Fresno Bee voter guide

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State Center Community College District Area 6

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  • Candidate picture

    Deborah J. Ikeda

  • Patrick E. 'Pat' Patterson

  • David L. Rowell

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Biographical Information

The district has undergone a major leadership shift, with a new superintendent and two new college presidents taking over this year. What part would you play in ensuring these leaders are taking the district down the right path?

Many majors and programs within the district are impacted. The Fresno City College nursing program, for example, has hundreds of potential students on a waitlist. How would you address this?

In your opinion, what should be the primary focus for the recently passed $485 million bond?

How important is it to you to use a bidding process for awarding contracts from this bond?

Do you favor or oppose Proposition 55, which would extend by 12 years the temporary income tax increase enacted in 2012 to support schools and colleges?

Why should voters pick you over your opponent? (Text or video)

Age 66
Residence Fresno
Family Married to Dale Ikeda with two daughters, Megan a Pharmacist at Clovis Community Hospital and Tiffany a staff attorney for Social Security.
Education Master's degree Counseling Psychology, University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, Doctoral coursework, CSU Fresno and UC Davis Joint Doctoral Program
Occupation Retired college president
Public service experience Board Member of the St. Agnes Hospital, Board Member on the Citizens Review Panel for Measure B (a sales tax passed to support the Fresno County Public Library), Board of Trustees Member for California Health Science University, Board Chair for the Clovis Chamber of Commerce, Board of the Central California Asian Pacific Women, Economic Development Strategic Update Committee for the City of Clovis, California State Superintendent of Education Advisory Council for Asian Pacific Islander Affairs, Federal Department of Education Consultant to review and rank submitted grant applications, Fresno Assembly Center Memorial Project Committee, Pinedale Assembly Center Memorial Plaza Committee, Board of Director’s for the Women’s Foundation of California, Board of the Golden Valley Girl Scout Council, President of Friends of the Fresno County Library, President and Board Member of the Central California Asian Pacific Women’s Group, President of Fresno Japanese American Citizens League, Chairperson for the National Japanese American Citizens League Strategic Planning effort for the 2014-16 and 2016-18 Biennium
Chancellor Parnell, President Goldsmith and President Bennett are experienced leaders that have immediately taken steps to meet community leaders in the areas that their colleges and the District serve. They have gotten involved in local initiatives to improve student success including looking at the College Promise Program which helps to ensure students graduate from community colleges in two years. My responsibility as a Board member is to support them through a policy-making role and to delegate implementation to the Chancellor and the Presidents.

I would assist the Chancellor and Presidents by working with my fellow Board members to ensure that the District is achieving the Mission it has established. My fellow Board members and I are responsible for reviewing data related to student success to ensure that the students identified in the mission are meeting the established goals. Our responsibility is to provide the policy direction and the tools necessary to achieve the goals and fulfill the mission of the District. As a Board member, I am responsible for identifying what the District should achieve related to mission, quality, outcomes and improvement but not HOW these goals are to be achieved. The HOW is operational and the responsibility of the Chancellor working in concert with the college presidents and their staffs. I would work with my fellow Board members to review current Board policy to ensure that the language of the policies provides for best practices.
One of the major goals of Bond Measure C is to build new vocational training facilities, including new health care training facilities. There are a number of emerging health care employment opportunities that need a trained work force and the colleges will be able to develop the curriculum and training in consultation with the health care professionals and perhaps divert some of the students on the nursing wait list into these other areas. For example, there is a need for medical assistants trained in informatics, occupational therapy assistants and physical therapy assistants.

Another strategy to reduce wait lists at the community college is to develop strong partnerships with our feeder high schools on career pathway programs that allow for college credit for articulated high school classes. As a Board Member, I would support the colleges efforts to develop this type of articulated pathway for vocational education reducing the time spent at community college.

