Blue waves behind the words Coast Colleges in dark blue

Weekly News Brief | October 8, 2021
From the Office of Chancellor John Weispfenning, Ph.D.

Chancellor Weispfenning at his desk typing

This past Monday, October 4, the District Consultation Council reviewed tentative plans for implementation of the Vaccination Mandate with Testing Protocol. The Board of Trustees discussed the DCC-reviewed plans on Wednesday, October 6. Effects of the mandate and protocol are now being negotiated through the collective bargaining process.

I want to thank everyone for your input and engagement as we developed this tentative framework. Multiple groups will consider how the plans impact faculty, staff, and our students alongside the practical logistics of a large vaccine verification and weekly testing process. More work is to be done after we identify a partner for documentation and testing. Those details should be available soon.

Under the tentative plan, we will look to have all faculty, staff, management, executives, and trustees provide proof of vaccination or submit a request for exemption by December 1, 2021. Following a verification and notification process, the testing protocol will begin for those with an approved exemption on January 3, 2021. Key dates for the students will occur later in the month of January, based on the enrollment process and academic calendar.

Through participatory governance discussions, it's been clear that the Vaccination Mandate with Testing Protocol is not sufficient alone to combat the virus' spread. We still need layers of protection, including face coverings, social distance, enhanced cleaning of surfaces, and improved airflow. All of those and more are being implemented as part of the Coast District's COVID-19 response.

If you have questions or comments, the Coast District continues to gather feedback through the COVID-19 webpage. Also, please consider the month of October as your opportunity to Take Your Shot to protect yourself and your families against serious illness from the COVID-19 delta variant.

Be well,


John Weispfenning, Ph.D.


Report from the Board of Trustees

Board of Trustees gathered around a conference table in conversation

On Wednesday, October 6, the Board of Trustees met in regular session and held a public hearing for comments on the Joint Initial Bargaining Proposal between the Coast District and the Coast Federation of Educators. The Board also reviewed progress on the Vaccination Mandate with Testing Protocol. Trustees provided feedback and expressed appreciation for the work of Coast District participatory governance. In reviewing the Code of Ethics for Members of the Board of Trustees, an interest in referencing diversity, equity, and inclusion as part of the policy was expressed alongside a desire for an ethics training session as required under the policy. Lastly, the Board acted to change the timing of closed session for future meetings from 3:45 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.


College News


Golden West College's Health Center presents "Student QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer) Suicide Prevention Training" for the fall semester during sessions on October 18, November 16, and December 2. The training will be online and free for those wanting to learn how to potentially save a life. Presenters will be going over the warning signs and helping attendees feel more comfortable about talking to their suicidal friends and family members.


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



Orange Coast College will participate in The Great California ShakeOut on Wednesday, October 13 at 10:13 a.m. The annual drill is typically held on the third Thursday of the month of October, however since this date falls during OCC's midterms week, the College will push up the date of the exercise. Prior to the event, faculty and staff are asked to review their closest evacuation route and identify the nearest designated evacuation site (typically an open area, away from falling objects). Students, faculty and staff should expect the alarm system to go off at exactly 10:13 a.m., after which there will be a mandatory evacuation to designated sites on campus.

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


Celebrating Hispanic Heritage

Multiple colors of paper decorations with the words National Hispanic Heritage Month

The Coast District is proud to celebrate the contributions of Hispanic and Latinx leaders districtwide. Leadership is demonstrated in multiple ways by students, faculty, classified and confidential staff, and management.

Portrait of Karen Cifuentes

Envisioning a Better Future Through Education

Today's words of celebration are from Karen Cifuentes, Division Coordinator, Business & Computing/Career Education and Career Services at Orange Coast College.

What contributions by the Hispanic community are you most proud of?
I am proud to see countless Latina professionals doing amazing things in their communities. I admire their ability to build successful and rewarding careers all while balancing their work endeavors with family responsibilities and other passions. I feel that to join their ranks and achieve my own career aspirations it's truly important to envision my future and set concrete goals for myself. My primary goal is to become a leader that can inspire and influence people to pursue higher learning, especially those who never envisioned earning college degrees.

Who are your role models?
My role models are my parents. They always encourage and support me in my educational goals. They taught me the value of education. They also taught me to respect different cultural values and have a strong sense of personal identity as well as developing a deeper appreciation for my cultural background.


Schedule, Week of October 11

Domestic Violence Awareness Month: The Coast District Title IX offices have collaborated to provide programming throughout the month of October. Details are available here.

Chancellor's Schedule
Dr. Weispfenning in the District, Monday through Wednesday morning Dr. Serban acting chancellor, Wednesday afternoon through Friday