Blue waves behind the words Coast Colleges in dark blue

Weekly News Brief | January 7, 2022
From the Office of Chancellor John Weispfenning, Ph.D.

Chancellor Weispfenning at his desk typing

Happy New Year to all and thank you again for your flexibility as we begin 2022.

The steep rise in COVID-19 cases due to the omicron variant required quick action this week. I appreciate the staff and management who have again adjusted to remote work alongside faculty who are adjusting courses for live virtual instruction during the first two weeks of spring 2022. Those teaching on campus for winter intersession, or those deemed to have essential responsibilities on site, are made safer with fewer students and colleagues around.

If a positive can be found in recent COVID-19 developments, hospitalization and mortality rates appear to not be rising as quickly as cases – in part because of the protective effect of vaccination from serious complications. This reinforces vaccination as one of the most critical steps to safeguard your own health and limit the strain on medical providers.

As opposed to minimizing effects, slowing the spread of the highly transmissible omicron variant will depend on returning to those same tactics of 2020 and early 2021: wear a mask or face covering around others not of the same household, maintain social distance, adopt enhanced cleaning practices, and improve air flow. The Coast District is working to sustain all of these practices through your efforts.

This understandably feels like a step back in the progress we were making towards a normal semester. Please continue to be patient with your colleagues, your students, and yourself as we process the complex emotions around a years-long pandemic. Please also seek out assistance as needed. We are all experiencing the effects of prolonged stress and concern, and that means we must take care of ourselves first.

Be well,


John Weispfenning, Ph.D.


Report from the Board of Trustees

Board of Trustees gathered around a conference table in conversation

The Board of Trustees held two special meetings on Wednesday, January 5, 2022.

In a special meeting on the search for a successor to Chancellor Weispfenning, who announced a retirement date of September 1, 2022, the Board met with the lead search consultant. The Board also appointed members for the search committee, selecting Trustee Dave Grant, Trustee Jerry Patterson, President Tim McGrath, and Fountain Valley resident Bonnie Bruce – serving as the community representative. Shared governance groups will provide additional representatives.

In a special meeting on redistricting following the 2020 Census, the Board unanimously affirmed the existing boundaries for trustee area elections. Based on expert interpretation of the decennial data, provided by redistricting legal counsel and a demographic consultant, the Coast District's current trustee areas – last reviewed in 2017 – were determined to be fully compliant with federal and state law.


Schedule, Week of January 10

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