Accentuating the positive efforts of his administration, President Mark Rocha explained his views about the school’s problems at a news conference for journalism students on March 26.

In particular, Rocha addressed the recent votes of no confidence into his administration, saying that the results don’t accurately reflect everyone’s opinion.

Antonio Gandara / Courier Rocha addresses the recent votes of no confidence into his administration on March 26.
Antonio Gandara / Courier
President Mark Rocha addresses the recent votes of no confidence into his administration on March 26.

Rocha quickly dismissed the ad-hoc faculty committee’s vote as misleading, referring to the fact that there are 390 full time faculty at PCC, of which only 213 participated in the vote, adding that the vote was not sent to any of the adjunct faculty.

“Do the math,” Rocha said.

Rocha also reiterated that the Board makes the official school decisions – he merely makes recommendations. He also claimed that the vote of no confidence taken by the Associated Students Board was an incomplete survey of the campus’ true opinions.

“Not one single student got up [at the Board meeting] and said ‘I can’t transfer,’” Rocha said.

Additionally, he said, Assistant Superintendent Dr. Robert Bell handled all cases of transfer problems that were brought in for help, and that students with transfer issues should have come to Bell for help, but only a few students have done so.

Since the Board of Trustees cancelled Winter Intersession last year, students have been citing their difficulties in transferring and have been blaming President Rocha and the Board of Trustees. But Rocha said that the public perception of him is due to lack of understanding of administrative processes.

“There are a lot of good things that are going unreported,” Rocha said. “When there’s a conflict in the college, you have to be responsible and report the truth.”

The school’s president repeated the refrain “Moving Forward” and attempted to prove that the college is clearly better off because of his administration.

He said that while community colleges around the state are losing enrollment, PCC has increased its enrollment. Additionally he said that the school did not have a labor agreement in place when he arrived, and that there were problems with accreditation until he came.

“We haven’t laid off a single person and have offered salary and benefit increases,” Rocha said. “But until we reach an agreement with the Faculty Association, it’s going to be difficult to have a collegial environment.”

Rocha said that the issues being reported are not doing the administration justice.

“The things that matter most are that teaching and learning are improving, and in some cases, improving dramatically,” Rocha said.

The most significant improvement – and the apparent primary benefit of the cancellation of winter – is the increase of persistence, he said. Starting and stopping the school year is a handicap to students, especially those who are on the remedial level of English and math, he said.

“A big stoppage in the calendar doesn’t help,” Rocha said. “The longer gap you have in the calendar, the more students you lose from fall and spring.”











28 Replies to “President wants college to ‘move forward’”

  1. With all of the corruption and d scandals, its safe to say the college is corrupt. Especially the board of trustees. Who won’t allow the cops to carry guns

    1. LOL–I wonder how the faculty and the Courier are going to try and spin that story to try and make it look like the faculty are the good guys. “The Calif. Public Employment Relations Board…has ruled in favor of the college…regarding the elimination of Winter Intersession. also balked at faculty proposals for retroactive pay raises and freezing class size limits and increased bonuses for taking on oversized classes.” While the faculty never had a leg to stand on, I congratulate Rocha and the Board for standing up to them. I will make sure I re-elect these board members in the next general election.

      1. Amen, my Lehman brother.

        The greedy faculty union has been exposed and their true colors are there for all to see. Their public tantrum, I’m sure, did not help at all. Can you believe they wanted to extort a million bucks for NOT teaching? Sheeesh! If teachers care about the students like they say they do, then they would not walk off the job and strike. But of course for them, it’s about the money, not the students. I believe the faculty are currently WITHOUT a contract and can be fired at will. Not 100% sure, though.

        I, too, congratulate Rocha and applaud him for standing up to the greedy faculty union.

        A note for Marheine: “The hardest thing to do gracefully is to come down from your high horse.”

    1. Like the article says, only about half of the full-time faculty participated in the vote. Naturally the faculty members who participated will vote to preserve their pay and pensions. In that respect they are no different than firemen or postal carriers, or the unions involved in the Stockton bankruptcy.

