June 2019
Governing Board members listened to presentations on Grossmont and Cuyamaca Colleges’ Institutional Self-Evaluation Reports (ISERs) as part of the cycle of accreditation renewal from the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC). The process includes a comprehensive self-evaluation, a site visit by a team of peers, a recommendation by the site team, and action by the ACCJC.

The accreditation of our colleges was last reaffirmed in 2014, following the six-year cycle of practice and review. Accreditation is essential to assure students and the community that the college meets or exceeds standards of good practice, which reflect minimum conditions of quality and service for accredited institutions. Accreditation also provides access to federal financial aid and provides for the transfer of academic credits to other colleges and universities.

Workshop speakers were Sean Hancock, Vice Chancellor Student and Institutional Success; Grossmont College representatives: President Nabil Abu-Ghazaleh, Sr. Dean, College Planning and Institutional Effectiveness Catherine Webb, and Faculty Co-Chair for Accreditation Denise Schulmeyer; Cuyamaca College representatives: President Julianna Barnes, Sr. Dean, Institutional Effectiveness, Success and Equity Brianna Hays, and Faculty Co-Chair, Accreditation Marvelyn Bucky. Webb and Hays serve as the designated accreditation liaison officers (ALOs) at their respective colleges.

The colleges presented key findings arising from their self-evaluations, including strengths, areas needing improvement, and action plans for improvement. The colleges are submitting their ISERs in July and preparing for visiting team site visits Sept. 30-Oct. 3. Both colleges began their self-evaluations in fall 2017 and involved teams of numerous faculty, classified staff, administrators, and students to address four standards relating to academic quality, student learning and support, resources, and leadership and governance.

The college presidents underscored that the self-evaluation process was an opportunity to look beyond simply meeting accreditation standards, and to come up with meaningful and effective changes to improve their institutions and better serve students.

Chancellor Cindy Miles praised the comprehensive and candid reviews the colleges undertook, and called the work “stunning” and “truly transforming” how our colleges prepare for and support students. 
Board member Elena Adams reported she attended Grossmont College’s LatinX graduation and transfer ceremony, saying she was overjoyed by the pride she saw among the graduates and their families, noting that many students were first-generation college-goers.
Governing Board
 Linda Cartwright
Debbie Justeson
Elena Adams
Bill Garrett
Brad Monroe

Student Trustees:
Amy Bianchi
Sonia Mendoza-Reyes

Cindy L. Miles, Ph.D.

Grossmont College
Nabil Abu-Ghazaleh, Ed.D.

Cuyamaca College President
Julianna Barnes, Ed.D.

Vice Chancellors
Tim Corcoran, Human Resources
Sean Hancock, Ed.D. Student & Institutional Success
Sue Rearic, Business Services
Next Meeting
The Governing Board's next regular meeting will be held Tuesday, July 16, at Grossmont College's Griffin Gate. The open session will begin at 5:15 p.m., with closed session to follow.

Site Reports
Meeting agendas are posted on the District website and in the district and presidents' offices 72 hours before regular meetings and 24 before special meetings.
8800 Grossmont College Dr.
El Cajon, CA 92020 
(619) 644-7010
Board member Bill Garrett said commencement is always the highlight of the year and he is always impressed by the student speakers and their personal accounts of challenges overcome.  Garrett also praised the Board/CEO Guided Pathways retreat facilited by Drs. Byron and Kay McClenney, and the Grossmont College Theatre Department’s fundraiser and mini-performance held at the home of department chair Beth Duggan.

Board member Brad Monroe said he found the commencement speakers inspiring, adding that he appreciated that the speakers were exclusively students and not people from outside the colleges.
Board President Linda Cartwright echoed the chancellor’s praise for the ISER workshop, saying she found it very informative. She also welcomed the new student trustees she had sworn into office minutes earlier – Amy Bianchi for Grossmont College and Sonia Mendoza-Reyes for Cuyamaca College. Cartwright said she was excited to attend Grossmont College’s commencement and the nurses’ pinning ceremony. She noted she was unable to attend Cuyamaca College’s commencement because it conflicted with her niece’s graduation from Steele Canyon High School, but she is looking forward to attending both colleges’ ceremonies next year. She said she found the Board/CEO Guided Pathways retreat informative and said the Theatre Department fundraiser was a beautiful event.

Student Trustee Mendoza-Reyes said she was excited to begin her work on the Governing Board and talked about upcoming events at Cuyamaca College, including the welcome event at the start of the fall semester and the LatinX Heritage Month celebration.

