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Posted on May 28 at 10:15 a.m.
I found the BoT meeting interesting and informative. It seems the board is actually doing some work now, and they are working together, with some disagreements, yes, but working together to do what's best for the college and community in difficulat times. It appears that it's some of the credit side faculty and staff that are creating division in the college and community. The rabid supporters of Dr. Serban appear to be a mean-spirited, pessimist bunch of people who fear losing control. Many of them tell the community "times have changed, live with it." Yet when it comes to making a changes on the board of trustees, they are fighting it tooth and nail.
I agree with easternpacific: Ms Monda may not have meant to do this, but she was very condescending to the audience. I thought it was disrespectful to address the community members in such a way and use the platform of a board meeting to preach to "the adult ed people." If anything, she should have been directing her comments to some of her fellow credit instructors, who, along with Dr. Serban, have been behind the fracturing of the college campus.
More than one speaker made the observation that the SBCC campus is very divided right now and has been for 2 years. It was pointed out that a good teacher/leader/president brings people together. Need I say more?
On A Campus Divided
Posted on May 13 at 11:42 p.m.
Thanks for covering the SBCC issues. It should be noted that the services for older adults at Continuing Education has already been cut and has disproportionately taken the brunt of the cuts in state-funded classes for the college (Continuing Ed is only about 10% of the overall SBCC budget). Almost all cuts have been in services for seniors - the older adult section of funding - which is a legally funded category from the state. The administration is cutting classes and services in the credit division and older adult categories, but refuses to consider asking ESL students to pay for their classes. The community should be asking: why are certain classes at Adult Ed, such as ESL, allowed to get a free pass at the expense of the credit students and our local senior population? I hope the community comes to the meeting on Monday to either listen to or add to the dialogue about budget reductions from the state and how to deal with it fairly at SBCC.
On Choppy Sea for Two-Day SBCC Fiscal Odyssey
Posted on October 21 at 9:44 a.m.
It is apparent that Mr. Moldaver has been drinking the same kool aid as the Trustees, undoubtably served by Dr. Serban.Yes, "Change can unglue people." I'm seeing it now with the current BoT. They are saying "The sky is falling! The sky is falling!” because 4 community members, who didn't know each other before late July, are challenging them for a seat on the SBCC BoT. Pretty scary stuff.Yes, "SBCC had options." Unfortunately, the administration and BoT didn't look at all those options and didn't heed options offered to them by the faculty, students and community members. Mr. Dobbs even exclained at one board meeting "I don't want to hear from the teachers!""We face challenging times. But the sky is not falling." Please tell that to your friend, Dr. Serban. She has been purporting to the college community for over 2 years that SBCC is in dire straights because of the budget woes. You yourself have heard her lament the financial problems at every CAC meeting, with the exception the last one when she toned it down a bit. She has beat the SBCC staff and faculty over the head about how bad things are (again, until very recently). Of course, now we all know that SBCC has been in an extremely good position financially and could have foregone some of the cuts they made.I would have expected more of you, Mr. Moldaver, than to be in lockstep with the BoT. You should be hearing both sides of the issues and I'm extremely disappointed that as a representative on the Citizen's Advisory Council at Adult Ed, you are so ill-informed.
On Oust the Incumbents!/No, Don’t!
Posted on September 15 at 10:24 p.m.
Great article. I remember when SBCC did this trip. I had wished I could go! Now it's 25 years later and I still haven't been to China.
On SBCC’s China Study Abroad Looks Back on 25 Years
Posted on September 13 at 6:23 a.m.
Oneill seems like a nice enough person, as do the others on the boarrd. But to hang you hat on "look how good the college has been for all these years" is not sufficient. When times are tough is when you see a person's/the board's true character. The board has made poor decisions beginning with choosing the new President of the college.They chose her (from out of the area) who has chosen her subordinates, (most from out of the area), all with no or very little experience with an important aspect of SBCC: Continuing Education, and the board approved those hired. When they rubber-stamped the previous presidents, no problem. When they continue to do what they've always done and just agree with this president, there's a different outcome. They are so used to being told what to do (by someone who they have authority over) that they can't change. Their decisions have demonstrated that the last 2+ years.