As a board member of California Health Science and president of Clovis Community College, I was instrumental in assisting with the development of a high school through community college to a reserved seat in the Pharmacy Program at CHSU. This ground-breaking program allows high school graduates to attend Clovis Community College for two years to take admissions prerequisite classes for Pharmacy College. Students can sign a reserved seat agreement for CHSU Pharmacy College after accumulating 30 units college credit.
With the passage of the bond measure, Measure C, we must ensure our district moves forward and keeps its promises. It is critical that more technical and vocational training for veterans is developed and that we ensure an affordable education for everyone. I would work to see that Measure C provides for a new Police and Fire training facility and upgrading classrooms for healthcare, technology and engineering as promised in the Measure C language. Students will receive real-life skills, which will translate into good-paying jobs. It’s critical for students to learn job skills relevant for today’s job market. As President of Clovis Community College, I was responsible for supporting the development of a number of partnerships with local businesses with the most recent partnership being one with local food processors to develop a new apprenticeship training program for Food Safety Quality Technicians. As the Clovis Community Chamber Commerce Board Chair, I understand the importance of partnerships between business and education. As President of Clovis Community College, I worked with the Clovis Chamber of Commerce to support the start of a Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA) having the classes held at the college and helping the YEA Program secure grant funding. My opponent, incumbent, Pat Patterson, was the sole Board Member to vote against the District going out for a Bond Measure. I volunteered walking precincts on weekends and made calls asking for support of the Bond.
Currently, Board Policy 6340 and Administrative Regulation 6340 spell out the bidding requirements for awarding contracts. This policy and administrative regulation are based on California Public Contract Code section 20651 of state law. I believe it’s important for the District to follow the law and maintain transparency in the bidding process to ensure that the bid and contract awards are made to the lowest responsible bidder substantially meeting the requirements of the specifications.
Unfortunately, the budgeting system in California does not leave schools and community colleges much certainty in budgeting at this point in time. The current California taxing process needs to be restructured to allow for a reliable source of dollars to schools and colleges. The legislature and governor are well aware of the problem and need to take aggressive action to make the state less dependent upon personal income taxes and more aligned with a taxing structure that can be more predictable over time. Until that happens, I have to support Proposition 55 to ensure our schools and community colleges don’t face automatic revenue shortfalls in the years to come.
As the founding President of Clovis Community College and with more than 35 years of experience in higher education in the State Center Community College District (SCCCD), I believe I am the best qualified candidate for the SCCCD Board for Area 6. I am intimately aware of the impact of our District’s ability to make a difference in the lives of the students we serve. I am particularly qualified for this job because as the Clovis Community College President, I was proud to lead the team of faculty, staff, students, and administrators through the six-year accreditation process for establishing a stand-alone college. In July 2015, we were approved by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) for initial accreditation as the 113th public California Community College. During the accreditation process, the accrediting team found the college to be ready for initial accreditation in July 2015 but it made two recommendations that required a follow-up visit and report in April 2016 regarding the behavior of the Board members . The report indicated that the Board micromanaged and failed to delegate authority to the Chancellor to run the District. During the follow-up accreditation visit in April 2016, the accreditation team reported that three board members still do not understand their role as board members. I wish to replace Trustee Patterson as he was one of the three board members criticized in the report and he needs to be replaced.
Age 75
Residence Clovis, CA
Family Wife: Kris Sons Patrick Jr. and Anthony Stepson Robert Wilmoth Stepdaughter Stacy Schlegel 6 Grandchildren 1 Great Grandchild
Education AA Liberal Arts, Citrus College BS Social Science/Economics, Cal Poly Masters Public Administration, USC
Occupation Retired Police Capt. (30 years) Paleontologist Asian Art Researcher Community College Trustee
Public service experience Viet Nam era Army Vet - Intelligence 30 yrs. CA Law Enforcement, Clovis PD Capt. - Ret. 32 years Community College Trustee
Facebook/Social media Have Facebook page but never activated due to potential privacy problems.
Law school N/A
With a new CEO it is necessary that the Board immediately work closely with the CEO so that there can be a common understanding of the District’s goals and priorities for providing higher education and jobs training to members of the SCCCD. These goals and priorities should be clearly articulated and measureable and subject to periodic evaluations of the CEO to insure satisfactory progress toward District goals and objectives. Through the CEO, the Board insures the College president’s goals and objectives are in concert with the District, Board and CEO’s goals and objectives.
Impacted vocational programs at SCCCD is a great concern, as it has a direct impact on creation of jobs in our District. The Nursing program at FCC has always had a “waiting list” of prospective students. However, at a recent Board meeting it was learned that California’s “open enrollment” policies have allowed these “waiting lists” to be filled with prospective students from all areas of the state. I have proposed that priority on these “nursing” waiting lists be given to students with records of completed classwork taken at SCCCD. It would be anticipated this form of “legal” screening would give priority registration to local residents and would therefore have greater long-term economic and social benefits to our District.
Recently, voters approved a half billion dollars bond issue for the construction of buildings scattered throughout the District. Before these funds are spent, each project should be subjected to a public “needs assessment” and prioritized. Also, consideration should be given to the potential impact of bond spending on the achievement/improvement of Student Success/Student Learning Outcomes/Vocational Jobs Training. And, it is also important that we finish the promises made to our voters in our first Bond: relocate the “Vocational Training Center”, Vocational programs and police and fire academies to the Southeast Fresno site on Clovis Ave. The District used funds from the first Bond to purchase the land and have an additional approx. $35m from that Bond set aside for the construction of the police/fire academies. And, with the passage of a State Schools Bond on the November ballot, there would be another approx. $53m available for the construction of the police/fire academies. Those promises made in the first Bond passed by the voters still need to be kept and coordinated with the current Bond.

Award of all contracts on this contract should be open, transparent and fair. That would include the need for all contracts to be subjected to open bidding by all qualified vendors. One week after the June vote to approve the Bond measure, the administration submitted a proposal to the Board to approve a $330,000 contract to a local architect to prepare plans for a project that was approved by the voters in the Bond issue. This architect donated money to support the Bond measure. This item was presented to the Board without a “bid process” and gave the appearance of being a payback for donating money to support the Bond measure. I spearheaded the move to “table” this proposal and the Board did not award this contract.

I favor the passage of Proposition 55. Should this Proposition not pass, the financial foundation of the California community colleges will be shaken and programmatic impacts will be devastating.
When I first campaigned for the SCCCD Board my campaign focus was “Honesty, Integrity, Education”. Throughout my terms on the SCCCD Board I have held true to those guiding principles. My votes are never based on political or personal gain. I am only interested in doing what is best for SCCCD, its students and the programs that serve them. I have never sought, or received, any campaign contribution in any of my reelection campaigns and have been able to vote independently. I am beholding to no one and always vote for what I think best for SCCCD. At the same time, I am a great supporter of diversity, equity and any programs that can provide jobs training and improve opportunities for those students from economically depressed areas. With my reelection, I would give my solemn oath to continue my work to improve the educational and jobs training opportunities provided by SCCCD. And, I will continue to be transparent and bring to light any incidents by SCCCD staff/administration that violate State laws and/or Board Policy. Nothing will be “covered up”.
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