Glendale Community College board members rotate positions

Members of the Glendale Community College Board of Trustees elected new officers this week, even as a larger leadership change looms.

The unanimous votes, which took place during a meeting Monday, adhered to the traditional rotation: Armine Hacopian, formerly vice president, was elected board president and Ann Ransford, formerly clerk, was elevated to vice president. Vahe Peroomian assumed the title of clerk.

The trustees are wrapping up a challenging year while staring directly at another. Glendale Community College has lost about $8 million in funding from the state in the last 12 months alone. Without Gov. Jerry Brown's tax initiative, it could lose another $3.5 million next year, according to Ron Nakasone, vice president of administrative services.

“We are going to need the community's help in making sure that the college stays afloat,” Hacopian said in an interview Tuesday. “They need to write to their legislators. We are looking at really deep financial cuts to classes, faculty and staff. It is a very bad time.”

Additional reductions to classes and employee ranks will unfold against a backdrop of further leadership change. College President/Supt. Dawn Lindsay announced on April 3 that she will leave her post on June 30 for the top job at Anne Arundel Community College in Maryland.

“This is a board that works well together, and we are all sorry to see Dr. Dawn Lindsay leave,” Hacopian said. “But we understand her personal needs for growth. She is going to a larger setting. Of course, it has caused some commotion on campus, and we are just sort of calming that down.”

A Maryland native, Lindsay was named interim president at Glendale Community College in May 2009, following the resignation of then-President Audre Levy. One year later, she was hired with a permanent three-year contract.

Those three-year stints in Glendale stand in stark contrast to the 21 years that former President John Davitt spent at the helm of the college. When he retired in May 2006, he was the longest-seated community college president in California.

Hacopian said she will meet with Donna Voogt, dean of human resources, in the coming days to draft a formal process for naming an interim president, and for launching a formal search for a permanent replacement.

She and her colleagues will be looking for someone who is student-focused, and who views the college as part of the larger community, Hacopian said.

“We do intend to collaborate with the campus constituencies and solidify their input,” Hacopian said. “That process is vital to getting the right person on board.”

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