Student Trustee Bianchi said she, too, is looking forward to her work on the Governing Board, adding that she previously was student government president for Grossmont College. She listed the LatinX ceremony and the Asian-Pacific Islanders Heritage Month events as recent college highlights.
At its June 18 meeting, the Governing Board:
  • Observed Governing Board President Linda Cartwright administer the oath of office to Student Trustees Amy Bianchi for Grossmont College, and Sonia Mendoza Reyes for Cuyamaca College.
  • Renewed the terms of Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committee members: Dave Gauthier, Glen Sparrow and Glenn Wilhite, and approved as a new member Kyrie Macogay to fill the seat of a Cuyamaca College student. Three vacant seats remain on the CBOC.
  • Approved the College and Career Access Pathways Partnership Agreement -- dual enrollment opportunities that promote college readiness, as well as career and workforce readiness --between the college district and Steele Canyon Charter High School. An agreement was also approved with The Learning Choice Academy, an independent charter school in the San Diego Unified High School District.
  • Approved a Climate Literacy Resolution originally brought before the Board May 16, and referred to the Academic Senates of both colleges for review and revision. The resolution calls for the district to expand its commitment to addressing climate change by promoting a culture of sustainability and climate change science literacy through its policies and practices, and to strongly support the development of educational programs, initiatives, and learning opportunities regarding climate change science literacy.Trustee Monroe  pulled this item for discussion and expressed his support for the revised resolution, especially with the inclusion of the terminology “climate change science,” and the Academic Senates’ Statement of Position regarding its purview over the 10+1 list of academic and professional matters. 
  • Updated Board Policies and Administrative Procedures 1200, 5120, 5140, 6340, 6350, 6360, and 6365.
  • Reviewed purchase orders and warrants.
  • Revised the sabbatical leave for Grossmont College English Professor Micah Jendian to Fall 2019/Spring 2020 half-pay.
  • Accepted the notice of completion and release of retention for the Grossmont College Chiller Repair project; ratified the bid award for the Cuyamaca College Chiller Expansion; approved the bid for Cuyamaca College’s Learning Resource Center roof replacement; granted permission to award the $27.3 million bid for Cuyamaca College Student Services and Administration Building and Central Park Improvements; and granted permission to award the bid for the replacement-abatement of Grossmont College fan coils 53 and 55.
  • Approved a resolution for the District to join the Joint Powers Authority for Utility Rate Reduction Project, a joint powers authority, or JPA, for cost-effective procurement of utilities by California public agencies and offices, including community colleges.
  • Ratified the appointment of Jacob Angelo, Director, Instructional Technology, Grossmont College; Karla Garcia Garduno, Financial Aid Assistant, Grossmont College; Julian Kearns, instructor, Economics, Cuyamaca College; Diana Kiryakous, Financial Aid Assistant, Grossmont College; and David Stuckey, Payroll Analyst, District Services. Position changes were also ratified for Laura Sahagun, Financial Aid Advisor, Cuyamaca College; Lekaa Yaldekko, Student Services Specialist, Disabled Students Programs and Services, Cuyamaca College; Susan Henderson-Deptula, Science Lab Technician III, Grossmont College; Corina Trevina, Administrative Assistant III, Athletics, Kinesiology and Health Education, Cuyamaca College; Patricia Branton, Administrative Assistant III, Operations Services, Cuyamaca College. Received retirement notifications of Helen Liesberg, ESL Instructor, Grossmont College, effective June 28; Charles Passentino, ESL Instructor, Grossmont College, effective June 28; and David Francis, Graphics Coordinator, Cuyamaca College, effective Aug. 31.
  • Approved a revision to board member compensation to $482 per month. The previous amount of $463 was set in June 2015.
  • Accepted the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District Child Development Centers’ Agency Self-Evaluation Reports and Action Plans.
  • Accepted the District’s written investment plan in accordance to state law and board policy.
Sue Rearic, Vice Chancellor, Business Services and Todd McDonald, Associate Vice Chancellor, Business Services, provided an overview of the 2019-2020 Tentative Budget, which becomes the District’s operating budget July 1 until the approval of the 2019/2020 Adoption Budget in September. The total funds available in the tentative budget is $515 million of which about $135 million is the unrestricted general fund, or operating budget. Miles said the final funding picture remains murky because of uncertainties surrounding the proposed changes in the Student-Centered Funding Formula awaiting the governing’s approval.

The Governing Board accepted the submission of the district’s five-year construction plan of 2021-2025, an annual submission required by the State Chancellor’s office for consideration of capital construction funding. Rearic said two new Initial Project Proposals are being submitted with this year’s plan, a gymnasium modernization for Grossmont College and a library renovation for Cuyamaca College.Board members discussed their interest in receiving additional information regarding construction projects, reviewed a monthly facilities update provided to the colleges, and asked that a similar report be provided to the Governing Board each month and posted on the public agenda, along with the monthly site reports. 

The Governing Board heard an overview of laws pertaining to General Obligation Bond elections from San Francisco attorney David Casnocha who has served as bond counsel to more than 475 school and community college districts in California, includijg serving our district for more than 15 years. Casnocha provided steps and deadlines for board members to consider when deciding whether to ask voters to approve a construction bond measure.

Javier Ayala, Grossmont College Dean of Career and Technology Education and Workforce Development and Larry McLemore, Cuyamaca College Dean of Career and Technical Education, provided reviews of Grossmont and Cuyamaca Colleges’ vocational training programs in accordance with the California Education Code. The program reviews required every two years covered Administration of Justice, Cardiovascular Technology, Child Development, Culinary Arts, Media Communications, Nursing, Occupational Therapy Assistant, Orthopedic Technology and Respiratory Therapy for Grossmont College, and Environmental Health and Safety Management, Graphic Design, Ornamental Horticulture, Paralegal Studies, Real Estate, Surveying and Center for Water Studies for Cuyamaca College.  They noted that 18 of our colleges’ career education programs have been designated Strong Workforce Stars by the state for meeting or exceeding state metrics related to increasing graduates’ economic mobility. 
In her report to the board, Chancellor Miles also commended the colleges for their “extraordinarily well-done” self-evaluation reports, saying they reflected long-term, transformational changes.

She also spoke glowingly about the commencement ceremonies at both colleges, noting the record number of graduates, degrees and certificates are the result of a strong commitment to student success and a districtwide focus on institutional excellence. Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges awarded 5,652 degrees and certificates to 2,699 graduates, the largest graduating class in the college district’s history. Over the past decade, graduate numbers have grown by 78 percent – this despite an overall decline in enrollment of about 13 percent over the same period.

Miles also praised the high attendance of the Board/CEO Guided Pathways retreat, a half-day collaboration that took place on a Friday afternoon prior to the Memorial Day holiday weekend. She noted that President Nabil Abu-Ghazaleh was recently recognized by Assemblymember Shirley Weber as a Man of Distinction for the 79 th Assembly District.