President/Superintendent's Blog


Summary of the October 5, 2021 Board of Trustees Meeting


Published on 10/5/2021.

Comments/Board Business

Land Acknowledgement:  Vice President of the Board Carol Mathews 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.

General Public Comment: We received the following public comment via email from Lori Brannigan

My comments pertain to item 4.3 Update on Employee Vaccination Status.

I am a temporary employee at College of the Redwoods for Fall 2021. When I completed my employee application and paperwork in August, I was not asked about my vaccination status. I have since worked several times on Eureka campus in a classroom with students, and have yet to be asked about my vaccination status or to show my vaccination card (which I carry in my wallet) to anyone except when I use the library.

I have even offered, twice, to show my vaccination card to the person manning the desk for students' vaccination status; both times, she has declined to see it.

Meanwhile, I recently worked with another non-student temporary employee on campus and he strongly implied that he is not vaccinated. I feel that CR should be aware of this loophole for temporary employees and close it ASAP.

Thank you,

Dolores Brannigan, dmb21@humboldt.edu

Member Comments: Trustee Biggin thanked the MDC for offering several great activities. She also mentioned that she attended the ACCCT Board meeting and the CCLC’s DEI meeting.

Trustee Dr. Mullery thanked Trustee Biggin for her work on planning the Trustee Town Hall meeting.

Trustee Mathews noted that she attended the Del Norte economic resiliency meeting and the September 30 ACCJC ISER training.

Appoint Ad Hoc Committee on Nominations for Board Officers: Pursuant to AP 2305 Annual Organizational Meeting Vice President of the Board Mathews announced President of the Board Kelley’s appointments to the Ad Hoc Committee for the nomination of Board Officers. The appointees are President Kelley, Trustee Coppini, and Trustee Dr. Mullery.

Approve Return to In-person Board Meetings on December 7, 2021: I asked the Board to consider returning to in-person meetings since Resolution 782, Board Policy 2900, and Administrative Procedure 2900 that mandates vaccinations for all employees effective October 15 will create a much safer environment. The Trustees approved my recommendation.

Consent Calendar Action Items

Approve/Ratify Personnel Actions: We have the opportunity to welcome Iris Leal-Contreras (Student Development Advisor), Misty Knight (.125 FTE KTIS Site Manager), and Amber Foust (Associate Faculty in Nursing) to our college community. I want to congratulate Kristy Seher and Andrew Nichols for their employee change of status changed effective October 1, 2021.

Kristy moved from Public Safety Manager to the Payroll and Benefits Manager position. I want to note that her compensation will be split between the general fund (60%) and our HEERF allocation (40%).   Andrew moved from Academic Advisor (.65 FTE) to Student Services Specialist I (.475 FTE). Andrew’s position will be funded via our categorical funds.

The Board ratified my acceptance of several resignations: Jennifer Bailey (Evaluation Specialist and Interim Articulation Manager), Gretchen Johnson (Instructional Support Specialist II), Erin Jones (Graphic Artist), Taryn Roberts (Budget and Accounting Analyst), Jamie Sehon (Administrative Office Assistant II) and Anna Villagomez (Student Development Advisor).

The Board also ratified my acceptance of Chris Romero’s retirement as Professor of Computer Information Systems. Chris’ last day of employment coincides with the last day of the spring 2022 semester.

 Action/Discussion Items

Approve Emeritus Faculty Nominations: The Board approved my recommendation to confer Faculty Emeritus status on retiring professors Tim Baker, David Holper, Ken Letko, Mark Renner, and Franz Rulofson.  These faculty members were responsible for shaping the lives of hundreds of students. I think you’d agree that they had an undeniable influence on our college and local community.  On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I want to acknowledge their outstanding service to the District and express our gratitude towards them. Best wishes on their retirement. I attached a copy of the Academic Senate’s recommendation to this blog article for you to read.

Monthly Financial Status Report:  Our report covered the period of July 1, 2021 to August 30, 2021 or 16.67% of the fiscal year.

