To Better Know Your PCC Board of Directors
by S.C. Taulbee, January 31st 2020
On January 16th, 2020, the Portland Community College (PCC) Board of Directors met on Sylvania campus for their first business session of the new year. The Board oversees the hiring and operations of PCC’s administrative faculty, including the office of the President, and is composed of seven long-standing community leaders from the Portland area. The meeting’s agenda included tuition rollback, collective bargaining for faculty and staff, the Yes to Equitable Student Success (YESS) program, PCC’s Equity plan, and more.
“I expect us to really dig down deep to figure out how to do a tuition rollback.” Board Member Dan Saltzman said regarding tuition rollback. Board Director Alexander Díaz Rios agreed. “We need to prioritize our students now,” Rios said.
Tricia Brand, Chief Diversity Officer in PCC’s Office of Equity and Inclusion, is spearheading PCC’s progress toward satisfying the requirements of Oregon HB 2864, which requires cultural competency standards at all public universities and community colleges by the close of 2020. Brand is in the process of creating a comprehensive equity plan, whose aim is to “ensure that the college is well-positioned to meet the rapidly changing landscape of diverse and urgent community, educational and workforce needs we anticipate in Portland in the coming decade.”
The Board heard from PCC students and the public on these and other matters, including the status of collective bargaining talks taking place between PCC administrators and union representatives. A finalized agreement is expected to be on Oregon Governor Kate Brown’s desk by August so that she may prepare her official input on the matter.
A moment of special note was PCC President Mark Mitsui’s recounting of his recent trip to Madrid, Spain, where he represented PCC at the United Nations Climate Change Conference. As part of the We Are Still In coalition—a group of cities, states, and private entities seeking to lower carbon emission in their localities as a response to federal governments who are taking no action, or who are actively pulling out of previous climate-change related agreements—President Mitsui reported to the Board on the programs he learned about taking place in other countries. He believes the connections he formed at the conference will help PCC in their efforts to lead the way in sustainability among higher education institutions. PCC has been rated by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education as the top-rated community college in the United States.
Students and community members who would like to learn more about the agenda of the PCC Board of Directors or become more involved are encouraged to navigate to the Board’s homepage on the PCC website.
The next Board meeting is scheduled for Thursday, February 27th, on Sylvania campus and all are invited to attend.
For more information on the board: www.pcc.edu/about/administration/board.