September 21, 2021
I am writing to you to announce that I will be retiring from my position as President of San Diego Mesa College and the San Diego Community College District, effective June 30, 2022. This decision has come after several months of deliberation and discussions with my family.
This is a challenging time for Mesa College, but also an exciting one. We recently adopted our Mesa 2030 plan, and the 5-year Roadmap; all of the efforts we invested in creating our plans can now guide us as we implement them. I am especially proud of the embedded accountability we have adopted focused on racial equity, and in particular, that we agreed that it is the work of the entire institution. We are again able to fill positions and I look forward to hiring more individuals who share our commitment to the values of our institution and who represent our students and community.
This semester we will see the last piece of our Propositions S & N work completed as the Mesa Quadrangle opens. As we return to campus, we will have a beautiful outdoor central space to gather and we will have a fitting celebration in spring when it is safe to do so. Over the past 10 years, we have built or redesigned 12 new major buildings and spaces totaling over $280 million dollars. We are ready to expand our campus with the new directions detailed in Mesa 2030, ensuring sustainable and equitable spaces for disciplines that await new homes.
We have created so many new programs, initiatives and spaces over the last many years: building the SD Mesa Foundation, The HIM Baccalaureate Program, expanding cohort programs, HSI status and grants, The Stand Resource Center, The LOFT, SD Promise, Centers for STEM, AVANZA, Honors, FAST, Dreamers, and Veterans, Offices of Student Success & Equity, Institutional Effectiveness/Research, Work-based learning, Events and Facilities …to name just a few. I look forward to engaging and identifying new affinity spaces and lifting all of our collective work during this year.
I am excited to embark on the next chapter of my life which will include continued work in diversity equity, justice, and inclusion. In particular, I am committed to contribute to the research and practices that lead to racial equity, meeting students’ basic needs and, in the end, creating more inclusive higher education institutions. I am looking forward to continuing my teaching in higher education programs and opportunities to assist community college leaders and colleagues to maximize their skills in leading through an equity lens.
In closing, let me say that it has been the absolute professional pinnacle and joy of my life to serve as your President. This joy stems from working with all of you – getting to know you – seeing our families expand – and inviting so many of you to become part of the Mesa family. We have collectively created an amazing and transformative learning environment resulting in propelling our students to success. We have invested our hearts and minds in learning from one another and striving to become The Leading College of Equity and Excellence. I am confident that our foundation is strong and that new leadership will take us to the next aspirational point on the Olympian horizon.
Thank you for your support along this very meaningful journey, with respect and love,