May 2020
Board Vice President Debbie Justeson thanked employees for their work in keeping the district going while the campuses have been closed. She acknowledged Chancellor Lynn Neault, who had only been at the district for a few weeks when the coronavirus pandemic started. Board Clerk Elena Adams echoed Justeson’s comments.

Trustee Bill Garrett participated in the monthly SDICCCA Alliance trustee meeting, and a meeting of the advisory committee on legislation. He said the state Legislature is focusing almost exclusively on the budget, COVID-19 response, and wildfires. He also commended Grossmont College Student Trustee Amy Bianchi and Cuyamaca College Student Trustee Sonia Mendoza-Reyes for their service.

Trustee Brad Monroe praised the student trustees and thanked classified employees and faculty members for their dedication. He noted that the Otay Mesa Detention Center has had numerous COVID-19 cases, and asked Neault to write a letter on behalf of the district asking state and national leaders to take action to protect the detainees. The board members unanimously supported this advocacy effort.

Board President Linda Cartwright thanked staff, faculty and administration for being flexible and working hard during trying times. She said Bianchi and Mendoza-Reyes represented their fellow students well and showed legislators the positive effect of community colleges during the trips to Sacramento and Washington, D.C.
Grossmont College Student Trustee Amy Bianchi said it is a bittersweet moment for her to attend her last Governing Board meeting as student trustee. She said she enjoyed advocating for the district during the legislative visits to Sacramento and Washington, D.C. She will be transferring to UC San Diego to major in global health. Grossmont College’s next student trustee is Benjamin Blevins .

Cuyamaca College Student Trustee Sonia Mendoza-Reyes said she learned a lot during her time as trustee and said it was the best experience of her college career. She is transferring to Point Loma Nazarene University and majoring in sociology.

Cuyamaca College’s next student trustee is Robert McClain . Both Mendoza-Reyes and Bianchi expressed how much they valued the strong relationship they had developed working together and with the board members.
Governing Board
 Linda Cartwright
Debbie Justeson
Elena Adams
Bill Garrett
Brad Monroe

Student Trustees:
Amy Bianchi
Sonia Mendoza-Reyes

Lynn Ceresino Neault, Ed.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
Sahar Abushaban, Business Services, Interim
Next Meeting
The Governing Board's next regular meeting will be held Tuesday, June 16. The open session will begin at 4:15 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
At the May 19, 2020 meeting, the Governing Board:

  • Adopted a resolution recognizing Classified Professionals Week May 17-23, which honors the contributions of classified professionals statewide and at the District.
  • Adopted a resolution in support of advocacy for increased federal funding to community colleges in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Adopted a resolution denouncing xenophobia and anti-Asian sentiment that has arisen during the coronavirus pandemic and affirming the District’s commitment to the well-being and safety of Asian American students and communities.
  • Updated Board Policies 3250, Institutional Planning; 3516, Registered Sex Offender Information; 3840, Children on Campus; and 5017, Responding to Inquiries of Immigration Status, Citizenship Status, and National Origin Information.
  • Granted authority to approve the implementation of an increase to the student representation fee as required by law, and elimination of several instructional materials fees charged to students.
  • Approved Grossmont and Cuyamaca Colleges’ course, certificate, and degree changes, and authorized publishing in the 2020-2021 Grossmont and Cuyamaca College catalogs.
  • Approved the required review of Vocational Training programs at Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges.
  • Approved the suspension of Board Policy to increase the unrestricted general reserve percentage so that it will remain at 6.75% for the 2020-2021 fiscal year.
  • Approved an amendment to the District’s Project Labor Agreement with the San Diego Building and Construction Trades County for two additional projects funded by Proposition V.
  • Rejected a bid by Whillock Contracting, Inc. based on non-responsibility.
  • Ratified an action awarding a bid for the Grossmont College Science Math Career Tech Complex hazmat and demo to Watkins Environmental.
  • Ratified an action awarding a bid for the Cuyamaca College Building H Annex stucco and autoclave to MA Stevens Construction, Inc.
  • Granted authority to award a bid for phase 2 of the Cuyamaca College campus renovation and repairs to the lowest responsive bidder.
  • Adopted a resolution on the futility of the bidding process for the Grossmont College Parking Structure and authorizes the chancellor to execute contract documents.
  • Approved personnel actions.
  • Approved the Equal Employment Opportunity Fund Multiple Method Allocation Model Certification form for fiscal year 2019-2020.

Chancellor Lynn Neault honored Theatre Arts Professor/Chair Beth Duggan , who was conferred emeritus status by the Governing Board for her distinguished 22 years of services, including 10 years as chair of the Theatre Arts Department. Grossmont College Academic Senate President Denise Schulmeyer said Duggan made numerous contributions to the college, including developing an associate degree in Theatre Arts and creating a summer conservatory. Grossmont College President Nabil Abu-Ghazaleh said Duggan has made the Theatre Arts program a preeminent program for the region, and noted she also played a key role in plans for the Performing and Visual Arts Center.

Other Grossmont College news reported by Abu-Ghazaleh included a food distribution event for military members and veterans held at the college, and a COVID-19 testing site based at the college for two weeks. He said more than 500 graduates have registered to view the college’s online commencement. 

Cuyamaca College President Julianna Barnes said the college is finding ways to continue supporting students, including emergency grants to students, plans to distribute laptops to students who most need them, and weekly support groups and drop-in online counseling sessions. Barnes said she is holding virtual chats with staff members to keep in touch while the campus is closed.

Neault gave a report on the revised state budget released last week. The state’s finances have gone from the bright fiscal outlook in January to the current bleak budget in the wake of COVID-19. The State of California is projecting a $54 billion budget deficit, with tax revenues down 50% and the state’s Rainy Day Fund to be depleted within three years. For community colleges, the budget calls for a 10% reduction in the Student-Centered Funding Formula, a 15% cut in the Student Equity and Achievement funding, and a 55% reduction in Strong Workforce funding. Funding for college food pantries and Dreamer liaisons was cut, and they are expected to be funded through Student Equity and Achievement. Funding for deferred maintenance and instructional support was eliminated and several programs proposed in January were also eliminated. The state is also planning to defer its apportionment payments, so districts may have to borrow to meet expenses.

A few good things in the budget include maintaining two years of free tuition for first-time community college students and preserving most categorical programs. The state also reduced districts’ obligations to pay contributions to STRS and PERS, which will save the district about $1.8 million a year.
Neault said that despite the tough budget, she plans to do everything in her power to avoid layoffs. Every district expense is being carefully examined.