GB News: From the Southwestern Community College District Governing Board

President's Message

Governing Board President Tim NaderAs we head into the season of thanksgiving and reflection, I would like to start by remembering our veterans and noting our College District’s particular connection to the veteran community.

I am blessed to have benefitted from those, including my father, who served our country in uniform, without myself having been called on to do so.  I believe  those of us who have never worn a military uniform can thank and honor those who have, both by supporting our veterans' rights to the benefits they have earned and by using our talents to make the very best of this great country for which our veterans have risked everything. 

Contract Approved for Superintendent/President Nish

Dr. Melinda NishThe Governing Board has approved a contract for Dr. Melinda Nish to serve as Superintendent/President of the College District for three years, with the option of a fourth year.

Nish will be paid $220,000 a year, a standard administrative health and welfare benefits package and a $500-per-month allowance for her automobile or other transportation expenses for local travel. She'll also be eligible for up to $7,000 in one-time moving expenses.

In other employee actions, the Board:

  • Appointed Professor of Mathematics Richard Fielding as Interim Dean of the School of Mathematics, Science & Engineering.
  • Appointed Professor of Reading Robert Unger, J.D., as Interim Director of Human Resources.
  • Named Jaime Salazar, a counselor and coordinator at the Transfer & Career Center, as Director of Center Operations for the Higher Education Center at San Ysidro.
  • Hired Marco Bareno as Campus Police Officer and Deborah Prouse as College Trainer. Welcome!

SWC Brings Home DeVore Trophy

Each year the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference, which is made up of all the community colleges in San Diego County and Imperial County chooses one outstanding athletic program to award the Chet DeVore Trophy.

This year that trophy was earned by Southwestern College's athletic programs -- and the honor is all the sweeter because the trophy is named for the Hall of Fame athlete who was superintendent/president of SWC for 21 years.

Dean Terry Davis of the School of Health, Exercise Science & Athletics presented the trophy to Interim Superintendent/President Denise Whittaker at this month's Board meeting.

"It brings this award back to our college, where I feel it truly belongs," Davis said.

Health Services Fee Increase Approved

The Health Services Department provides Southwestern College with a range of health-related services, ranging from first aid and emergency medical care to health education and wellness workshops. Those services are paid for through a state-mandated student health services fee, which is currently $17 a semester for full-time students, $14 a semester for part-time students and $14 for the summer semester.

The state has not allowed an increase in that fee for more than two years, a period during which severe cuts in community clinics have caused more students to use the department's services. With the approval of the state and the concurrence of the Associated Students about the value of the services provided, the Board has agreed to increase that fee by $1.

Construction Update

Corner Lot RenderingAt a November 16 workshop, the Board reexamined the status of the Corner Lot and other projects included in the first phase of construction under Proposition R, the bond measure approved by district voters in 2008. The College District faces rising construction estimates and evolving needs that require us to reconsider how to proceed with some planned projects.

As a result, the Board directed staff to bring back several items related to the Corner Lot for possible approval at the Board's December 14 meeting:

  • Eliminating a planned parking structure along H Street.
  • Authorizing work to proceed on four of six planned Corner Lot buildings.
  • Delaying work on two Corner Lot buildings which would impinge on a major Chula Vista stormdrain and assessing what functions could be moved into one of the other four buildings.
  • Consider the addition of two Board members to a committee to more closely monitor Proposition R progress.

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