  • We have not made any budget adjustments since the Final Budget was approved at the September Board meeting.
  • Overall, revenues and salary/benefits are trending lower than last year.
  • Transfers out are comprised of the following:

  $90,000         Child Development Center

  $50,967         Shively Farm

$820,000         OPEB fund

$969,567         Total

  • The monthly financial status report showed a projected 2021-22 ending fund balance of 16.4%, or $5,225,857.

Approve Accreditation Mid-Term Report: The Board approved our ACCJC Mid-Term Report. We owe Dr. George Potamianos and Dr. Dave Bazard a huge thank you for completing the Mid-term Report. Now that the Report is approved, Cynthia Petrusha will make sure that the Report is received by the Commission by October 15, 2021. You can find the Report on the website here: https://www.redwoods.edu/accreditation/midtermreport

Informational Reports

Student Success Data: Degree and Certificate Awards: The following data was offered as information on the District's degree and certificate awards.

# of students earning

2017-18

2018-19

2019-20

2020-21

Set Standard

Target

Transfer Degrees (ADTs)

72

74

130

111

65

79

AA/AS Degrees

355

368

372

367

298

364

Certificates

149

158

149

103

128

156

  • The number of certificates declined by 31%, dropping the District below the institution set standard and prompting further investigation. Some decline can be attributed to lower enrollment and to the fact that several programs could not effectively teach the necessary skills without face-to-face components.
  • The Early Childhood Education program has a capstone lab class, ECE-7, that has been limited to 15 students instead of the usual 35 to allow for social distancing. This resulted in a 47% decline in program awards.
  • The Construction Technology programs saw students withdraw and go directly into the workforce rather than complete a degree or certificate. This is especially problematic when some courses are offered only every 2nd or 3rd semesters.
  • The Administration of Justice (AJ) program is suffering declining enrollment locally and nationally. The argument has been made that the current climate of vilifying law enforcement has caused many potential students to rethink a career in law enforcement. College of the Redwoods saw a 30% reduction in AJ awards this past year.
  • Efforts are currently being made to award approximately 38 Nursing and Paramedic certificates to students who qualified but did not petition for an award.

Update on Employee Vaccination Status:  I want to thank Tina Wahlund for tracking the vaccination status of our employees. I am pleased to note that as of October 5, 2021, 100% of our classified staff, administrators, confidential staff, and fulltime faculty employees have verified their vaccination status or have been granted an exemption.  The difference between the numbers included in the board packet and what we currently have as of October 5 is that one unvaccinated classified staff member was granted an exemption. We are still working on gathering the vaccination status of our associate faculty, temporary workers, and student workers. Here’s a copy of the current spreadsheet.

Employee Group

Total Number of Employees in the Group

Number of Employees Verifying Vaccination

Number of Exemptions Approved

Number Unvaccinated and/or not Granted an Exemption

Full-time Faculty

68

67

1

0

Administrators/Managers

37

37

0

0

Classified Staff

122

117

5

0

Confidential Staff

6

6

0

0

Associate Faculty – fall 2021

209

157

5

47

Temporary Employees

136

72

2

62

Student Workers

41

26

0

15

Organizational Reports

Academic Senate: President Wall spoke to COVID-19-related changes to teaching and dealing with students' mental health continue to weigh on our faculty, with implications for their own wellbeing. If I can summarize Erin’s remarks into a few sentences, it would be as follows. The pandemic and its effects on the work-life balance and teaching and service has caused significant stress on faculty. Additionally, learning new modes of teaching is a significant source of stress for faculty. COVID-19 has made the entire teaching enterprise operationally unsustainable.

I will refer you to the minutes of this board meeting for more a more complete recitation of Erin’s report. The minutes will be included in November Board meeting agenda.

CRFO: President Haggerty discussed the CRFO Pandemic Survey. The survey revealed that faculty members are especially concerned about the long-term effects of COVID-19 on their level of stress.  The survey also reflected the perception among some of the respondents that the college should do more to avoid potential faculty attrition and find innovative ways to rebuild a sense of community. I refer you to the survey at https://documentcloud.adobe.com/link/review?uri=urn:aaid:scds:US:aa7ccc2b-c3c0-4166-abf0-ac595d490ece

CSEA: President Engman congratulated the Board of Trustees on their level of professionalism during board meetings. She expressed appreciation for Rory Johnson’s participation in contract negotiations. She also suggested that CSEA would be very willing collaborators in finding solutions to institutional problems and that we have to do a better job at treating our campuses and sites more equally.

