Governing Board News – November 2016

Humberto Peraza at his farewell reception
Humberto Peraza at his farewell reception.

Before our November Governing Board meeting, the campus community gathered at Southwestern College to say goodbye to outgoing Trustee Humberto Peraza, Jr. Mr. Peraza has been a tireless advocate for Southwestern College. I am proud of our work together and to be able to call him my friend.

Joining us in saying goodbye and thank you to Trustee Peraza was incoming Trustee Roberto Alcantar. Mr. Alcantar won a seat on the Governing Board in the November election and is a lifelong advocate for higher education. Most recently, he worked for State Senator Marty Block.

I’m also happy to say that Trustee Griselda Delgado won her reelection and will continue to serve Southwestern College for the next four years. I look forward to continuing to work with Ms. Delgado and to bring Mr. Alcantar on board for the exciting things happening at Southwestern College. Here are just a few of things we’ve been working on the past couple months.

Superintendent/President Public Forums

Recently, we narrowed our search for our new superintendent/president to three applicants. We will be holding public forums with each of the three candidates on Wednesday, Nov. 30, from 1:15-4:15 p.m. We invite you to attend and hear their ideas for how to lead Southwestern College. If you can’t make it on Nov. 30, we will be live streaming the forums. Keep an eye on our Twitter and Facebook accounts on that day for the link.

A Look Ahead

The Governing Board will be holding its organizational meeting on Wednesday, Dec. 14. The purpose of this annual meeting is to elect new officers and establish our regular meeting dates for the upcoming year.

New Faces on Campus

The Governing Board approved the hire of Aurora Ayala as Southwestern College’s new maintenance supervisor. She begins on Nov. 29. Ms. Ayala has her B.A. in business administration from National University and is coming to us from Jones Lang LaSalle, where she was the facility manager for the real estate company.

We’ve also approved the hire of Martha Garcia, our new Title V director. Ms. Garcia will come to Southwestern College to help lead and enhance important programs like our First Year Experience and outreach to underrepresented college students. Ms. Garcia has been serving in that role as interim director this past year and we’re excited to see her move into the permanent position. Ms. Garcia has a master’s degree in peace and justice from University of San Diego and a B.A. in human development form University of California, San Diego.

Accreditation Update

Dean Linda Gilstrap and Angelina Stuart, accreditation co-chairs, provided their monthly accreditation report to the Governing Board. A follow up report is being prepared to address our progress for 15 recommendations given to the college by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges. In January and February, a final draft will be read by the Academic Senate, Shared Consultation Council and the Governing Board. We held two forums in November to provide information our college community on the progress we’ve already achieved in addressing the recommendations. We will continue to incorporate suggestions to ensure we have a complete and comprehensive report that reflects all areas of the college.

Prop. R Update

Our three main construction projects continue to move forward. In National City, the two-story building expansion is taking shape as construction crews build the ground floor. The furniture has begun to be installed for the Center for Business Advancement’s remodel. We expect the staff to move very soon. On the Chula Vista campus, the walls of the new Wellness and Aquatics Complex have gone up and you can start seeing the skeletons of the state-of-the-art facilities, including the pools and the gym. The site of the Math, Science and Engineering Building, which held its groundbreaking on October, has been cleared and construction crews are working to move to the next phase of building soon.

A Partnership with our Neighbors

We’re continuing our five-year partnership with the Consulate General of Mexico in San Diego for our joint Mexicans Abroad Becas Grant. The government of Mexico, through its IME Fellowship Program, is contributing $20,000 to assist Mexicans living here achieve their higher education goals.

Offering Second Chances

Southwestern College will begin offering non-credit courses at East Mesa and Kearny Mesa juvenile detention facilities as part of a new partnership with the local Second Chance organization. Southwestern College professors will travel to the facilities to offer customer service, retail sales, and computer classes.

Supporting and Respecting Immigrants

I am proud that so many people in our college have come together to show their support, solidarity and respect for our students who come from all over the world, and to help ease the fears of some of our students after the presidential election. At our meeting, the Governing Board adopted a resolution reaffirming values and commitments that have held this campus together for so many years, including a celebration and support of immigrants, and an open and inclusive environment for our diverse campus community.

Employee of the Quarter

Congratulations to Genaro Ornelas, our employee of the quarter. As an instructional lab technician, Mr. Ornelas works diligently to ensure our tech and computer labs are running smoothly to ensure student success.