SBCC Academic Senate Moves Forward with No Confidence Vote

The Move Puts Pressure on Board of Trustees as It Reviews Vaccine Mandate

SBCC Campus | Credit: Paul Wellman (file)

Santa Barbara City College’s Academic Senate is moving forward with a vote of no confidence against five out of seven of the school’s Board of Trustees members, in a political move that has been in the works for the better part of the summer.

The faculty representatives made the decision in a 13-2 vote, with Tricia Mautone abstaining, after a lengthy discussion in a meeting on Tuesday that stretched over four hours. Every argument was considered in what senate President Raeanne Napoleon said was “probably the most important vote at Academic Senate at SBCC.

“A vote of no confidence shouldn’t be rushed. It should be ironclad,” Napoleon said. “We have a huge responsibility in front of us today.”

The move is likely to put pressure on the trustees, who are scheduled to vote again on Thursday on a vaccine mandate. It was a last-ditch effort by the senate and members of the faculty who felt some board members are disconnected from the campus community. “I’m worried about divisiveness,” Napoleon said. “And I’m worried about a greater divide. We want an effective board that works for the campus community, not for the greater community.”

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The motion specifically mentions trustees Veronica Gallardo, Peter Haslund, Kate Parker, Robert Miller, and Marsha Croninger, and excludes trustees Jonathan Abboud and Anna Everett from the no confidence vote. Attached to the vote will be a “writ of particulars,” a list of grievances and reasons behind the decision.

Two members of the senate voted against the measure, Kathy O’Connor and Russel Granger, though neither were there for the entire duration of the meeting; their votes were made by Mautone, according to their wishes.

Granger, who represents the technologies division, spoke on the vote before he signed off. The Automotive Technology program has been holding in-person classes for a year without a mandate, and he said he didn’t see the need to push for one now.

Napoleon will draft the resolution and inform interim Superintendent/President Helen Benjamin and the Board of Trustees before its scheduled meeting on August 3.

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