Blue waves behind the words Coast Colleges in dark blue

Weekly News Brief | March 4, 2022
From the Office of Chancellor John Weispfenning, Ph.D.

Chancellor Weispfenning at his desk typing

This week has been incredibly difficult. The Russian invasion of Ukraine and possibility of escalation is worsening the strain we all feel after two years of confronting COVID-19. My thanks to the International Program offices that are supporting our students from Ukraine and surrounding countries. My thanks as well to our counselors, health center staff, and student service professionals.

Please also take extra care for colleagues, as we may have faculty, staff, and managers who are directly affected by this conflict – especially those with family, friends, homes, or history in Eastern Europe. If you are someone feeling the need for support in this moment of crisis, please make use of the Coast District's Employee Assistance Program.

As we continue our deliberate and phased return to operations on Monday, with four days of in-person services and operations, please be mindful of the various ways people are coping with stress that has been made worse by war abroad. To the best we can, let's try not to overburden ourselves or add unnecessarily to the burdens of others.

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 reviewed the Annual Report on International Education Programs and Students with Vice Chancellor Andreea Serban. Just over 1,000 international students attended Coast District colleges in fall 2021, a loss of 31 percent from fall 2019 due primarily to the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite declining numbers, Orange Coast College has seen degrees and certificates earned by international students rise over the past five years. All three Colleges continue to develop programs and services that support international student success and engagement with the broader campus community. International students in the Coast District pay the full cost of their education – including facilities – so do not displace California residents.

Following the presentation on international programs, the Board voted to pause contracted recruitment of students in Russia. Trustees made clear that this was not directed at current international students or the Russian people, rather a necessary step based on recent hostile actions of the Russian government. Dr. Serban and Nathan Jensen, associate dean of the Global Engagement Center at Orange Coast, noted that recruitment of additional Russian students at this time would likely be unsuccessful given recent constraints on movement of Russian nationals by the Russian government.

Vice Chancellor Andy Dunn provided a quarterly budget report and budget study session. The Coast District is projecting an increased end-of-year fund balance of 18 percent, indicating an improving budget outlook for this year. Dr. Dunn projected a positive budget outlook through 2023-24 based on Governor Newsom's plans for "hold harmless" – which benchmarks enrollment based on past years rather than recent declines. Unless enrollment improves dramatically, Dr. Dunn warned of a "fiscal plateau" beginning 2024-25. Under this scenario, base funding would be held in place while yearly increases to community college budgets would only be available based on earned student attendance. On a positive note, Trustees observed that the Coast District has done more to meet future retiree health and pension obligations than other districts.


District and College News


The Coast District Management Association is calling for nominations to recognize and honor managers who go "Above and Beyond the Call of Duty." Nominations may be sumbmitted online, with the nomination window closing on March 11.



Coastline College is holding a student design contest for Earth Day. Show your love and support of planet Earth by designing a T-Shirt to be sold in Coastline's online student shop, The Pier. Winners will win cash prizes. The contest closes on Sunday, March 27, at 11:59 p.m. Winners will be announced by Monday, April 4.


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." Thu Nguyen is an English major, an advocate, a foodie, and loves to read. Nguyen says, "I cannot express well enough how deeply grateful I am to GWC's faculty, professors, and the friends I have there. I may have grown as a student at GWC, but I also had the chance to grow as an advocate for my community and I can only thank the professors and staff for inspiring that in me." 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.


Orange Coast College hosted its first Partnership Resource Team (PRT) visit on March 3 as part of its involvement in the California Community College's Institutional Effectiveness Partnership Initiative (IEPI). The PRT met with OCC President Angelica Suarez and Vice President of Instruction Michelle Grimes Hillman, as well as the College's deans, faculty and specific participatory governance committees and senates. IEPI was launched in 2014 to help California's community colleges and college districts improve their operational effectiveness. OCC applied for the Initiative last fall, with plans to focus on enrollment planning. Since then, the College has homed in on three themes: enrollment awareness, development of a strategic enrollment plan and predictive analytics.


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


Schedule, Week of March 7

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