Blue waves behind the words Coast Colleges in dark blue

Weekly News Brief | March 18, 2022
From the Office of Chancellor John Weispfenning, Ph.D.

Chancellor Weispfenning at his desk typing

Yesterday marked the second anniversary of the COVID-19 shutdown, when all classes, services, and operations moved online for what we thought might be two weeks. The resolve shown in the following two years – your commitment to deliver for our students no matter what the obstacle – has been inspiring. I am grateful to have been here with you, in the Coast District, to take on these challenges together.

We are now in a new phase of the COVID-19 response, as the "return to a new normal" that we have been promised and speculated about is starting to take shape. This is not a rush to return, rather a pacing of choice after choice that moves closer to that mark. In-person activities that seemed inconceivable earlier this year are gradually becoming possible and even comfortable. Just today, we dedicated the Orange Coast College Student Union in person – with small community events now joining classes and services on campus.

I suspect that we probably won't ever entirely return to some of our old ways of doing things. Too much has changed and frankly we have learned important lessons about the capabilities of technology. We have also tested the limits of what tech can do and where direct human connection is irreplaceable.

There is reason for optimism on this anniversary. Not the optimism of defeating and holding back the virus, that sadly went away in those early months of 2020. The optimism we have today is that with vaccines, new treatments, and better public health practices, we can move past the point where the virus significantly disrupts our lives. That is the new normal we achieve step by measured step.

Be well,


John Weispfenning, Ph.D.


Report from the Board of Trustees

Board of Trustees gathered around a conference table in conversation

On Wednesday, March 16, the Board of Trustees met in regular session and adopted a resolution on state budget priorities to meet student needs and return enrollment. Looking at Coast District trends, trustees received a report from Vice Chancellor Andreea Serban on districtwide institutional effectiveness. Among the highlights is that student academic performance improved across most measures in 2020-21 despite the disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic. Trustees also heard a report from Dr. Shelly Blair, Dean of Innovative Learning and Career Education at Coastline College, on the college's grant-supported CBE (Competency Based Education) pilot program and various elements under development for launch as early as 2024. The Board commended the work to date and reinforced potential benefits for students.

Several administrative, finance, and facilities items were presented to the Board. Trustees approved the Vision 2030 facilities plans for all three Colleges, with Jerry Marchbank, Senior Director of Facilities, Planning and Construction, reviewing highlights for Coastline, Golden West, and Orange Coast. Vice Chancellor Andy Dunn presented on the performance of the District's retirement investment portfolio, including strong prior year returns and the uncertainties in the current year. Director of Risk Services Julie Hallsted presented a report on disaster preparedness. Trustees also found the CCCD Enterprise. Inc. to be in good standing following a review of materials provided by President of the Enterprise Janet Houlihan.

Trustees endorsed Golden West Grants Coordinator Dorsie Brooks as nominee for California Community Colleges Classified Employee of the Year Award.

The Board adjourned in memory of brothers Josh and Jeremy Page, Edison High School students who died in a car accident in Huntington Beach, and Huntington Beach Officer Nicholas Vella, who was killed in a helicopter accident. The board also adjourned in memory of Ukrainians lost to the war and in honor of those continuing to defend Ukraine.


College News


Banner congratulating Marilyn Brock.


Coastline College is running a series on their blog entitled, "Teacher Feature." This week, Coastline highlights English Professor Marilyn Brock. Professor Brock has been teaching at Coastline for 15 years and is also the Co-Chair of the English and Humanities Department. She recently received the Hayward Award for Excellence in Education.


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


Banner congratulating Marilyn Brock.


Congratulations to Golden West College Economics professor Jennifer Bailly, February's Faculty Excellence Award winner. Professor Bailly was recognized by GWC classified staff for her contributions and commitments to student success. She has been a part of developing enriching and innovative programs at GWC that has helped the diverse student population transfer to four-year institutions, earn associate degrees, complete certificates in career and technical education, advance their careers, and demonstrate college readiness.


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


On March 17, Orange Coast College dedicated its recently completed Student Union with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. The ceremony was followed by an open house and lunch reception. The Student Union gives all OCC students a place to gather, study, and connect. At just over 40,000 square feet, the Student Union serves as a home base for the Associated Students of OCC, as well as the College's Veterans Affairs, scholarships, and outreach programs.


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

Image of the Student Union.


Schedule, Week of March 21

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