Vaccination Verification, 3) COVID-19 Testing, 4) Contact Tracing and Exposure Notifications.
  • The Counseling and Advising Office had 911 student contacts between August 1-31, 2021. This included 557 academic advising appointments, 95 transfer-advising appointments, and 105 Abbreviated Student Educational Plans and 47 Comprehensive Student Educational Plans developed.
  • Financial Aid processed the first payment of the term on the Wednesday prior to the first week of school. This gave students access to funds earlier than in previous terms. This first disbursement resulted in over $890,000 being transmitted to students.
  • Seventy one students are currently residing in the dorms with 60 students confirmed as vaccinated (84.5%). The Residential Life Department has reported zero positive cases.
  • The Library launched a student technology help desk to assist students struggling with technology.
  • EOPS welcomed over 50 Pelican Bay Scholars back as continuing EOPS students for the Fall 21 semester.
  • Academic Support Center—The Academic Support Center began offering in-person and online tutoring and in-person test proctoring. Students can meet with faculty, peer, and paraprofessional tutors in a variety of disciplines by appointment or on a drop-in basis.
  • DSPS is continuing to offer academic support on-line, as well as in person.

Clinton verbally noted that he willl be opening discussion with the Student Services division on identifying strategic priorities for the Division. The discussion in focus on a number of broad themes to include campus safety, improving our Student Centered Funding Formula metrics, enrollment management, student equity, professional development, and technology.  We want to make sure that the division’s efforts and resources are aligned with District’s Education Master Plan strategic direction. He also stated that he had a discussion with Mr. Paul Chown (IR) and Mr. Tom Cossey (IS) about reinvigorating our retention alert program. Mr. Chown provided data that mapped the various types and quantity of early alert referrals within the term. Mr. Cossey provided documentation on the various users and roles for the early alert system which is being reviewed and updated.

Executive Director of Foundation Report: Marty noted that:

  • He was able to provide assistance for another film production. The film production is considering renting the former PG&E offices in the old administration building.
  • Marty and the Scholarship Program Coordinator are working on the launch of CR's Finish Line Scholarship Program. The District has received the Foundation for California Community Colleges (FoundationCCC) grant for $125,000 to establish this program. The scholarship will focus on students who have completed half of the credits required for their academic program and have a plan to complete a degree in under two academic years.  FoundationCCC support for this new scholarship program is expected to remain in place for at least four years.
  • He worked with an estate planner on a gift for CR's Shively Farm
  • He secured a $100,000 donation from a local donor for our Nursing Program.
  • He resolved the closing of two Community Theater Funds, currently valued at $500,000. HAF donated to the two funds when the Challenge Grants were originally created.  It was agreed that $105,000 would be awarded to six local community theaters (Arcata Playhouse, Dell'Arte International, Ferndale Repertory Theater, Humboldt Light Opera Company, North Coast Repertory Theater, and Redwood Curtain Theater) with the balance of the funds reverting to the CR Foundation.
  • He is serving as the chair of the masking and vaccine campaigns for the COVID-19 Economic Resilience Consortium's (CERC). The CERC has launched a new vaccine campaign to battle the Delta variant in Humboldt County. The campaign will emphasize the potential impact of the Delta variant on children.
  • He and Rory Johnson met with Kymmie Scott, Del Norte County's manager of Office of Emergency Services (OES).  Scott is interested in co-hosting a volunteer leadership training with CR in October to support the local nonprofit groups involved in emergency services.
  • The Foundation secured $7,900 in Measure Z funds to support Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) trainings in Humboldt County. The CERT trainings will improve public safety by preparing residents to help families and communities when professional and government resources are overwhelmed after major disasters, and until professional responders arrive following local emergencies.  The CR Foundation will function as the host agency for the Humboldt CERT Coalition.
  • The Jed-Smith Redwood Burl Company finished the Tolowa welcome sign for the Del Norte Campus. The installation is being scheduled with CR Facilities and planning is beginning on a commemorative ceremony.

Marty’s verbal comments included some additional background on the $100,000 gift to our Nursing department.  The gift was made by Fernando Peñalosa, who was a first generation college student. He began his college career at two community colleges: Mexico City College and San Francisco Junior College, and was a sociology professor at Cal State Long Beach.  Fernando made his gift in memory of his wife, Doris Anne Penalosa, who was born in Washington, DC in 1938 and died last year. She received her RN from Mercy Hospital in Baltimore and her BSN at Cal State Long Beach.  She worked for many years at Kaiser in Harbor City, CA in their stepdown unit. In addition to this $100,000 gift he also secured a planned giving gift estimated at $300,000. These funds, when received, will be used to support Shively Farm.  The funds will support student transportation to the farm, the farm’s internship program, potential student housing solutions on the farm, and/or classroom structures such as an amphitheater for presentations and a kitchen facility.  We will be touring the farm with the donor is the next couple of weeks.




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