Blue waves behind the words Coast Colleges in dark blue

Weekly News Brief | February 17, 2022
From the Office of Chancellor John Weispfenning, Ph.D.

Chancellor Weispfenning at his desk typing

Transcript from the video sent February 17, 2022

Let me start by thanking our classified and confidential employees, managers, and faculty for navigating the journey from on-site to online and now for navigating a phased return. Your effort has allowed students to continue on their academic and career paths.

This Monday, February 14, I spoke with your representatives on the District Consultation Council about how to proceed on to the next phase of our return to on-site services. The conversation was substantive, and multiple perspectives were represented. Since that conversation, we've learned that new cases have fallen more than 88 percent in Orange County from the peak back in mid-January. Unless the situation worsens, I have decided on March 7 as the day we will move to phase two of our plan for the return of classified staff and managers.

This step would open offices for on-site services four days per week – with no more than 70 percent staffing capacity at any given time. Those with essential tasks beyond the four days or 70 percent capacity will either continue in your current schedule or should expect to be contacted by your manager. The date of March 7th is intended to allow for planning and adjustment.

I know that many of us have made important changes at home in response to the pandemic. It is also clear that many do not yet feel safe outside of close friends and family. Those concerns are absolutely valid, which is why we continue to require vaccination or testing, require masks indoors, have social distancing and air circulation standards, and are staying well below capacity – for students, faculty, and staff.

For those who spoke in favor of slowing our return, know that you are heard. The points raised are valid and are being considered for a return that is safer and kinder. For those who spoke in favor of an accelerated return, I recognize your points as well. Isolation has been difficult on our students, just as it is difficult for many of us.

In a global pandemic that is becoming an endemic – a disease that will be with us for a long time – there are no perfect solutions. That is why we should seek to be considerate of the needs of others. The best we can do for each other and ourselves is try to make things safer and kinder.

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 16, the Board of Trustees met in regular session and amended board policy to provide for a Classified Senate representative on the search committee for the Chancellor – waving second reading to allow the inclusion immediately in the ongoing search for the Dr. Weispfenning's successor. Trustees later set nonresident tuition for 2022-23 at $361 per unit, an increase of $30 from the current year reflecting increased capital outlay from Measure M. Nonresident students are responsible for paying the full, unsubsidized cost of their education.

Dr. Serban provided a report on progress on the implementation of AB 705 (2017), which seeks to maximize student participation in transfer-level coursework. Colleges continue to use embedded and external advising in addition to other support mechanisms to assist student who might have previously began in remedial, non-transferable course levels. Most recent success rates appeared to be negatively affected, in part, by the COVID-19 pandemic. The hope is that return of more face-to-face options for courses and tutoring will support future student progress. The Board heard a report from Linda Ju-Ong, program director of adult education programs at Golden West College, about the success of the program for the College and community – with Trustees celebrating the movement of students from English-language Learning classes to transfer-track degree programs.

The Board also found the Coast Community College District Foundation, Coastline College Foundation, Golden West College Foundation, and Orange Coast College Foundation to be in good standing – following review of annual reports, audited financials, and administrative checklists.

The Board adjourned in celebration of the Los Angeles Rams' victory in the Super Bowl as well as the memory of Vernon McDonald, veteran and father of Bobby McDonald, executive director of Black Chamber of Commerce of OC; and Richard Webster Hulbert, veteran, community college alumnus, chemist with US Borax for more than 30 years, and grandfather of Rachel Snell, director of Internal Audit for the District.


College News


Coastline College is running a series on their blog entitled, "Teacher Feature." This week, Coastline highlights English Professor Oceana Callum. When asked what she wants her students to know about her courses, Professor Callum says, "Get ready to have fun while you learn. And a sense of humor is required!"


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


Golden West College is highlighting past and present students on their social media in a series entitled, "I am GWC." Alisha Gamble is a returning student, mother, and queer. Gamble says, "When I came to GWC, I was starting a chapter that book had never seen. I was a returning student, but the lives this old book had seen... I feared judgement. I was like a library book with a stamped checkout slip amongst iPads & digital e-readers. I was a relic. But something about my marked-on pages and bent corners produced a calm realism, and my time at GWC became one of the best chapters in my book. Some of the people written on to these pages of my story became more like family. Faculty, staff, peers." Follow along GWC's social media to read about more students.


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


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has selected Orange Coast College's Recovery Kitchen as a recipient of its 2021 Food Recovery Challenge National Award for Education and Outreach. OCC's Recovery Kitchen was founded in 2019 as part of the food service management program at the College. The recovery kitchen was formed to help end student hunger and food waste on campus. The kitchen also helps students in the food service management, culinary arts, baking and pastry, and nutrition programs gain experience working in a commercial high-volume kitchen, with emphasis on proper handling and processing of recovered foods. The OCC Recovery Kitchen collaborates with the College's on-campus food pantry, the Pirate's Cove, and its Food Services, culinary arts, nutrition and dietetics, and horticulture programs to recover food for the student body and local food banks. In 2020, OCC's Recovery Kitchen distributed 212,392 meals and recovered 609,541 pounds of surplus edible food that would otherwise go to landfill. The recovered food was used to create pre-packaged meals that benefited students and community members experiencing food insecurity during the COVID-19 pandemic.


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


Schedule, Week February 21

Chancellor's Schedule
Monday is Washington's Day (Colleges and District closed)
Dr. Weispfenning is in the District, Tuesday through Friday