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New chancellor set for Chabot Las Positas

Uploaded: Jun 25, 2013
The Chabot Las Positas Community College trustees are set to finalize the contract for a new chancellor at its meeting tonight.
The board has selected Dr. Jannett M. Jackson, currently president of the College of Alameda, to succeed Joel Kinnamon who left last summer.
Kinnamon moved down to the Coachella Valley and now is president/chancellor of the single college district that serves the seven desert cities. Unfortunately, Kinnamon did not go without taking a legal shot at the trustees. He filed a law suit that the trustees agreed to settle at their April meeting.
It cost a cool $300,000 for the suit to go away, of which the district paid $100,000 and its insurance carrier paid the balance. Given the stunning costs of full litigation, the district is probably better off with the matter settled, although it is quite unusual to pay off a senior executive who voluntarily left for another job. When Kinnamon told the board he had accepted the new position, they placed him on paid leave until the new position began. The debate in court likely would have centered on whether he formally resigned.
Judy Walters, the interim superintendent, said that he accepted the College of the Desert job on May 17, 2012 and told the board he was leaving as of July 2. On June 5, the board put him on paid leave from June 7 to July 6.
She also explained why a number of direct reports to the chancellor's office had their contracts extended at the May board meeting. She had evaluated each of them and decided that they were performing their duties acceptably and that the district would gain significantly by having an experienced team in place and stable when the new chancellor comes on board.
Meanwhile, she has established a very aggressive schedule to recruit the new president for Las Positas College in Livermore. The current superintendent Kevin Walthers will depart this month for Allan Hancock College in Santa Maria. Walters' goal is to have the process completed early in the fall—a very aggressive schedule for an academic recruitment, particularly in a time of year that senior people typically are not looking for move.
She and boards across the state are wrestling with one of the unanticipated consequences of the reforms to the state pension systems that Gov. Brown engineered last year. It severely limits how much money a retired person can earn from a government agency. Typically, colleges and k-12 districts have used retired chancellors, presidents and principals to fill in while positions are vacant or a person is seriously ill.
That's why Walters is the second interim—former chancellor Susan Cota worked for four months before the limits set in. Tonight, trustees are set to extend Walters' contract until the end of July when Jackson is set to begin. The agenda also includes approval of a three-month contract with Guy Lease as interim president. It will be his second go-around for Lease, who served as an interim between DeRionne Pollard and Walters.

Comments

Posted by Wilrob, a resident of another community,
on Jun 28, 2013 at 6:08 pm

Wilrob is a registered user.

Many employees at the District are unhappy at the extension of the executive contracts. Most of these contracts were not set to expire for almost another year. Why extend the contracts to essentially 4 year contracts? Many of us believe that the Interim Chancellor wanted to slip these contracts through and then the new Chancellor wouldn't be able to evaluate for herself their performance. If they were all doing a great job, why the need to push it through right before leaving? We have a Vice Chancellor of HR that is in the position with only an undergraduate degree in an unrelated field. (Comment partially removed by Pleasanton Weekly Online staff)
Why worry about a $300,000 settlement, more are sure to come.


Posted by KatzC, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows,
on Jul 1, 2013 at 12:16 pm

KatzC is a registered user.

The interim (temporary) chancellor was not supporting the new chancellor when she prematurely extended the employment contracts of the senior staff. Four contracts ended in June/July of 2014 and two did not end until 2015. The new chancellor would have adequate time to evaluate the senior staff for herself before renewals were required. She would have had the ability to renew contracts for only a single year should there be need for additional evaluation or if in fact there was performance issues. Who suggested that the contract renewals be addressed so early is the question that should be asked. Was it Dr. Walters; or was it someone with her ear and a fear of losing their job once they were properly evaluated?
After Dr. Gularte left the district Wyman Fong was promoted to Vice Chancellor of HR, probably as the only available option in HR. Just because he holds the title, does not mean that he is qualified or affective in that role. The concern of this reader and others I have spoken with is that he is in way over his head and has been allowed to remain in this job only by developing friendships with those who are willing to overlook his lack of expertise and leadership because he is a "nice guy". His ability to perform his duties should be evaluated not be a friend he has history with, but by a professional who can't be bought off with flowers and lies.
I welcome Dr. Jackson and hope that she will provide the much needed professionalism and leadership that the district is lacking; at least in the Human Recourses dept.


Posted by Sad about CLPCCD, a resident of another community,
on Jul 2, 2013 at 11:14 am

Sad about CLPCCD is a registered user.

Employees at the college campus and at the district office were dumbfounded to learn that contract extensions were being handed out before there was a need to engage in that process.

The idea that the 'acting' chancellor was trying to keep an 'experienced team in place and stable' for the incoming chancellor makes absolutely no sense. This takes away the opportunity for the new chancellor, Dr. Jackson, to evaluate for herself if the current team in place is the one that she will need to successfully make the changes/improvements/ideas she spoke about during the interview process.

With the blunders already created by the Board of Trustees, which led to issuing a $300,000 payout to the outgoing chancellor, Dr. Kinnamon, one would think they would tread lightly in creating scenarios such as this where they are locked in employment contract years over and above what is considered the norm for these executives. This makes no sense at all, which seems to confirm the idea that these executives are being kept due to friendship. Skills nor performance were taken into consideration when issuing these extensions.

The campuses are quite aware of what is going on at the district office. In particular, the current vice chancellor of human resources has created such an intolerable office situation that the campuses are unable to get straight, correct answers to important questions relating to employment and other functions within his department. He is known for creating impossible working relations with campus employees and the district office.

Anyone that will listen to him has to hear how 'busy he is' 'how he is not being supported by the unions, by the campus vice-presidents' and the list goes on and on. It's embarrassing having to listen to him.

The confidentiality of the human resources department is not being upheld. The current vice chancellor of human resources has repeatedly shared confidential discipline matters and then says "just between you and me". It's common knowledge that he does this. This continues to expand the mistrust of the human resources office by those employees who should be able to seek confidential assistance from that department.


Sadly, the communities served by the Chabot-Las Positas Community College District are being short-changed. It's time to wake up. Let's hope it's not too late.


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