Welcome to Spring Semester
It is my pleasure to welcome our newest Governing Board Member, Griselda Delgado, and to congratulate Members Tim Nader and Nora Vargas for their successful elections.
Ms. Delgado is currently a principal at Hilltop Middle and before that was a principal at one of our feeder high schools. Ms. Delgado began her teaching career working with some of the hardest-to-serve students in Los Angeles and Imperial counties. She has created curriculum for at-risk English language learners, and she brings a unique perspective to the board—having served eight years in the U.S. Army.
In 2013 all employees at Southwestern College took a 5% salary reduction to help the district address the effects of the worst recession in recent history. Thanks to additional funding later that year, we were able to restore 1.5% of that salary reduction to employees.
As the economy has improved, I am happy to report that the Governing Board will vote this month to restore the remaining 3.5% to all employees. We are most grateful for the sacrifices our employees made to minimize the impact on student programs.
Advocating for Southwestern College
Last month, Trustees Nader, Delgado and Humberto Peraza joined me, Superintendent/President Dr. Melinda Nish and ASO VP Leo Pascual in our annual legislative advocacy conference in Sacramento. As a new trustee, Ms. Delgado immersed herself in special workshops on college funding, policies and procedures and effective trustee governance.
While we heard about the Governor’s proposed budget for education and student success initiatives, some of the most beneficial time was that spent with each of the assembly and senate members representing our area. In conjunction with the San Diego and Imperial Counties Community College Association, we advocated for an expansion of the baccalaureate degrees for community colleges, budget stability and loosening some of the restrictions on concurrent enrollment for high school students.
Pictured L-R: ASO VP Leo Pascual, myself, Trustee Tim Nader, Trustee Griselda Delgado, Superintendent/President Dr. Melinda Nish. (Not pictured: Trustee Humberto Peraza, Jr.)
Students, trustees and CEOs from each of the SDICCCA colleges met with Sen. Marty Block last month in Sacramento.
African-American History Month
We have a month of activities planned this month to celebrate African American History Month, including art exhibits, poetry readings and a gospel brunch. We hope you’ll join us at one or more of the activities. For a full listing, click here.
Resolution in Support of Adjunct Faculty
Studies show that a well-paid, stable faculty workforce contributes to student success. That is why at the December meeting the Governing Board voted unanimously to support part-time faculty by requesting the Governor and state Department of Finance permanently fund equity compensation and paid office hours for part-time faculty in the California Community College system. We also requested that $100 million be allocated statewide to increase the number of permanent, full-time faculty positions.
To read about the other actions we took recently, click here.