Blue waves behind the words Coast Colleges in dark blue

Weekly News Brief | February 5, 2021
From the Office of Chancellor John Weispfenning, Ph.D.

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

This week we welcomed both spring semester and Black History Month. The Board and I join in celebration with our Umoja Communities, EOPS and Equity Offices, and Multicultural Centers. Each of these serves a vital role in remembering our history and charting a path to a better future.

In fact, all three colleges are engaging in active discussions about diversity, equity, and inclusion to prepare for the HEDS climate survey being released in two weeks. Please complete that survey as soon as you are able. It is important that we hear your voice in this discussion.

We know that work needs to be done, and we have the passion and experience districtwide to do the work of building upon our strong mission. You see that take form in those we serve. Among our 71 peers, the Coast District is fifth in the number of Promise Grant recipients, ninth in Pell Grant recipients, and 20th in AB 540 students.

We are educating a student population that matches our mission, and it must continue to be our mission to provide a path to success for all those who learn, teach, and work in the Coast District.

Be well,


John Weispfenning, Ph.D.


Report from the Board of Trustees

Board of Trustees gathered around a conference table in conversation

On Wednesday, February 3, the Board of Trustees met in regular session. As part of ongoing advocacy efforts, the Board approved a list of College actions aligned to District goals and the priorities signaled by California Governor Gavin Newsom in his January budget proposal.

Vice Chancellor Serban reported on districtwide efforts to distribute $76 million in financial aid to more than 30,000 students, a significant increase from previous years. Vice Chancellor Dunn reported on the Coast District's successful risk management program, which continues to outperform peers.

The Board also awarded the status of emeritus to retiring faculty advanced for consideration, approved a statewide agreement related to sharing best practices on supporting working professionals, approved Golden West College's participation in a workforce development grant, and approved Orange Coast College's participation in a cross-enrollment STEM program.

Trustees adjourned in memory of close colleagues and friends of the Coast District recently lost: J. Michael Finnegan, Daniel Loya, Doris Mancina, and Richard Allen Curnutt.


Powerful Educators Shaping Our World

Background of red, yellow and green in geometric patterns with the words join us in celebrating Black History Month accompanied by twelve images of prominent Black educators

The Coast District is proud to celebrate Black history and the contributions of Black educators. This Black History Month's newsletters will feature national figures who have forged the path we follow.

This week, we honor Columbia University Professor Emeritus Edmund Gordon, who founded the university's Institute for Urban and Minority Education – addressing the origins of achievement gaps.

We honor National Humanities Medal recipient and educator Marva Collins, who made students' self-worth and the understanding that they were born to succeed a cornerstone of her teaching methodology.

We also honor Charles Hamilton Houston, who served as dean of Howard University Law School while fighting to dismantle the segregationist Jim Crow regime. Houston mentored Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, the first African American to serve on the nation's highest court.

We look to these examples of the power of educators to transform lives and change society as a whole.


Colleges Celebrate Black History

Activities are planned throughout the month of February to recognize and celebrate Black history.

Coastline College is featuring the virtual exhibition Ramparts & Restoration, highlighting artworks and artists of color who cultivate an awareness of equity and diversity. Additional events and storytelling opportunities for Coastline are being posted in The Sandbox weekly download.

The Black Student Union at Golden West College held its first weekly meeting and has invited all students across the District to join future meetings. Additional activities and conferences are available through the Golden West app and Campus Event Calendar.

Orange Coast College's Umoja Community, EOPS, Equity Office, Multicultural Center, and the International Multicultural Committee are cosponsoring the Black History Month Celebration Spring 2021, beginning with a presentation by Bobby McDonald – president and executive director of the Black Chamber of Commerce of Orange County.


Schedule, Week of February 8

Friday, February 12, 2021, is President Abraham Lincoln's birthday and a districtwide holiday.

Chancellor's Schedule
In the District, Monday through Thursday