Blue waves behind the words Coast Colleges in dark blue

Weekly News Brief | January 29, 2021
From the Office of Chancellor John Weispfenning, Ph.D.

Chancellor Weispfenning, blue jacket and blue tie, in front of the Coast District building

Next week we begin another semester of strange quiet on campus.

Pandemic fatigue is real. All of us are eager for this perpetual state of emergency to end. At the same time, though the progress may be slow, every week brings us that much closer to a return to our normal on-campus energy and vibrancy.

Fortunately, infection and hospitalization rates in Orange County are indeed making a turn for the better. Regional stay-at-home orders have been lifted, allowing some outdoor activities and personal services to resume with precautions. All of our colleges have volunteered as vaccine distribution sites and are awaiting official response.

This good news is tempered by the arrival of new strains of the COVID-19 virus, which could be easier to spread. Even as strict restrictions are lifted, it is important for each of us to continue being careful.

While our sense of fatigue is real, the virus itself does not feel any fatigue. In addition to the Coast District's educational and service mission, our shared goal in this next semester must be the health and safety of all.

Better days are ahead if we stay vigilant.

Be well,


John Weispfenning, Ph.D.


Budget Advocacy Season Begins

California Governor Gavin Newsom recently released his January budget proposal, giving some room for optimism. While there are areas for improvement, the worst-case scenarios for the California Community Colleges appear less likely as a result of improved revenue assumptions. At the same time, the Governor's budget proposal is by nature a mix of planning and speculation. The next few months are critical to ensure Coast District priorities are reflected in the final budget adopted in June.

The unofficial kickoff to this statewide advocacy effort is the Community College League of California's Annual Legislative Conference. As with almost all activities during the pandemic, this past Monday and Tuesday's legislative conference moved online. Nonetheless, community college leaders – including a delegation from the Coast District – were able to hear from and advocate to legislative leaders and key policy analysts. Among those leaders were assembly members Kevin McCarty and Jose Medina, state senators John Laird and Connie Leyva, and Legislative Analyst Gabriel Petek.

Even with the support of the legislature, past June budgets have differed wildly from January proposals. That is why the Coast District will continue to work closely with our colleagues and allies across the state on budget issues.


Schedule, Week of February 1

Board of Trustees
The next regular meeting will be held Wednesday, February 3, with closed session beginning at 3:45 p.m. and open session beginning at 5:00 p.m.

Chancellor's Schedule
In the District, Monday through Friday