Blue waves behind the words Coast Colleges in dark blue

Weekly News Brief | March 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

Orange County's recent decision to extend vaccine access to those working in education is welcome relief to all of us at the Coast Community College District. It has also led to new questions about how to schedule a vaccination appointment and prove your connection to education. In lieu of the typical Friday message, the following Q&A is provided below.

It's been the longest year of our careers, and it's understandable to be weary. Fortunately, I have every confidence that change is on the horizon – and, together, we are preparing for that moment.

Be well,


John Weispfenning, Ph.D.

COVID-19 Vaccine Appointment Q&A

Do I need to wait on Othena, the scheduling system for Orange County?

No. There are several vaccine distribution channels available at this time: through the state, county or city where you live, local pharmacies, hospitals, clinics, and independent health care providers. Please explore all your options. Take the first appointment that works for you.

Will the Coast District be prioritizing who has access to the vaccine?

The District has no control over vaccine supply. Orange County is setting aside a portion of new doses for those in education. Appointments are opening up through multiple venues as supply becomes available. All faculty, classified and confidential staff, and management are eligible.

Now that there are multiple options, which vaccine should I choose?

Health experts continue to say that the difference between vaccines is less important than the difference between being protected versus unprotected.

Is an employment verification letter required to get a vaccine?

You are not required to have an employment verification letter in order to get the vaccine. You may use a District-issued ID card or your paystub alongside a government ID establishing identity.

Is there a special code to be prioritized for a vaccine appointment?

Some counties outside of Orange are using priority codes or digital QR codes to identify priority groups. The District has not been provided with any priority codes or QR codes to date. The District will update employees if and when those become available.

Please visit the Coast District website for answers to other questions and a form to submit your own question or comment.


Report from the Board of Trustees

Board of Trustees gathered around a conference table in conversation

On Wednesday, March 3, the Board of Trustees met in regular session. Student Trustee Roy Sahachaisere was sworn in to participate in the first meeting of his term. Student Trustee Sahachaisere attends Coastline College with an interest in criminal corporate law. He previously served as an officer of the Associated Student Government at Coastline.

The Board heard from Vice Chancellor Andy Dunn on both the second quarterly financial status report and a budget study session. The District continues to anticipate an end-of-year decrease in the reserves of $5 million. This is somewhat reduced from early projections as a result of actions of the District alongside changes in state and federal funding. Vice Chancellor Dunn and trustees discussed the role of pension obligations, particularly employer cost increases imposed externally, on the budget. The Board and administration are working on advocacy in that area.

Vice Chancellor Andreea Serban presented on the receipt of federal relief funds and other revenues targeted to addressing effects of the pandemic. Among those funds are more than $7 million in passthroughs for direct student aid. Vice Chancellor Serban also presented on international student programs. Students from out of state and international students pay the full cost of their education, adding to the educational and cultural diversity of all three colleges. Though international enrollment has declined in the District, colleges have done a better job of holding on to international enrollment as compared to peers. Trustees commended the efforts of international programs and student services.

Trustees adjourned in memory of Norma Goble, who served the Coast District for nearly three decades before retiring in 1998.

Special Meeting

Immediately prior to the regular session of Wednesday, March 3, the Board met in special session to consider a resolution to condemn anti-Asian racism and commit to continuing action districtwide to promote diversity, engagement, and inclusion. The Board noted the urgency of rejecting hate-based violence occurring nationwide. Trustees also underscored that they were adopting this resolution in support of the people of the Coast District – reflecting districtwide outrage at the violence and a shared commitment to action. The full text of the resolution is as follows:


A Resolution of the Board of Trustees of Coast Community College District to Condemn Anti-Asian Racism and Commit to Action

WHEREAS, violence, threats of violence, and acts of discrimination continue to target the Asian and Asian-American community and others throughout the country, resulting in the tragic loss of life, and particularly placing the elderly and vulnerable at risk; and

WHEREAS, the Coast Community College District joined colleges and organizations across the country in denouncing anti-Asian xenophobia in May of 2020, through the adoption of Resolution #20-28, and reiterates the entirety of that Resolution and of Resolution #20-45 on racial injustice adopted in June of 2020; and

WHEREAS, people of color and English-language learners in this country are disproportionately deprived of adequate health care and economic opportunity, leading to even deeper losses in our minority communities due to the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting unemployment; and

WHEREAS, all people are deserving of access to the benefits of a just society without fear of hate-based violence and discrimination.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Coast Community College District is shocked and saddened by recent deaths following hate-driven attacks, and further condemns violence and discrimination targeting the Asian and Asian-American community; and

RESOLVED, that the District rejects any language that associates the ongoing public health crisis with a particular national or ethnic group, recognizing that discriminatory language is counterproductive to defeating a virus that observes no national or ethnic boundaries; and

RESOLVED, that the District will continue its ongoing program of equity advocacy designed to create a dialogue of compassion and understanding that brings to life the District vision for a community that is culturally engaged and globally aware; and

RESOLVED, that the District recommits itself to supporting equitable access to education, financial aid, housing and food resources, health services and advice, and other fundamental resources necessary for the resiliency of all our communities.


Celebrating Women In Leadership

The words Women's History Month accompanied by the Coast District's blue waves and the image of women marching some holding girl power signs.

The Coast District is proud to celebrate Women's History Month and the contributions of women in leadership districtwide. Leadership is demonstrated in multiple ways by students, faculty, classified and confidential staff, and management.

The Weird But Scenic Path

Today's featured leader is Orange Coast College Music Professor Eliza Rubenstein. She offers the following responses to prompts asked by the District.

Woman in a blue shirt and khaki pants in front of a field of orange wildflowers

What advice do you have for women looking to go into leadership roles?

Lead with wisdom and compassion, and understand that there will still be people who are uncomfortable with your authority, your agency, your voice. If their critiques are valid, learn from them. If they're sexism channeled through code words like "bossy" or "shrill," confront them, unpack them, and keep working toward a more equitable world.

What would you tell your past self about the journey you've been on to get to where you are today?

"Have faith. You'll get there, and then 'there' will move." I've taken a weird but scenic path – I was an English major in college, I worked for a decade as a dog trainer and animal shelter supervisor, and now I'm a choral conductor (at OCC and for the Orange County Women's Chorus). No regrets; we become more empathetic people and more interesting artists when we know more of the world than just art.

Please follow the Coast District's Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram channels to see new profiles throughout the month.


College News


Coastline College had a Groundbreaking Ceremony for their new Student Services building in Fountain Valley, CA. The building is home to Coastline's administrative services – Admissions and Records, Assessment Center, Bookstore, Distance Learning Department, Financial Aid, EOPS and CalWORKS, and Student Services. The new state of the art facility is set to open in fall 2022. If you missed the ceremony, you can view it here.

The words Coastline College above a shield with the letter C.


question, persuade, refer

Golden West College's Student Health Center will be hosting a virtual Student Suicide QPR Prevention Training on April 13 from 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm. The free training will prepare those interested in becoming a QPR gatekeeper: Question suicidal intent, Persuade to get help, and Refer to a professional. RSVPs for the training can be sent directly to


Schedule, Week of March 8

Chancellor's Schedule
In the District, Monday through Friday