Academic Senate to discuss vote concerning trustees
The Santa Barbara City College Academic Senate will hold a special meeting at 2 p.m. today to discuss a potential vote of no confidence in the Board of Trustees.
The Senate has discussed the possible vote in two previous meetings but now returns with a document showing what the Senate considers are historical issues with the board. The document also features the results of a faculty survey.
Of the 109 faculty members who responded to the survey, 78.9% voted in favor of a vote of no confidence.
Some respondents identified board decisions or board members they disagree with. (The vote of no confidence could apply to the whole board or select trustees.)
Many of the survey’s participants mention that they’d like a vaccine mandate. One person even recommended that faculty refuse to teach without such protection.
Other participants in the survey worry a vote may make the college look dysfunctional or cause trouble.
“I support a vaccine mandate for our campus. However, I feel a vote of no confidence will not help us achieve this goal,” one respondent said. “In a time of emergency and urgency, we need to de-escalate and work together as best we can.”
A few comments called a no-confidence vote as “misguided” and “too drastic.”
Trustee Veronica Gallardo is a target of four complaints that accuse her of being slanted or unapproachable.
She is mentioned in other responses among other board members.
Some faculty responses mentioned trustees that should be excluded from the vote, primarily those who voted in favor of a vaccine mandate. Dr. Anna Everett received the most support.
During the Academic Senate’s July 14 meeting, it requested an outline of the board’s history of misgovernance.
The overview begins in 2012 when SBCC received an accreditation warning by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges. Trustees Marsha Croninger and Peter Haslund presided on the board at the time of the warning.
“Some find the SBCC Board of Trustees to be engaging in the same behavior that placed us on accreditation warning in 2012, thereby potentially risking our accreditation status,” the Academic Senate’s historical document said.
The Academic Senate documented 17 incidents starting in 2017 in which it feels trustees didn’t follow ACCJC standards.
On Oct. 12, 2017, the board passed Board Policy 3150 “Optimal College Size and Efficiency” 5-1 despite Academic Senate opposition.
Then Senate President Priscilla Butler told the board that the policy violates Chapter 17 of the Trustee Handbook that discourages prescriptive, detailed policy. BP 3150 contains “precise designation of size and a particular full-time equivalent student target,” she told the board.
The historical document said the board’s decision shows “contempt for the roles of faculty and staff in the participatory governance process,” violating accreditation standards.
Another case outlined is the 2018 resignation of student trustee Krystal Farmer.
“Since the day I started, I felt like they weren’t into any suggestions I had, and I often felt silenced, cut off and ignored in the meetings,” she said in 2018.
Associated Student Government representatives often felt snubbed by the board, according to the document.
The document also mentions a debate over the Pledge of Allegiance in which a public speaker used a racial slur.
Today’s meeting will be streamed via YouTube at youtube.com/channel/UCf-cCHILRmjxJxy28uc8bWg.
To view the meeting agenda and receive instructions for public comments, visit go.boarddocs.com/ca/sbcc/board.nsf/public.