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Palomar faculty members calling for vote on President’s performance

Story by Ana Acosta

Forty faculty members have signed a petition asking the Faculty Senate to consider the performance of President/Superintendent Joi Lin Blake’s leadership.

Two English professors, Rafiki Jenkins and Barbara Kelber, presented the petition to the Faculty Senate on Sept. 23. Kelber requested Faculty Senate to conduct a poll for full time faculty members to determine the level of confidence in President Blake’s leadership.

The petition calls for immediate consideration of President Blake’s job performance, claiming Blake has failed to “consistently observe the policies and procedures established through shared governance.”

The petition also states that Blake has shown failure in leadership, citing that multiple administrators have resigned under her Presidency. The document also claims that she has failed to maintain fiscal responsibility.

The Faculty Senate will host a vote whether faculty members have confidence or no confidence in the future of Blake’s presidency.

Professors Lesley Blankenship-Williams and Shannon Lienhart are among those who have signed the petition. Both professors have a history of repeatedly expressing dissatisfaction in Blake’s leadership through the Palomar Files blog ( and during public comment at Governing Board meetings.

The Faculty Senate will provide full-time faculty members with anonymous voting ballots. At the Sept. 30 meeting, members will approve the wording of the poll and then confidential ballots will be distributed and witnessed by an independent third-party.

If the vote is significant, it will be presented to the Governing Board, where board trustees will make a decision on how to respond to the vote. 

UPDATE: President Blake has chosen to withhold comment until the poll is completed.

Here are the Departments and faculty members who signed the petition:

English Department

Jerry Rafiki Jenkins

Barb Neault Kelber

Brent Gowen

Martin Japtok

Pamela McDonough

Andrea Bell

Jennifer A. Backman


Behavioral Sciences Dept.

Netta Schroer

Frederic Rose

Jim Eighmey

James Fent


Business Administration Department

Michael Gilken


Earth, Space and Environmental Sciences Department

Mark Lane

Cathy Jain


Biology Department

Elizabeth Pearson

Lesley Blankenship-Williams

Sara Krause


Math Department

Wendy Metzger

Jay Weistling

Cynthia Anfinson

Shannon Lienhart

John Harland


Library Department

Linda D. Morrow

April Cunningham


Reading Department

Melinda Carrillo


American Indian Studies Department

Seth San Juan

Patricia A. Dixon


Art Department

Mark Hudelson


Nursing Department

Julie Van Houten


ESL Department

Nimoli Madan

Tracy Fung

Gary Sosa


Speech Communications and ASL Department

Chris Lowry


World Languages Department

Beatrice Manneh


Political Science Department

Peter Bowman

Christopher Johnson


Public Safety Department

Kevin Barrett


Athletics, Health and Kinesiology Department

Lacey Craft

Joe Early

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