Editor’s note: This story has been updated since it was first published.

The Academic Senate overwhelmingly approved a vote of no confidence in President Mark Rocha and his administration. The final tally was 23 in favor of the vote, with none against, and only one abstention.

John Novak / Courier Members of the Academic Senate vote on no confidence in President Mark Rocha by raising of their hands in agreement in the Circadian on April, 15.
John Novak / Courier
Members of the Academic Senate vote on no confidence in President Mark Rocha and his administration by raising their hands in agreement in the Circadian on April, 15.

“President Mark Rocha, the president-superintendent, has repeatedly violated the regulations and spirit of shared governance,” the senate resolution reads.

“The Academic Senate of Pasadena City College has no confidence in President Mark Rocha to maintain a healthy shared governance system, implement major changes responsibly, or provide effective leadership to the campus community, and/or communicate accurately to the Board the recommendations of the Academic Senate and the input of the campus community.”

Rocha immediately responded to the vote, expressing his disappointment but assuring faculty that it will not have a negative impact on campus collegiality.

“While I am disappointed in the Senate’s action, I will rise in the morning to work with a renewed commitment to move the college forward into a bright future,” Rocha said in an official statement.

“Nothing will change the high regard and profound respect I hold for every single faculty member at PCC.”

This marks the second official vote of no confidence in President Rocha’s administration. The Associated Students Executive Board unanimously approved of a no confidence vote and censure of the president and his administration in February. Similarly, an ad-hoc faculty committee conducted a faculty-wide survey where 92% of those that participated voted in favor of a no confidence vote.

The Board of Trustees has been stalwart in their support of Rocha throughout the seemingly campus-wide dissatisfaction of his administration.

“We see the Senate’s action today as hasty and premature before all the facts are in,” Board of Trustees President John Martin said in an official district statement.

“The Board wishes to reiterate its unequivocal and unanimous support for the Superintendent-President and his administration.”

Debra Wood, a chemistry professor, felt the vote was rushed. “I am disappointed that the “No Confidence” vote was conducted in haste, before the Academic Senate had adequate time to assess whether a clear majority of all the faculty was in favor of the resolution,” she said in an email.

Melissa Michelson, an English instructor and the senator that spearheaded and drafted the no confidence resolution, was adamant in the timeliness of the vote. “I feel that it was the right thing thing to do at this moment in time for PCC’s Academic Senate, and it was the result of a lot of collaboration and collegiality with fellow-faculty,” she said.

The senate made most of their last meeting of the semester. They also voted to approve of a ’13-14 calendar that would include a winter session.

The no confidence resolution will be presented to the board of trustees at the May 1 meeting.

Comments

  1. Mismanagement is what has been ruining PCC. The board has too much power and uses the pres as a puppet. It was once said, that by sad experience we have learned that as soon as a person gains a little bit of power they begin to exersize those powers unjustly upon others. Never a truer statement could apply to pic.

      1. If you only have a minute to watch right now, watch minute 44. The student who spoke about the letter to the Senate from the Board of Trustees hit it on the head: they didn’t wait to cancel winter, but they are asking the Senate to WAIT to vote no confidence!?? (She also reaffirms that the mismanagement is what’s damaging PCC, NOT the students and faculty standing up for PCC. Bravo!) The senator who spoke right after that also addressed the Board’s letter that they sent to intervene in last night’s proceedings – that the vote of no confidence is NOT a union issue – it’s a shared governance issue. (VP Bob Miller reads the letter right after Rocha spoke around minute 9)

        Faculty and students deserve respect, not lip service from the president; now it’s up to the Board of Trustees to make a move. If not,

  2. This vote was long in coming, but kudos to our AS representatives for taking this step. Will it be the final straw? Virtually everyone on campus has concluded that Rocha must go, and his cronies must go with him. It is the only hope for the future of a once-proud community college. How long can the Board of Trustees remain blind and deaf to this?

    1. Okay, so you don’t like the way the Board is running the school. My first question is why did you (i.e. the voters) elect these people to the Board in the last city election, and my second question is how are you going to make this Board or the next Board reinstate Winter Intersession? As far as I know there aren’t any lobbyists giving the Board money to change their minds about their elimination of Winter Intersession.

      1. Rocha clearly has directed the Board, who’ve had serious difficulty in forming cogent thought, or thinking ahead even one move in the game…
        Board must say “Rocha? 100% Support…” It is proper etiquette to say so while counseling him to exit.

        The trick is: how on earth can they find a face-saving way to reinstate Winter? There’s a proven higher success rate with Winter, killing it has been a major fiasco, in process, implementation, results. Maybe they can “Study” the latest recommendation from the Calendar Committee, and change it just a bit, and declare it was their idea all along.
        With Rocha and the Boarders: Leaders with no followers are foolish indeed.

      2. Bear Stearns: Your questions are a bit off-point, since the matter at hand is to get rid of Rocha and his inner circle in the admin building. However, the Board certainly does hold some measure of responsibility for the catastrophic mismanagement of PCC, going back to their hiring of Paulette Perfumo. As to how and why they were recently elected, I don’t know. It will be interesting to see whether the very public turmoil at PCC will be reflected in the upcoming trustee elections. I should think that the long-timers who have been the main forces behind both Perfumo and Rocha (Baum, Mann and Martin) will be the subject of substantial opposition, if they run for re-election. As to the winter intersession business, if they oust Rocha (or he resigns) soon, they will appoint an interim president who can make a recommendation about the calendar, and the board will support that person’s recommendation. (I’m guessing they’ll go for a former president in that role, to stabilize the campus: Lisa Sugimoto or James Kossler could probably pull that off, if they’re willing.)

  3. This is long overdue. I’m glad I was able to get out of PCC as quickly as possible, but feel bad for all the students left to deal with this horrible mess.

    It seems the best place to be at PCC right now is on The Courier team. Keep up the good work guys!

    Good luck guys! And Long Live Swil!

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