November 14, 2023

This is Daren Otten, Superintendent President, of Copper Mountain College. This is your updates from last week’s board meeting on Thursday, November 9. We started the board meeting with a closed session, which ultimately did produce a agreement between myself and the board of this year’s Superintendent President Evaluation Tool, which we’ve all agreed to, and that process will be moving forward.

We then moved into the general session, starting with new employee introductions.  Employees who were introduced included Dr. Stephanie Dykes, Chloe Litzon-Walberg, Jeff DeMorow, Brian Harvey, Cheryl Santa Cruz, and then we celebrated a Star Award for Mike Danza.

Moving into the general board meeting, we had student trustee Fredenburg, who announced his resignation to focus on other things as he looks to transfer in the spring. Ethan will be missed and definitely his time on the board, spanning two different years as he was appointed last year, really was an amazing experience for me, and I know he learned a lot as well, and we will definitely wish him the best as he moves forward.

During several of the trustee reports, including Jerry Garber’s, as well as Mary Lombardo’s, there were several shout outs for EOPS and the awards dinner specifically. The awards dinner was very well attended, and the Board of Trustees absolutely enjoyed hearing about the success of the students within the various programs associated with the dinner, and specifically the high grade achievers was something that trustee Lombardo focused on.

Trustee Lombardo also made a comment, announcing that this will be her final board meeting as the board president. As next month, we will be reorganizing and after serving as the board president for the last two years, she will be stepping back into a trustee role.  Who knows exactly where she’ll land once they come through their reorganization structure, but she really appreciated the college’s support of her as she learned to be the board president and looks forward to the future.

A couple of things that I reported on included both the website, update, and everybody by now is probably seen that we’ve moved this forward, and really again, want to thank all the people who had their hands and fingerprints all over this effort. This was a year-long-plus effort, Steve Brown for sure, Melynie Schiel, Jane Kwon, the folks who ultimately worked to make sure we transitioned this particular website into the new one, has been just, it’s been an amazing amount of work, and I want to thank everyone for that particular effort.

And then also remind everyone that this is a living document, and if there are things that ultimately need to be addressed or fixed, please reach out to Steve, and we can definitely work through those various challenges, and anything that we need to add or make sure is on the website.

I also mentioned at that time enrollment, and specifically, our enrollment for the fall continues to be pretty positive year over year, and as we look to the spring, I’m very hopeful that we can actually get ourselves back to pre-pandemic numbers if we can stay strong in our enrollments. This is critical this year, because this will be a year that is used to re-bench us in 2024, 25, with the new hold harmless. And so we are absolutely wanting to capture as many enrollments as we possibly can, and encourage everyone to help, whether that’s retention work, whether that’s outreach work, because the enrollments that ultimately end up here at the college will have long-term effect on our floor or base level funding.

So again, I appreciate everyone’s ongoing effort to support our students, obviously, from both the standpoint of enrollment and success.

I want to remind everyone that this Sunday is the Wreath Auction, starts at two o’clock in the Bell Center, doors open at two o’clock, auction starts at three o’clock, and is always a great time for everyone, and if you haven’t been to one, I highly encourage you to go.

Additionally, moving into the academic senate, the student showcase this month was Talia Brown from Nursing. She did an amazing job of talking through her narrative of growing up in the Morongo Basin, leaving the Morongo Basin, and coming back, and now as a nursing student here at Copper Mountain College. I had got a chance to spend a little bit of time with Talia, and she really is an impressive young lady, and I’m looking forward to what she’ll be able to do in the future.

Finally, Jeff Hague, under his Faculty Association report, has announced that he is resigning from that particular role, and introduced Marissa Solomon, who’s the vice president of the Faculty Association, who ultimately will be holding down the fort until an election can be held.

Several information items were presented to the Board of Trustees, including over a dozen board policy first reads, and that particular effort, again, I want to thank everyone for as we move through several board policy reviews, as we look towards the accreditation cycle that will be coming in 25, and we want to make sure that we are in the best shape that we can be, ensuring that all our policies are accurate and have been reviewed in the timely manner, et cetera.

The Equal Opportunity Plan was also presented as a first read, and this particular plan is kind of running in parallel and several phases of feedback, mostly because the current plan expires at the end of December, and we do need to have a plan in place by January. And so, with the various constituent groups, it’s hopeful that you’ve had a chance to provide your feedback to Jenn Baker and or the EEO committee. Please understand that we are continuing to take feedback on that as the board looks towards the December board meeting associated with the assumption of a second read and adoption of that plan in time for the end of the year. As we look towards that December meeting, in addition to the specific EEO plan that will be on that, there will be the annual organizational board meeting, which I mentioned earlier, and that’s where the board of trustees chooses a board president, board vice president, secretary, et cetera, and representatives to the various groups that they support and are involved in.

They will also be working forward on their evaluation of me and their annual superintendent president’s evaluation, and I suspect we’ll be reporting out on the CCLC trustee training that’s going on later this week down in Indian Wells, where I know that at least two of our trustees are continuing to work towards their certificates and their excellence in trustee ship that CCLC puts on.

So with that, those are the highlights from last week’s board meeting, and if you are looking for more information on specific items, I encourage you to take a look at Board Docs for specific attachments and or content. Otherwise, we’ll talk to you next month.