GB News: From the Southwestern Community College District Governing Board

President's Message

Governing Board President Norma L. HernandezSouthwestern College continues to move forward as a pacesetter. Through Governing Board meetings and workshops in April and May, and in presentations made at state conferences, the work we are doing to move academic and infrastructure issues forward is getting noticed.

I recently presented a workshop for the Community College League of California on the role of administrative oversight and public participation in funded Proposition 39 bond measures. The state conference for college trustees was held in San Diego in April.

The Governing Board has taken important, decisive steps to proceed with Proposition R in a responsible, ethical way that safeguards taxpayer funds and meets student needs.


California questionFinancial times continue to be difficult throughout the state. On behalf of the Governing Board, please accept our sincere gratitude for the sacrifice all Southwestern College employees are making in helping the college balance its budget. I know it was not easy to vote for a 5% pay reduction, but this action allows all of us some breathing room in finding additional long-term savings. As a sign of our solidarity with all employees, the Governing Board voted to also accept a 5% reduction to our stipends.

While the pay reductions and other cost-saving measures help us meet our financial obligations for the 2012-13 academic year, new economic forecasts from the state provide more grim news. Funding that was to come from the disbandment of redevelopment agencies across the state may not materialize any time soon. That has taken many budget analysts at the state by surprise. Our interim vice president for business and financial affairs gave us a brief overview at a May workshop. We will continue to closely monitor the budget situation.


District Emergency Plan

Acting Police Chief Robert SanchezAt the April Governing Board meeting, Acting Police Chief Robert Sanchez provided an update on the college’s Emergency Operations Plan. Because the college is susceptible to a variety of potential emergencies, including wildfires, earthquakes and floods, plans have been prepared for the Chula Vista campus and each of the centers.

The plans outline the organizational structure during an emergency and call for a series of trainings for faculty and staff in the future.

Technology Upgrades Coming

Technology upgrades—both in programming and infrastructure—are happening fast and furious over the summer and into the new academic year. At the May Governing Board meeting, Ben Seaberry, Director of Institutional Technology and Chief Information Officer, presented an overview of the department’s projects.

Technology planOver the next year, IT staff will be increasing bandwidth, replacing older staff/student computers, expanding wireless and improving internal communication technologies. The merger of Datatel with SGHE to create a new company — ellucian — also will allow the college to maximize economies by continuing to develop and maintain Colleague and WebAdvisor and beginning to integrate the best products and practices of both companies.

Linking Accreditation and Strategic Planning

Dr. Mink StavengaMink Stavenga, the college’s accreditation liaison officer, presented the process for creating the four Institutional Student Learning Outcomes (ISLOs). ISLOs describe what students should be able to demonstrate, represent or produce upon completing a degree at Southwestern College.

The ISLOs are categorized into four achievement areas: Communication, Thinking and Reasoning, Information Competency and Global Awareness.

Superintendent/President Outlines Goals

Dr. Melinda NishIn the four months that Dr. Melinda Nish has been Superintendent/President, she has immersed herself in meeting with employees at listening forums and reaching out into the community. She has incorporated what she has observed into a list of goals and objectives she would like to accomplish in the next year.

Her action plan centers around four key areas: Improve Culture and Climate, Ensure Student Access to Success, Improve Institutional Effectiveness and Strengthen Institutional Advancement.

The Governing Board and Dr. Nish will further refine the goals and objectives at the board retreat in June.

Permanent Leadership Team Finalized

In May, the Governing Board approved the appointments of three permanent vice presidents. Dr. Albert Román was named the Vice President for Human Resources; Kathy Tyner was named the Vice President for Academic Affairs; and Steven Crow was named the Vice President for Business and Financial Affairs. Congratulations to all, and we are excited for the expertise you will be bringing to Southwestern.

Faculty and Staff Spotlight

The Governing Board unanimously approved the Faculty Hiring Prioritization list. The Superintendent/President, through a collegial consultation process, will determine the hiring of faculty subject to available funds.

Employee Changes

  • Mark Meadows will assume the temporary duties of acting dean, School of Social Sciences and Humanities.
  • Percival Concha is moving to the admissions and records technician position in Admissions and Records.
  • David Wales is the new senior research and planning analyst in the Institutional Research, Grants and Planning department.
  • Angelique Pangelinan is moving to clerical assistant III in Evaluations & Veterans Services.
  • Araceli Moreno is moving to reading lab technician in the School of Language & Literature.

New Hires

  • Annette Aguilar was hired as a project clerk for enrollment at the Higher Education Center, Otay Mesa..
  • Michael Muller was hired as a vehicle and equipment mechanic in Maintenance.
  • Andre Ortiz was hired as the training services coordinator in Staff Development.
  • Toni Pfister was hired as an assistant professor of exercise science.
  • Arick Sandoval was hired as an instructional assistant at the Higher Education Center, San Ysidro

Honoring Retirees

  • William Homyak is retiring from the School of Business, Professional & Technical Education after 32 years of service.
  • Jorge Perez is retiring from the School of Language & Literature after 31 years of service.
  • Henry Quan is retiring from the School of Social Sciences & Humanities after 20 years of service.
  • Jacquelyn Thomas is retiring from the School of Mathematics, Science & Engineering after 15 years of service.
  • Jaime Salazar is retiring as director of center operation at the Higher Education Center, San Ysidro, after 32 years of service.

Student Spotlight

Albert Fulcher with Governing Board President Norma L. Hernandez (left) and Superintendent/President Dr. Melinda NishAlbert Fulcher, Editor in Chief of the Southwestern College Sun, was the first-ever recipient of the Apple Award from the College Media Advisors organization. More than 5,000 college journalists were nominated for the inaugural award.

Fulcher was selected for his leadership in guiding the paper to publication in very contentious times.

Faculty Spotlight

Angelina StuartAngelina Stuart, Academic Senate president, was given the Norbert Bischof Memorial Faculty Freedom Fighter Scholarship from the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges for her leadership during Southwestern College’s accreditation efforts and other challenges over the last two years.

  Produced by the Office of Communications, Community and Government Relations
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