Administrative Reports

President/Superintendent's Report: Here are a few topics I covered in my written report:

  • Governor Newsom signed AB 361 on September 17, which gives community college governing boards, flexibility in conducting public meetings virtually during a declared state of emergency (wildfires, floods, pandemics, etc.) until January 1, 2024. 

On the Governor's desk are two bills that I am closely following:

  • AB 375—This bill would require the District, as a condition of receiving Student Equity and Achievement Program funds, to negotiate with CRFO that reemployment preference for part-time, temporary faculty assignments be based on the minimum standards not exceeding 80% to 85% of a full-time equivalent load. Currently, the law requires the District, as a condition of receiving funding allocated for the Student Success and Support Program, to negotiate with CRFO the terms of reemployment preference for part-time, and temporary faculty assignments based on minimum standards up to the range of 60% to 67% of a full-time equivalent load. 
  • AB 438—This bill would revise provisions relating to the layoff of classified employees to require certain notices and opportunities for a hearing when a permanent classified employee’s services will not be required for the ensuing year due to lack of work or lack of funds. The law would also require Districts to execute layoffs of classified employees similar to faculty, with March 15 notices and provide permanent classified employees and those who become permanent classified school employees with the same rights to notice and hearing with respect to layoffs as are provided to certificated employees (including teachers and administrators).
  • We held a virtual vaccination information session on September 28 for students and staff interested in learning more about the vaccines. Kirra Health will hold an additional virtual information session at noon on October 13. Information about this session will be disseminated to all students, faculty and staff. 
  • ACCJC Vice President Kevin Bontenbal recently provided ISER Training to several administrators, managers, CRFO and Academic Senate leadership, and representatives from the classified staff and the Board of Trustees. The formative component of ACCJC’s new Formative/Summative Comprehensive Review will occur in Spring 2024. That means that the ISER will be due on December 15, 2023. I attached a copy of Kevin’s September 30 presentation to this article as information.

In my verbal comments, I mentioned again that I sent a message to all administrators, managers and confidential staff yesterday morning stating that all student workers, temporary workers, and volunteers who are not fully vaccinated by October 15, 2021 may no longer work for the District nor volunteer for a department. Tina Wahlund will send a message to each department noting the temporary and student workers who have not provided proof of their vaccination status.

I also noted that pandemic has had a negative effect on managers and administrators as well as the faculty.

Vice President of Administrative Services Report: Julia provided an economic update in her administrative report. She noted that:

  • According to a bulletin released by the Department of Finance in August, July General Fund revenues for the State are 18.4% over 2021-22 Budget Act estimates. The higher than expected revenue is due to July personal income tax (PIT) receipts coming in $1.2 billion higher than what was estimated and sales and use tax and corporation tax receipts came in higher as well. 
  • The national unemployment rate fell from 5.9% in June to 5.4% in July. 
  • The U.S. added 943,000 nonfarm jobs in July 2021.
  • Unfortunately, California is not experiencing the same pace of recovery.  The unemployment rate in California is lagging behind national levels, remaining flat at 7.6% in July, and only 58.3% of the 2.7 million jobs that were lost in March and April 2020 have been recovered.
  • Manufacturing and Financial Activities lost jobs, 4,500 and 1,400, respectively.