      1. Out of the entire PCC campus, 16 voted to support administration.
        Only 16. The college still waiting for those 16 to explain their vote, to bring into the light of day the brilliant achievements of the present Board of Trustees and their Prez R.
        Pay and pensions have nothing to do with the “No Confidence” vote.
        Bears Turns has not read the supporting documentation, or is pretending to be ignorant. Either pose is ridiculous.

      2. Math Facts–if you really think pay, pensions, and benefits don’t enter into the “No Confidence” vote then I’ve got a bridge to sell you–or how about investing your money with Madoff Investments? It pays 12% annually. Incidentally, I’m pretty impressed with the bio’s of the PCC Board of Trustees–especially that guy who’s a chemical engineer and a lawyer. But if you think they aren’t qualified to run the college, then you better be sure you vote for new Board members in the next city election.

    2. President Rocha:

      1) Respect Shared Governance
      2) Restore Winter
      3) Rehire Prof. Swill
      4) Remove your sycophants
      5) Resign
      6) Refund your exit bonus $

      After that, you may apologize.
      Before then, it’s all just more talk.

  2. The Pasadena Weekly has also reported on these events:

    “After voting “no confidence” in Pasadena City College President Mark Rocha, members of the PCC Faculty Association (PCCFA) are again crying foul. . .”

    “A union meeting last Thursday was called to discuss a list of grievances related to the board’s actions, including increased class sizes (to make up for eliminated winter classes), lost faculty income and the school’s apparent disregard for shared governance.”

  3. I agree with all you guys. Great show!
    With that said, I think it’s time for a new police chief. This guy’s been here a whole month.


  4. Unlike Mark Rocha, who has a guaranteed job with no reviews (and hearty guaranteed pay raises), PCC Adjunct teachers have no security at all, and quite a few were recently fired en masse by all the president’s men. That may be why part-timers were not asked by colleagues to stick their necks on the chopping block.
    Here’s a number for the acting president to ponder — Of the 390 full time faculty across the whole campus, an overwhelming 16 voted confidence.

  5. Students should read the article in the Pasadena Sun. The Sun reporters think that the no confidence vote is very much all about contract negotiations, and about how some faculty members are trying to preserve their $100K+ salaries. “Faculty union leaders have also brought formal unfair labor practice charges before the Public Employment Relations Board, alleging that elimination of the winter session was an unfair change in working conditions. (as well as a loss of income) A hearing is set for July, said union President Roger Marheine.” I’m not sure how to spin that to make it look like what’s going on has nothing to do with negotiations over salaries.

    1. Bear Stearns, you (and the Pasadena Sun) are being snookered by Mark Rocha. Are faculty salaries a concern in the union’s contract negotiations? Yes, of course they are, along with other issues. Were the completely independent votes of no confidence in the president by faculty and students connected to the union’s contract negotiations? No, they were not. Please read the list of concerns that were submitted to the board that accompanied the faculty no confidence ballot. Here’s it is, minus the specific examples that were cited to document each of these charges. This is what the vote was about: #1. Whereas Superintendent-President Mark W. Rocha and his administration are hindering student success and access,
      #2. Whereas President Rocha has repeatedly violated the concept and spirit of shared governance [see Education Code Section 70902(b)(7): regulations shall “ensure faculty, staff and students… the right to participate effectively in district and college governance (emphasis added)” said regulations contained in Title 5, Sections 53200, et seq., 51023.5 and 51023.7], #3. Whereas President Rocha has disrupted the efficiency and collegiality of campus life,
      #4. Whereas President Rocha has violated faculty and student trust,
      #5. Whereas President Rocha has mismanaged PCC’s resources,
      #6. Whereas President Rocha and his administration have created a general atmosphere of intimidation,
      #7. Whereas PCC is now the only institution out of 110 campuses and 72 districts in California to have cancelled Winter Session and changed to a three-term academic calendar,
      #8. Whereas PCC is the only community college to have canceled its Winter Session before the passage of Proposition 30,
      #9. Whereas in the Fall 2012, 76% of 341 polled faculty respondents opposed the process by which Winter 2013 was eliminated, and 80% of 226 faculty polled would support a vote of no confidence,
      #10. Whereas 2,700 student signatures on an independent student petition supporting a Winter Session were presented to the Board of Trustees on October 3, 2012 but remain ignored by the Board of Trustees and President Rocha,
      Be it resolved that we, the full-time faculty of Pasadena City College, take action by considering a Vote of No Confidence for President Rocha.

