The Palomar Governing Board met via Zoom meeting to discuss various topics on Oct. 13, including disputes regarding costs and budgeting, enrollment evaluations, food distribution and more.
During the closed session before the meeting started, the Board of Trustees approved a settlement agreement with plaintiff Kathryn Kailikole. Issues included the plaintiff’s claims about retaliation and disability discrimination against her previous employer, Palomar College.
This agreed to the payment to the aforementioned plaintiffs of $303,000, in exchange for release and dismissal. The vote was passed unanimously with all trustees agreeing to the motion.
Community College Negotiations
Anel Gonzalez began talking about the community college negotiations and their meeting with the district on Sept. 24, 2020.
The district did not engage in negotiating disputes that were previously agreed upon regarding cost sharing and budget mitigation. The matter of the negotiations was taken to public employment relations.
Gonzalez pointed out how handling the matter was a result of sloppy work on the part of the district negotiators, and that state union affiliates had taken an interest in the case to help aid in originally stated negotiations.
Trustee Patti Serafin discussed enrollment service evaluations and records, as well as the people that she has worked with in her office that will be retiring and moving on from their jobs at Palomar.
Serafin mentioned several advisors and members of the enrollment service program by name and wished them all well as they begin pursuing retirement or other passions ahead. She stated that she herself may not be too far behind.
Minority Group Updates
There was an update regarding undocumented students and their legal services with Olga Diaz and Monica Alvarado, who talked about the program. The Jewish Family Service, along with Higher Education Legal Services, will provide immigration services, green card services, asylum pursuit and more.
Mark Evilsizer, the executive director of Encuentros Leadership, informed that the Student Senate of California Community Colleges has officially published an anti-racism plan for students.
He stated that students have the strong argument for empowerment and a strong voice on hiring communities, providing feedback, designing systems and processes, et cetera.
He also mentioned the Community College League annual convention, normally held in November, would be held virtually this year and will be free to attend.
Rachel Alazar, the student trustee, encouraged attendees to vote, stating the importance of the upcoming election. She stated that voting from home with a mail-in ballot works just as well as going to the voting booths themselves.
Alazar stated that people should vote because their voice matters and not to let anyone tell them that it does not.
Jack Kahn, acting superintendent at Palomar, gave updates regarding the new name of the Ethnic Studies Department and the Department of English Humanities and Reading.
There has also been a lot of preparation for presentations to the Board of Governors regarding the approach to the diversity and equity issues that Palomar has faced.
Campus Changes Over the Year
Vice President Shayla Sivert provided information regarding on-campus courses and how the numbers have changed in light of the pandemic. She reassured that the faculty at Palomar has received sufficient training and course adjustments for the shift to online learning.
She also mentioned the request of the Marine Corps University to provide educational opportunities and college credit to their enlisted marines who are enrolled at the school.
Teresa Laughlin, a member of the Palomar Faculty Federation, discussed the distribution of food for the community at Palomar. This originally started in August and there will be more food distribution events in the future.
According to Laughlin, this is in conjunction with the Council of Classified Employees, the San Diego Imperial Labor Council and other unions. There will also be a toy drive hosted soon.