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Rancho Santiago Community College Board Incumbents Say Faculty Endorsement Process Tainted

An Open Letter to All Faculty of Rancho Santiago Community College District

RE: FARSCCD Endorsement Process


Greetings & Salutations,

As you begin another, or perhaps your first, academic year with our college district, we would like to extend our personal and sincere wishes for your success.

As trustees of an exceptional district, we are extremely proud of your dedication and the transformative experience you provide to our students. You have our respect and appreciation for your efforts.  Our promise is similar to your objective as an educator, in that we will both put students first and serve our community with integrity.  Our college district serves a vital need and is one of the most powerful change agents available to those who walk through our doors.

As community servants, we have committed ourselves to public service and higher education. As such we have dedicated countless hours to attending meetings, events, community organizations, mentorship, training and academic advocacy. Whether it means testifying in front of State Assembly committees, meeting with President Obama’s College Promise Task Force, conferring with presidential candidates or speaking to our local chambers of commerce and service groups, we have been tremendously proud to carry the Rancho Santiago Community College District (RSCCD) banner. We continually strive and advocate for more funding, resources and equal access so that you, the faculty, are supported in every possible way.

While sadly much of our efforts go unreported, we want to assure you that we take our roles seriously and have actively used our voices to advocate on behalf of our faculty and students.

For these reasons and many more, we would like nothing more than to continue our strong partnership with the RSCCD faculty. As such, and consistent with our commitment to higher education and community service, all three of us are running for re-election.

Typically, the process of seeking endorsement by your representative organization, FARSCCD, is a cordial, open interview. For reasons stated below however, we have lost confidence that this year’s process is a fair one.

As you may know, the relationship between the board and some of the FARSCCD leadership has been strained for several months. Despite numerous attempts to find common ground our efforts have been rebuffed by personal attacks and media disinformation that has diminished us and, most disheartening of all, our entire college community.

Because we value our relationship with you, we began the endorsement process with your organization. However, we have become increasingly uneasy with the actions of some of your leadership. While we would have been honored to interview with your organization and accept their decision in a fair and impartial process, as the election season began, it became increasingly clear that not only would this be unlikely, but members of your leadership were actively working to ensure a singular outcome.

We have watched as members of your leadership, or those connected to them, have recruited candidates and consultants to oppose us. Months before the endorsement process was announced.

We have read media accounts that these candidates are aligned with the faculty’s desire to overturn the board and change the direction of the district. We are concerned your leadership is aligning you with candidates who have not necessarily been supportive of public education or willing to find positive solutions to faculty pay and benefits issues.


…there’s a movement this year to elect new board members who aren’t aligned with the current board. That effort has united two unlikely forces: the district’s faculty union and local Republican taxpayer advocates.

(VOC, August 16, 2016 – Nick Gerda:

College District Board Votes to Leave Seat Open Until Election)


We are disheartened that days before the interview process is set to begin, Barry Resnick, FARSCCD’s immediate past president, would author an editorial that attacked us and continues to spread disinformation about the district. Mr. Resnick appears to advocate for candidates who have expressed past opinions in complete contrast to the mission of our district and public education in general.


“So, now for the first time in recent memory there will be no free rides for all the incumbents.”

(VOC, August 22, 2016 Resnick:

RSCCD Trustees Fail to Listen)


Mr. Resnick in particular seems determined to win at all costs by continuing to vilify the trustees and the district in the media. Sadly, these actions have created a zero-sum game where reasonable people can no longer disagree and remain collegial. And it certainly appears that his latest efforts have been keenly timed to unfairly influence the endorsement process.

We have drawn the only conclusion a reasonable person could make; that the process is tainted and its outcomes have already been predetermined. After much discussion and deliberation, it is with heavy hearts that we are withdrawing our requests for consideration for the FARSCCD endorsement and have decided not to participate in the interview process. To do otherwise would serve to legitimize what we believe to be an unfair process. It is our belief that you deserve better.

Instead, we urge you to look into this matter carefully, ask the necessary questions and join our call on establishing a fair, open, equitable process that candidates can trust. In all fairness to you, to us and most importantly, to the community we serve. Our differences are not as great as some would have you believe but communication is the key. It is only together that we can continue to build a future that is brighter than anything we have ever imagined.

Rancho Santiago has one of the finest professional faculty bodies in the state and a storied history of accomplishment. We are proud of that tradition and the faculty who make it true for each and every one of our students.




Claudia Alvarez, Member & Candidate for Re-Election

Nelida Mendoza Yanez, Member & Candidate for Re-Election

Arianna Barrios, Member & Candidate for Re-Election

Board of Trustees, Rancho Santiago Community College District