      Note that none of the items are about salaries, overload classes, benefits, any of that stuff. Also note that 80% of faculty supported a no confidence vote in fall 2012, before the contract impasse and before the calendar change.

      1. Correction to my post above: if those votes were in fall 2012, the calendar change had probably been approved by the time of the vote–the Board put that change through right at the beginning of fall. However, I can attest that faculty were deeply outraged by Rocha’s actions and talking about a no confidence vote long before the Board eliminated winter term, and long before the faculty contract expired.

      2. Bravo to Faculty member. Also, the fact that the Associated Students gave a vote of no confidence has NOTHING to do with faculty raises.

        If Bear Stearns et. al are getting their information from the Pasadena Sun, I know exactly what paper to STOP reading.

      3. madame senator:

        “…Associated Students gave a vote of no confidence has NOTHING to do with faculty raises.”

        That is perhaps the most comedic factor in all of this; they have NO power. Heck, even the student trustee has NO vote, might as well be a cardboard cut-out.

        It’s more like, “Oh, look at the cute little kids, they are rebelling.”

        Yet they follow the faculty’s lead of demanding money and now are looking to pick the student’s pockets.

  6. Don’t forget when Simon Fraser and the A.S. Board presented a no confidence vote, Rocha said that the vote only represented “six people,” not all the students.

    If any group of people on campus represent or understand students’ best interests , it’s A.S. I mean students are going to them for transfer advice over our own administration.

    Tsk Tsk Rocha.

  7. Did Mark Rocha offer any evidence for his claim that “teaching and learning are improving” since he came onboard? Or his assertion that the no confidence votes are “misleading”?

    Your accompanying article about the Associated Students’ experiences with transfer problems and Rocha’s unresponsive administration is necessary reading alongside the president’s comments. Simon Fraser and John Fraser are excellent spokespersons for the students. It is shameful that Rocha tries to paint the Associated Students as irresponsible rather than honestly addressing their questions and criticisms.

    I hope the Courier will also invite faculty members to hold a news conference, to clarify their perception of the administration’s record and the reasons for the no confidence vote. It was never about contract negotiations, despite Rocha’s PR campaign to fool people into believing this. The Courier might want to print the letter that came with the faculty’s no confidence ballot, which listed a substantial number of issues that were the reasons for the vote. Perhaps some of the members of the ad hoc committee that presented the vote to the board of trustees would be available to be interviewed in a news conference situation.

    It’d be great to read candid interviews with representatives of other key groups, too: trustees, managers, classified staff, but I have my doubts that many of those folks are willing to speak openly.

    1. See, Faculty “member,” you just want there to be a narrative that is one-sided. You make me laugh.

      Gosh, I sure got a kick over all the whiners commenting on the Pasadena Sun editorial. Bunch of fools, don’t even realize that an editorial is an opinion piece. This, from college students and faculty. Funny, yet sad at the same time.

      There are many who support Dr. Rocha and his administration. What is pathetic is that faculty wants a $1 million bucks for NOT teaching.

      1. @Student 99: Only 16 out of what? The entire student body? The entire college staff and faculty? The entire college community? Or, only SOME who took part in an ad hoc committees’ grab for a million bucks, all in the interest of the students, right? See, student, you are believing the BS coming out of faculty. Tell me, student, are your teachers using class time to trash campus leadership? See, faculty has turned ya’all into what is known as “useful idiots,” doing THEIR dirty work.

        Your teachers are trying to grab a $1 million for NOT teaching, that is what should really piss you off. Instead of adding classes, they want that money for nuthin’. But hey, go ahead and continue being a useful idiot, you seem quite willing.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.