New College President Officially Announced

El Vaquero Staff Features Editor

When John Davitt retires from his position as superintendent/president of GCC this summer, he will be succeeded by Audre Levy, currently president of L.A. Southwest College.

“The board has unanimously decided to appoint Dr. Audre Levy to the position of superintendent/president of Glendale Community College,” announced Kathleen Burke-Kelly, president of GCC’s Board of Trustees, at the beginning of the meeting. Her announcement was followed by a standing ovation from the audience in Kreider Hall.

“Thank you, all of the board, for your vote of confidence and trust in me and, for the audience, for your vote of confidence and trust in me as well,” said Levy after the applause had died down. “I hope to live up to what you have in store for me as your incoming president.”

Levy hit a soft spot with the audience when she complimented Davitt, who has been the leader of the college for 21 years.
“I would also like to express my thanks to Dr. Davitt for his years of service to this college,” said Levy. “Let me say this is an awesome task, to follow behind such a giant who has spent so many years in the community college ranks. You will discover that my feet are quite not the size of his but a little higher because I wear heels [and] that means that I will be stepping high; but I want you to know that I am here because of all of you and I will remember why I am here. I am here because of the students and because of you, the faculty and staff.

“Always know that my door is open I will be welcome to hearing the good things as well as the not so good things, because it’s from the not so good things that we all grow; and so I am looking forward to being part of the history of this institution.”

During a brief reception for Levy before the regular board meeting resumed, Burke-Kelly said that it was “a combination of things” that led to choosing Levy. She said it was her experience in all levels of education, having taught at the K-12 level as well as at community colleges and universities. It was also her ability to connect with people.

“Dr. Davitt is very much like that and I think the campus would miss that.”

Davitt expressed his support of Levy during the comments portion of the board meeting, as did every other member of the board. “We’re looking forward to having you here and you and I will hopefully get some good time in the next month or so to tell you what our problems are and to welcome you to the community. I think you’re going to like it here. I think you’re going to find that it’s a real family-Everyone is committed to making your administration a very successful one for Glendale College.”

Anita Quinonez Gabrielian, a board member who was president of the board during most of the hiring process, added her welcome to Levy and also said, “You can definitely count on our cooperation, partnership and all of our support.”

Board member Victor King added that “Although you are replacing a legend, you are a legend in your own right. We’ve heard so many wonderful things about you that you really stood out of the crowd of applicants.”

“You were a star from the first moment that we met you and we are glad that you’ll be shining in our skies — and we’ll be there to polish you,” said Armine Hacopian, vice president of the board.
After the meeting ended Levy said “I am more looking at excitement and the task of learning all the names and faces and issues and challenges here at the college.”

Burke-Kelly said that Levy will be assuming the position of superintendent/president on July 1.

Other items that were covered at the meeting:
Three professors were given tenure: David Martin, instructor of architecture; Paul Vera, of the ESL department; and Monette Tiernan, of the English department.

Sharon Combs and Ron Nakasone presented a proposal to borrow the number of Full Time Enrolled Students (FTES) from the first summer session to claim on the 2005 and 2006 year, so funding will not be cut by failure to reach the state-mandated quota for enrolled students. Nakasone said that a lot of colleges are doing it and have done it. The foreseen funding shortfalls come from an overall pattern of declining enrollment. Nakasone said that many colleges employ a strategy of “borrowing” students from one semester to meet quotas and then take the loss in the next semester to ensure even funding over a period of several years.

Jane DiLucchio presented a proposal for GCC to offer its own high school diploma for continuing education adults. For many years, the Garfield campus has offered a diploma in conjunction with the Glendale Unified School District. This proposal would allow GCC to tailor the program to serve adult students better and the diploma students would be able to meet some of the graduation requirements by taking credit classes on the main campus.

According to Davitt, GCC received a proclamation from Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger of resolution that the week of April 23 to 29 be known as “The Days of Remembrance of the Armenian Genocide.”
After having been the interim associate dean of the library for this past year, Linda Winters is now officially the associate dean of the library.

There will be a retirement party on June 2 for staff and faculty who are retiring this year.

In a future board meeting, Burke-Kelly said she would like to revisit the board’s compensation, since it has been such a good year for the budget and their compensation has not been restored since it was cut because of a low budget.