On SBCC Incumbent Taking It to the Streets
Posted on September 12 at 7:31 a.m.
RIGHT ON, DAKOTA1. "it appears that an adult student is now being defined as being decidedly different than the younger degree seeking student" Yes, it appears that way. Nick's article demonstrates the lack of understanding that Arellano and Serban have for teaching. I have seen this time after time not only with these two, but with other administrators: They don't know teaching and they don't give credit to tachers to know how to teach to varying abilities, ages and motivations. Yes, there are some learning differences between older adults and 19 year olds, just as there are differences in international students, people with disabilities, students who are extremely intelligent, students who are emotionally unstable, ones who are getting a degree and ones who are there for life enrichment. Teachers train for this type of cross-section of students. A class that is geared for older adults and has younger people in it CAN and DOES still meet the goals of the course outline. It's condescending and demeaning to both the instructor and the older adult student for Arellano to say that Jenkins cannot "meet the needs of his younger students while also addressing the same needs for his older students". Has she or Serban ever set foot into that classroom? Have they ever visited and observed for an amount of time any older adult classes? Instead of using the Chancellor's office as an excuse to cut classes (AGAIN- that excuse is getting old since we know it's NOT TRUE), perhaps the leadership could do some investigating of their own and find ways to SUPPORT programs like this that are examples of excellence and collaboration with the community at SBCC.In all fairness, the bad decisions and turmoil at SBCC is not ALL the trustees' fault. Serban and Arellano have mislead the current board many times by leaving out important information, juggling budget numbers and creating an environment of uneasiness with staff and faculty if they want to correct inaccuracies. But it is INCUMBENT on the trustees to do their own homework, research information, seek out people who are affected by the decisions and invite them to speak at the meetings. It is not acceptable for a trustee to base important decisons on one or two people who are very new to the college and have no teaching background. In fact, I wouldn't trust someone who did that.
On Budget Blues in Double C-Flat
Posted on September 5 at 9 a.m.
Thanks for covering this event. I attended and was very impressed with what the challengers had to say. Obviously the previous commenter "independent" did not go to the event or (s)he would have known that specific examples were given to correct the problems. Only Ms Blum has experience in politics in the group of 4. I was happy to hear that each of them came from different perspectives and while they seem to have similar concerns, they are not copies of each other. Good luck to the four challengers!
On Challengers Meet-and-Greet on the Mesa
Posted on August 31 at 9:58 p.m.
Right on, J'Amy! How stupid is it to slap a gift horse in the mouth? This administration, the Board of Trustees included, is alseep at the wheel. Thank goodness the community is smart and will hold the powers-that-be accountable for their actions.
On At Least $150,000
Posted on August 28 at 4:39 a.m.
I was at that CAC meeting where Ms Brown offered to help by doing fundraising. I go to the meetings regularly. I, and others at my table, surprised to say the least at how Ms Serban responded to the offer. It wasn't just Ms Brown, although she was the most vocal and specific in her idea: there were others who commented and gave support to the idea to avoiding cutting all the older adult classes. The savings were nothing money-wise with a college that carries over $30 million in surplus (more than 30% of the total budget). But it went a long way PR-wise with more bad feeling being generated because of Ms Serban's choices. And remember, she was the board's choice to lead our college and they UNANIMOUSLY approved her agin this year. that says a lot about the current Board of Trustees. The administration is in a bad place now trying to defend their actions or lack thereof, It seems all the challengers need to do is shine a light on 2, 3, ...5 or 6 things so the average community member is aware of the poor communication with interested parties
On Blum Takes Off Gloves
Posted on August 8 at 9:48 a.m.
The FOUR NEW CANDIDATES elected to the Board of Trustees will be a welcome change in my book. The Trustees who sit on the Board now have not shown that they can listen to all positions and ACT in times of challenge and independently of Serban. Alexander and Villegas have come close to it, but they have lacked support from the others who are obviously under her thumb. The Board chose the new President and she does not have the leadership style to be head of a community college. They are responsible for her still being there. After all, they "unanimously" gave her their approval recently. The buck stops at the current members of the Board. Thank the incumbents for their time (most served over 15 years - aren't there term limits???) and vote for vital, new Board members to lead the college into the future.
On Let the Race Begin