Blue waves behind the words Coast Colleges in dark blue

Weekly News Brief | July 30, 2021
From the Office of Chancellor John Weispfenning, Ph.D.

Chancellor Weispfenning at his desk typing

Like many of you, I have seen the reports of increased COVID-19 infection rates across the U.S. and here in Orange County. It is tempting to think of this most recent increase as "an epidemic of the unvaccinated," yet we know that viruses can adapt and take unexpected turns as long as they are infecting large numbers of people. In public health, we truly are in this together.

With the COVID-19 Prevention Plan in place, Monday's return is proceeding. We intend this step to give lots of space and flexibility for maintaining distance and keeping the overall number of interactions low. However, our timeline for future phases may adjust if needed. We will also monitor the science and data in determining if we need to pause or take a step back at any point.

Until we receive new guidance from the state, masks are encouraged for vaccinated individuals and required for unvaccinated individuals while indoors on campus or at the District Office. Wearing a face covering while indoors in public spaces is a powerful personal act to protect yourself and others from the risks of the COVID-19 delta variant. Anyone wearing a face covering, regardless of vaccination status, has the District's full support.

We are returning to a point where information and public health guidance may change rapidly. I ask that we all remain vigilant and aware of new information coming out. Please pay extra attention to announcements from Human Resources or others and be aware of the resources being provided to faculty, staff, and managers.

We are returning to in-person presence for the good of our students – yet any progress we make depends on the continued health and wellbeing of our faculty, staff, and managers. Your health and wellbeing are important.

Be well,


John Weispfenning, Ph.D.


Updated COVID-19 Prevention Plan

Woman showing her vaccination bandage with the words be a hero to your friends, take your shot to beat delta, covid variant

When the District Consultation Council approved the original COVID-19 Prevention Plan on June 2, it was with the understanding that it would be modified to remain in compliance with Cal/OSHA and California Department of Public Health guidelines.

Cal/OSHA updated their plan on June 29. As communicated by email earlier this week, the Coast District plan has been modified to reflect the following:

  • Face covering guidance is aligned with federal, state, and Board of Trustee requirements
  • Social distancing guidance is removed for those vaccinated and those unvaccinated yet masked
  • Respirators (N95s) are to be provided to unvaccinated employees who request them

Vaccination continues to be the surest way to save lives, end the pandemic, and secure an increased sense of normalcy in daily interactions. Please visit to learn more.


College News


Coastline's Digital Graphics is hosting a free Upgrade Bootcamp for 8th to 12th grade students. The event will take place on August 2 through August 5 (9:00 am to 1:00 pm) at the Garden Grove College Center. Students will explore Digital Photo, Graphic Art on Wacom Tablets, Audio Production with Garage Band, Hands-on Drone Day, and Animation Day using Maya.


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


Golden West College has received a 2020 Ballot Bowl award from the California Secretary of State as the community college campus that collected the most voter registrations at an on-campus location in 2020. The Ballot Bowl was created by the California Students Vote Project in 2016 as a friendly competition designed to encourage universities and colleges to engage their students in the democratic process and register them to vote. Mylee Madrazo, Vice President of Student Advocacy for the Associated Students of Golden West College, accepted the award during a Zoom ceremony on May 5, 2021. GWC beat all other California Community Colleges by getting 333 students to register to vote ahead of last November's presidential election.


A circle with the words Golden West College, Huntington Beach, on the outside with a central surfboard and the letters GWC.


The Orange Coast College Symphony will have a new conductor at the helm as the College prepares for a phased return to campus in Fall 2021. OCC has hired Dr. Mathew Ward to lead its prestigious community performing group, which has been part of the Costa Mesa campus for 60 years. Dr. Ward is a Southern California native who earned degrees in violin and conducting from the Longy School of Music in Boston and Louisiana State University. He has previously performed as a violinist with organizations such as the Boston Civic Symphony, Louisiana Philharmonic and the San Diego City Ballet Symphony. In 2010 he toured with La Primavera Symphony throughout Italy as concertmaster, and participated in the Australian International Music Festival, where the orchestra was awarded a silver medal for a performance in the Sydney Opera House. Dr. Ward will concurrently serve as the director of the Symphonia and Strings Program at the California School of the Arts, and interim music director for Saddleback College's orchestra in Spring 2022.


An Orange circle forming an O with two interior waves in dark blue forming two C shapes.

Mathew Ward conducting young instrumentalists



Schedule, Week of August 2

Board of Trustees
The next regular meeting will be held Wednesday, August 4, with closed session beginning at 3:45 p.m. and open session at 5:00 p.m.

Chancellor's Schedule
Dr. Weispfenning is in the District, Monday through Wednesday
Dr. Dunn is acting chancellor, Thursday and Friday