“I think that politics need to get back to the basics,” Fellows said. “I just want to be honest and do the best I can to help the college.”
Fellow, who is no stranger to politics, has served as a vice mayor and city councilman in El Monte, president of the Upper San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District Board of Directors, vice chair of the Metropolitan Water District Board of Directors, and as vice chair of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.
Former Board President and current Trustee John Martin said he looks forward to working with Fellow because of his and passion and previous political experience.
“He’s so capable, it’s nice when someone is both intelligent, passionate and nice to work with,” Martin said.
Politics aside, Fellow is also the author of three books. A former journalist at the San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Fellow currently serves as chair of the Department of Radio-TV-Film at Cal State Fullerton.
Senior Vice President Robert Bell feels that Fellow’s background in education is going to contribute to his success in the new role.
“He is going to be an outstanding president. He understands how colleges work, how colleges work well and how they don’t work well,” Bell said.
Making more efficient Board of Trustees meetings a priority, Fellow has already changed the way the room is set up for the meetings, stripping it of its flashy décor and setting it up in a basic manner where the Board is the focus.
Aside from trying to make Board meetings running more smoothly, Fellow also hopes to have less quarrelsome meetings and better communication with shared governance by meeting with them outside of the Board meetings.
“I don’t want board meetings to be so combative [and] I’d like to have monthly meetings with two Board members, shared governance, the president and myself,” said Fellow.
Fellow addressed critics of the Board, stating PCC’s recent naming as a top community college in the country as proof of success.
“It’s not like we haven’t been successful,” he said. “A lot of people criticize [the Board] but PCC was named the top community college in the country. When you get accolades like that it means you’re doing a good job.”
He also expressed his befuddlement with all the tension between the Board and faculty and voiced his support for PCC President Mark Rocha.
“I don’t understand why we have this friction, the PCC faculty was given a 6% raise, they weren’t laid off. Presidents need vice presidents…the presidents not going anywhere,” said Fellow.
A proponent of satellite campuses, Fellow would like to see more of them because of the convenience they produce for students by bringing PCC closer to them.
“There is no room to build here, so let’s build where students live,” said Fellow.
Fellow hopes that by the end of his term as Board President, PCC is a better institution than it was before it.
“I hope when I’m finished in four years I will leave PCC a better place then when I found it.”