The Los Angeles Community College District Board of Trustees convened in the Great Hall Wednesday afternoon for their first general meeting of the month.
The meeting, which was originally scheduled to take place in Los Angeles Mission College, was the first board meeting attended by Dr. Kathleen Burke-Kelly since resuming her position as the Pierce College president.
It was also the second-to-last meeting Linda Tong will be participating in as a student trustee. A new student trustee will be replacing her in June.
Board passes single-payer health care resolution
In a unanimous vote, the LACCD Board of Trustees adopted the California Single-Payer Health Care Coverage Act.
“The act provides health care for all with single-payer health care coverage, making all California residents eligible for specified benefits administered by the newly-created California Healthcare Agency,” said Trustee Mona Field.
The current law pertaining to health care coverage for California residents has a direct impact on the LACCD in that “insurance premiums rise as the health care industry charges the insured for the costs of treating the uninsured,” according to a document describing the act.
According to Field, health care for employees is the second largest budget item of the district.
“A system that might provide that kind of coverage in a different way might be a cost-effective thing for this district,” she said.
California community colleges collaborate in industry-driven proposals
The LACCD Office of Economic and Workforce Development, collaborating with community colleges under the district, submitted five industry-driven proposals to the Department of Labor last month.
“The projects addressed in these proposals strive to meet the needs of so-called ’emerging industries’,” said LACCD Chancellor Daniel LaVista.
According to Chito Cajayon, vice president for Economic and Workforce Development, criteria for determining the industries to focus on included growth and career mobility.
“I think we want to spend our money on the things that most consistently resonate what we think are the themes of California community colleges,” said Lavista.
The five project proposals, namely L.A. Merit Project, L.A. Aero Project, Health Sciences Career Pathways Consortium Project, Pola L.A. Warp and Next Gen Project, each represent a different industry that the Office of Economic and Workforce Development deems important to the district.
For instance, the LA Merit Project, led by Pierce College, focuses on entertainment and digital media.
“Things are changing technology-wise toward the entertainment industry with the advent of the internet,” said Cajayon.
The L.A. Aero Project, led by West Los Angeles College, focuses heavily on aerospace and advanced manufacturing activities.
“Because of the changes in technology and the manufacturing activities in the industry, we feel that this was a very strong collaboration,” said Cajayon.
East Los Angeles College leads the Health Sciences Career Pathways Consortium Project, which focuses heavily on allied health care.
“Because there’s so many job opportunities that can be obtained through this industry, it was a very good theme to pursue,” said Cajayon.
The Pola L.A. Warp is led by Los Angeles Harbor College.
“This project is very important because, as we know, there is an increase in the goods movement, the logistics area and the transportation area,” Cajayon said. “This proposal is focusing on that whole area.”
Lastly, the Los Angeles Trade Technical College heads the Next Gen Project, a project that focuses on the mobile application of the creative media field.
The grants altogether comprise approximately $65 million in grant requests, according to LaVista.
“Each project was developed based on the collective efforts of administrators and faculty throughout the district,” he said.
Research headed by Pierce astronomy professor to be published in magazine
A Pierce College astronomy professor’s discovery of new stars will be published in the July 2011 issue of “Astrophysical Journal.”
Carolyn Mallory, instructor of physics and planetary sciences, headed a year-long research project in the California Institute of Technology that involved the application of infrared to discover new stars.
Her research team was comprised of two Pierce students.
According to Mallory, she and her team were able to discover 29 ‘baby’ stars.
“It was a really, really good scientific feat,” she said.