Desert Community College District
Board of Trustees Meeting
Mister Chair, Madam Superintendent/President, Members of the Board, and College Community
Good morning and Happy New Year. Happy Lunar, the Year of the Rabbit. I am told that we will all need to be vigilant, witty, quick-minded, and ingenious to survive this year. On that note, CODAA members are busy preparing for the Spring Semester and our Executive Board is working on FLEX activities which will be offered to all Adjuncts on Wednesday, January 25, 2023, between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm. All members of the Board of Trustees are welcome to attend the Zoom Presentations. Please let me know so that I can email you the Meeting ID, which will cover the entire day.
CODAA is pleased to report that our negotiations with the District have concluded and that we have a tentative agreement regarding both compensations for this Academic year and next plus, we have an agreement regarding Health Benefits that will affect most CODAA members starting with the Spring Semester. We want to Thank every member of the District negotiation team for a comprehensive, respectful, and timely series of discussions.
At the December Meeting of the Board, there was an incident that is of major concern to CODAA, our members, and perhaps, many others at College of the Desert. Trustee Kinnamon made a motion to separate the approval of the hiring of two Counselors, one of whom is currently our constituent, from the remainder of all other new hires. He also motioned to approve their hiring contingent upon the hiring process being reviewed for diligence by Legal Counsel and said “review” was to then be approved by the Chairperson of the Board. The motion also suggested that this review and approval be done so as not to delay the hiring into mid-January. The motion carried 3-2. Of concern is that to the best of our knowledge, neither a review of the hiring process with appropriate Legal Counsel and Human Resource Department officials has been conducted, nor has either individual been hired by the district. A full month has passed since this action of the Board.
Under what authority did Trustee Kinnamon act? There is no Board Policy that authorizes a Trustee to interfere in the standard hiring procedures of the District. It is our understanding that the purview of the Board of Trustees is to set strategic direction and establish overall Policy for COD. The Board should not be involved in daily operational activity.
Of greater concern is that it is well-documented that this type of action by any Community College Board can have a serious negative effect on the District’s accreditation. This is fundamentally unacceptable.
We hope that the Board will review its authority and refrain from jeopardizing the District in future actions.
Dr. Catherine Levitt, President of CODAA