The Board of Trustees adjourned the meeting to honor former Orange County Community College District Chancellor Ned Doffoney for his service in community colleges and universities across California.
Dr. Ned Doffoney was known as an avid supporter for all students encouraging each individual to reach their full academic potential,” Board President Gabriel Buelna said. “Dr. Doffoney’s positive and enriching spirit will be truly missed. On behalf of the entire Los Angeles Community College District we send our deepest condolences to the Doffoney family.”
After the Board took roll call and motioned to begin, Pierce College’s Faculty Student Advisor James McKeever thanked the trustees, the chancellor, the Academic Senate and sister unions for their rapid response on condemning racism, sexism, homophobia and recent anti-semetic comments. He also thanked Human Resources senior personnel technician Mary VanGinkle for helping remove a technical glitch so that adjunct faculty could receive public service loan forgiveness along with thanking the Board’s opposition to AB 928.
“I also want to thank the Board for its continued opposition to AB 928, which if implemented will deny our students the ability to take Kinesiology and health courses. These courses not only allow our students to explore these fields as an option, but they are crucial for the future physical and mental health of our communities,” McKeever said. “They give them coping mechanisms to deal with stress and lead healthier lifestyles. We’ll be asking you for your continued support, in particular, Trustee (Andra) Hoffman, we would like to work with you to fight this bill that would negatively impact our students.”
Another issue mentioned is the healthcare coverage of adjunct faculty across the district.
Bill Elarton-Selig, AFT 1521 Guild Executive Team’s vice president, spoke about the funding given by the state and the need for the Board to come up with a better healthcare plan for adjunct faculty while extending the Memorandum of Understanding (MOUs) which will terminate by the end of December.
“It became abundantly clear during the COVID situation how vulnerable these folks were,” Elarton-Seling said. “The state did pass and funded an ongoing $200,000,000 fund to fund adjunct part-time healthcare. We have been waiting for guidance from the chancellor’s office which came out a couple of days ago. It is going to be a bumpy road to implement however the intent is clearly from the state legislature that we provide healthcare for our contingent faculty.”
The Board had approved the resolution to be in solidarity with the women of Iran and the call to end violence along with the resolution to pass Veterans Day and Veterans Awareness Week.
Additionally, Chancellor Francisco Rodriguez read the preliminary results from last October’s survey of 1,500 people in Los Angeles County about opening in-language courses.
In-language courses offer courses in languages other than English.
Rodriguez stated that eight to 10 LA County Residents supporting adding in-language classes to the curriculum offerings, along with more than two-fifths of students attending a community college agree that language is a barrier to success.
To supplement this, he added that 71% of adults reported that they are personally interested in taking in-language classes and one-third of previous attending students might consider returning back to college if in-language classes were open.
“This is the first time that we sampled both students and sampled communities as to whether or not there was strong interest,” Rodriguez said. “This gives us more information to make this potentially a strategic advantage, and something that can boost enrollment, skill sets and really there are the audiences that are going to vary. Are we trying to attract new entrance into a higher education market and the answer is yes.”
Rodriguez also went over the Chancellor’s report and discussed the current events that took place across all nine community colleges including Pierce’s 75th celebration and LGBTQIA+ History Month events taking place across LACCD.
More information on the Board’s meeting agenda can be found here. The Board live streams and posts their meetings onto their YouTube channel LACCD Official. To watch last Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2022, meeting is right here.