Board Discusses Elections and Advocacy

Lillian Wu

The Board of Trustees held its regular board meeting on March 21 at Kreider Hall to discuss the upcoming Glendale and community college district elections, budget concerns and new software for human resources at Glendale Community College.

President of the board of trustees Anthony Tartaglia reminded everyone about the Glendale Municipal Election on April 5. Tartaglia is running for re-election for the GCC Board of Trustees.

“I encourage any and all to go out and vote. Let your voice be heard,” he said.

Additionally, the board of trustees voted for eight of the 12 nominated candidates for the 2011 California Community College Trustees Board of Directors election. The eight candidates represent community college districts from northern and southern California and will serve three years on the board.

Incumbents Laura Casas Frier, Foothill-DeAnza Community College District (CCD); Mary Figueroa, Riverside CCD; and Paul J. Gomez, Chaffey CCD were among the candidates selected.

On April 4, several accreditation representatives will visit GCC and meet with administrators who will give them information about the improvements at the college. The report will go to the commissioners in June who will determine and report the status to GCC.

“I think we have done very, very, very well,” Vice President of Instructional Services Mary Mirch said. “I know everybody has worked very hard.”

Ron Nakasone, executive vice president of administrative services, said that student fees will be raised from $26 per unit to $36 per unit for fall 2011.

Tartaglia agreed with Vahé Peroomian, member of the board of trustees, that students need to know about the status of summer school.

Ramona Barrio-Sotillo, the guild representative to the board, said the Glendale College Guild is working with the college.

“We are discussing summer school with the district and looking at options in regard to whether or not GCC could have summer school,” she said.

Because the issue is currently in negotiations, more information could not be given at the dais.

“We have discussed an April 15 timeline because students need to plan and quite frankly so do the faculty and the staff and the administration,” Superintendent/President Dawn Lindsay said.

The board ratified two agreements between the GCC District and the California School Employee Association and with the Guild about the early retirement incentive for 2010 – 2011. GCC District has worked with the Public Agency Retirement System to develop an incentive for faculty. To see the first year savings of $1 million, a minimum of 18 people must participate by June 15.

“This is an integral piece in our attempts to balance our budget,” Tartaglia said.
Additionally, an agreement for a four-day work week for summer 2011 and the 2011 – 2012 Classified Employees Work Calendar was ratified. The four-day work week will run from June 13 through Aug. 26.

Lindsay said that she was amazed at the student government and students.

“I cannot believe the advocacy and the lobbying and the legislative push our students have been taking. The voice of the student is what is going to make the difference.”

Lindsay and Janet Shamilian, student trustee, announced the “Hands Across California” event in which thousands of people join hands across the state of California to raise awareness about the importance of community colleges. Administrators, faculty, staff and students are asked to participate in the event on April 17.

Ken Kragen, who created “Hands Across America” 25 years ago, is helping with the event. The exact route has not been finalized, but GCC is included in the path. Currently, 58 colleges plan to participate including Pasadena City College and Los Angeles Valley College.

Shamilian updated the board about members of Associated Students of Glendale Community College who attended the March 14 trip to Sacramento. ASGCC collected nearly 500 letters from students and made 30 copies of each letter, which were hand-delivered to district representatives including State Sen. Carol Liu and Assemblyman Mike Gatto.

The board also discussed an agreement with NEOGOV, Inc. about purchasing a new human resources software package that will help with online recruitment.

The software will reduce the staff paperwork in the human resources department, which is already understaffed. It will allow hiring committees to work online and see reports about employees.

Although the existing software system iRecruitment can recruit online, it has not been functioning correctly since May 2010. The information technology department and an outside consultant were brought in to fix the problems. GCC is recruiting for associate vice president of information technology by pencil and paper rather than online.

Vicki Nicholson, associate vice president of human resources, researched this product for over a year. Because iRecruitment, which was purchased from Oracle, cost a lot for enhancements, Nicholson said there are “no plans to enhance this product beyond what is delivered at this point.”

The first year cost for NEOGOV is $32,000 and the second year will be $25,000. However, Lindsay said that GCC must look for sources of funding in the third year. Funds from Equal Employment Opportunity will help finance this. EEO is an annual grant of $15,000 to $16,000 a year from staff diversity funds.

Instructor of chemistry Sevada Chamras gave a special presentation and explained how Spectrum Chemical, a scientific equipment company, donated $102,243 in supplies that he selected for GCC.

When Chamras researched why the company was donating, some sources told him they were relocating while others said they were trying to get rid of supplies that do not sell quickly.

Chamras said he expects the fifth shipment soon. The chemistry department received “the lion’s share” of the donation such as glassware, precision equipment and balances. Other departments that benefited were facilities, health center, ceramics, biology, physics, child development and welding.

The meeting closed in honor of the citizens of Japan and those who lost their lives in the earthquake and tsunami.

The next board of trustees meeting will be on April 18 at 8 a.m. in the Student Center.