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

  • Thanks to the efforts of Academic Senate President Erin Wall, CR has submitted an application to become part of the statewide "Open for Antiracism" (OFAR) faculty cohort that, if selected, will take part in a nine-month program focused on creating concrete classroom approaches to introduce antiracist content and practices into their pedagogy. If selected to participate in the OFAR cohort, CR's team of full and part-time faculty members -- Cintra Agee, Kaylim (Jake) Butler, Daniel Chick, Shannon Mondor, Robyn Roberson, and Lisa Sayles  -- will complete a six-week, facilitated online course in November-December introducing them to foundational topics in the context of developing an antiracist action plan, including: What is Antiracism? What are Open Educational Resources (OER) and Open Pedagogy? How can these support antiracist pedagogy?
  • The District adopted eLumen for course and program level outcome assessment reporting and for the documentation of assessment related dialogue. The District has also improved the assessment dialogue process.
  • The Assessment Committee, under the excellent leadership of Professor Philip Mancus, continues to gather feedback to evaluate the process and adapt as needed. 

In her verbal comments, Kerry thanked the Board for approving Misty Knight as the Manager of KTIS. Kerry also commented that she, Mike Haley, and Molly Blakemore are planning to go to KTIS to discuss ways we can expand CTE offerings for our Klamath Trinity students.

Vice President of Student Services: Clinton’s written report included:

  • Admissions & Records staff have been working directly with local high school counselors to hold in person application and registration workshops for dual enrollment students. Four workshops at three different schools have been offered.
  • Enrollment Services is working closely with Information Technology to ensure compliance with the student vaccine mandate prior to registration in face-to-face or hybrid courses for Spring 2022.
  • CR's evaluators are working on identifying additional students that have completed the requirements for a variety of certificates. This will help improve student outcomes metrics and the Student Centered Funding Formula.
  • Financial aid recently awarded emergency grants totaling just over $2,530,000 including the Immediate Action Grant, HEERF funds, and SEOG grants.
  • On October 14th, EOPS will be collaborating with HSU’s EOP program to put on an application workshop for EOPS students transferring to HSU in the Spring.
  • The CR library is in the beginning stages of a pilot program to provide library instruction sessions to students in the Pelican Bay Scholars program through correspondence.
  • He commended the efforts of Kailyn Doyle – HSU Admissions Counselor, Angela Stewart - CR Transfer Counselor, and Alia Dunphy – Director of Student Equity and Success for hosting the Transfer Counseling and Advising workshop.
  • He is continuing to hold conversations with HSU on developing a reverse transfer process with us.  

In his verbal comments, Clinton noted that he has received and approved six student requests for an exemption to the vaccine mandate.

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

  • Farm Manager, Silas Sarvinski, provided a tour of Shively Farm to Polly Savoie, and Maryalice Bourdelais. Ms. Savoie was extremely impressed with the farm and Silas’ efforts in sustainable farming.
  • The Foundation is collaborating with the City of Eureka, Eureka Main Street, and Marine Corps Toys for Tots to host the US Capitol Christmas Tree in Eureka on October 29, from 4 pm - 6 pm, at the foot of D Street in the Madaket parking lot.
  • The Foundation is a Platinum Sponsor the Redwoods Coast Region Economic Summit, to be held virtually on October 21 and 22. The Foundation is partnering with the following organizations to sponsor the summit: AEDC, Blue Lake Rancheria, California Health Collaborative- NorCal 4 Health Program, C Crane, City of Arcata, City of Eureka, County of Humboldt Economic Development, Eureka Chamber of Commerce, Headwaters, Humboldt State University Foundation, Illuminated Marketing, Jitter Bean Coffee, Lost Coast Communications, Nordic Aquafarms, North Coast Small Business Development Center, Papa and Barkley, Redwood Capital Bank, RREDC, Wave Broadband, and West Development Business Center.
  • He is working with Athletic Director Bob Brown, Head Football Coach Jason White, and Athletics Program Coordinator Tino Romero to develop a football fundraising pamphlet for presentations and meetings with prospective donors.
  • The COVID Economic Resilience Consortium (CERC) launched three LatinX public service announcements encouraging vaccination. Individuals are reaching out to the CERC to have their stories told on why they recently were vaccinated.

Marty commented that COAD held its committee launch event online.

Approve a Trustee Request to Place an Item on a Future Agenda or Direct Staff to Give a Regular Report:

Closed Session

Kerry Mayer and Rory Johnson updated the Board on the status of the negotiations with CSEA and CRFO.

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