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Election: RoseMarie Dishman

Q: What is your educational & career background?

A: So, University of Missouri background, and then Riverside Master and PhD in Physics. Then an MBA from San Diego State. Then work wise, when I got out of school I went to Athens, Greece, so I worked at Demokritos Nuclear Research Center. 

Then I came back to the States, and it was hard at that time to find jobs particularly for women honestly. So I taught a one-year sabbatical replace at San Diego State in the physics department. Then I got a full time job at United States International University …  it had a very diverse student body, very diverse programs.

Then I saw an ad in the paper for DeVry University, and I had known a person who was working up there, so I applied and I got the job. I was head of academics for the campus, and then the president retired, and they said ‘do you want to be president?’ and I said ‘okay, I’ll be president.’

After that, they started wanting to do buildings, building different campuses. So, besides Ramona where I was the president, I built West Hills, Long Beach, Las Vegas, and then there was a small campus down here.


Q: Why are you running?

A: I’ve spent my life with education, and I’ve learned a lot. When I was going to school I really did have a lot of people helping me psychologically. I think to give back to students that need for somebody to push you, you know again, most of my life I was the only woman in most of my classes and I had some great teachers that really did encourage me to go through and finish the program. I think that’s what students need, I think they need to have that kind of background.

So I’ve done lots of diverse student population, facilities program development, administration educational leadership, and then my 15 years, probably really 20 years by the time you add in the adjunct teaching I had done and the two full-times. Probably about 20 years in the classroom, and really big classrooms with lots of students and lots of diverse students.


Q: What is your ultimate campaign promise & goal?

A: I was on the Board for four years from 2008 to 2012, and I think the real promise is when you look at what was developed for mission and goals at that time, and it is still in your strategic plans, it’s still current. The goal is really learning for success, that is the vision of Palomar, and I would say that is my vision. No matter what happens, students are the end product, so you can talk about faculty, you can talk about staff and everything, but the students have to be successful. That’s what the goal would be.


Q: What separates you from other candidates?

A: I think if you look, all the other candidates running have a very different background. My education by far separates me from all the other candidates, and my educational work background is really excessively extensive.


Q: What is your history with Palomar, and why is the college important to you?

A: There is a Board opening, there are two openings and one incumbent is running but you have one that is just kind of there. So when I saw that you all really need somebody, and when you apply to be on this campaign you really don’t know who’s going to sign up, so I didn’t know if anybody was going to sign up. It could have been nobody, so I saw there was a need for the campus that needed somebody to sign up.

It really is important to me because people in Poway and Rancho Bernardo, they don’t even know Palomar exist practically. My neighbor, I keep telling him he’s got to stop going to Miramar, that he needs to come up here. The outreach needs to be more, I think that besides student diversity and retention, I think one of the big deals is going out to the community and making people understand who Palomar is.

The other thing that I have done a lot of work on is retention, and right now the economy is so good that most students take jobs and don’t go to school, and it’s really honestly for young students in particular, it’s not the best thing for them to do. They need to come and get their education, so I think retention is one of the really big issues that Palomar is going to face in the next few years.”


Q: What is the biggest problem facing Palomar, and how would you help fix it?

A: Again, I think the retention is going to be a big issue, if it isn’t right now it will be a big issue that needs to be addressed right now. The outreach is another big. Palomar has great facilities, most of [the new buildings] happened while I was on the Board, and the other ones that didn’t finish were in the process.

One of the things I think also, is that Rancho Bernardo Center is a real gem for the community, they don’t understand that. They think about traffic and whether the students are going to park on their street, so that’s their big issue, so we have to overcome that.


Q: How will you help improve Board relations with faculty?

A: That’s difficult, I think the Board is usually pretty transparent, the minutes from the Board meetings are online. The problem is, I think the ones that create the problem are the ones that go into closed session, and whether they can be more transparent on what happens in closed session sometimes can be a real question.

The goal of the Board really isn’t to run the institution, it’s to set guidelines after you’ve all set the institution’s .. say like the vision statement of learning for success, and the mission statement. That’s what the Board is supposed to do, is to be sure the institution is following that.


Q: How much time do you spend talking to students, and trying to understand their needs through your conversations with them?

A: On the Board you don’t spend a lot of time … One of the things that needs to happen, is, and I think it does in a lot of cases, but not in all cases. Faculty are very important to directing students, and they do serve the first step in that retention issue.

If they see their student is not coming to class they need to start actively calling that person, sending emails or texts, saying ‘why aren’t you coming?’ maybe giving them two days or three days thinking ‘maybe they’re sick.’ But they need to be the first link to start the process.


Q: What do you believe students’ biggest problem is, and how would you help fix it?

A: The concept of who is influencing [students], the external influence is so huge on the girls in particular, a lot of times [the parents] want them to get married. That’s just the way it is, so they need to get motivation from here, you know to say ‘no come, keep coming.’

The guys a lot of times, the same thing, their dad’s are saying ‘well I want to you come work with me, lets go do this.’ So that’s why if they meet people on campus, that’s where the camaraderie has to be built so you keep the students.


Q: Do you plan on maintaining a strong relationship with the student body after the election, if so, how?

A: I’m not sure how much students want the Governing Board to actually be … Any event that I’m invited to, I tend to go to. So when I was on the Board, the Board did go to a lot of things and that total Board tended to go to a lot of things they were invited to. I don’t think that’s continued in the last few years, is my understanding. But if the students invite people usually they will go.


Q: What do you believe the role of The Telescope is on campus, how is it important to the community?

A: I think you all are doing a great job of keeping whatever is happening [covered] so that everybody knows. [Palomar] is not something that anybody else is covering, the newspapers aren’t covering it, it’s sad but they’re not. The only way to do it is for you all to continue to be the voice for Palomar and to try to get The Telescope to as many people as you can.


Q: Is there anything you’d like to add?

A: No, I think we covered pretty much everything.

Image Sources

  • Dishman: The Telescope Newspaper | All Rights Reserved
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