By: Renee Miller, Retired Santa Ana College faculty
It’s hard to imagine things could be looking “brighter” for the RSCCD after four years of articles and editorials about the dysfunctional district, but change is on the horizon. Those individuals, masquerading as the RSCCD’s leaders for unfortunately too many years, are finally heading for the exit door. The luster of the RSCCD, once the gem of Orange County Community College districts, may be returning!
In several months the District’s self-dealing chancellor, Raul Rodriguez, will finally be leaving the district having selected retirement over the humiliation of his contract not being renewed. Unfortunately, he will stay until he can receive the last dime from taxpayers as his contract ends June 30 2019. Rodriguez was single-handedly responsible for many of the District’s negative headlines during his tenure including a Saudi partnership, District financial issues and personnel problems. All these stumbles were a result of his inability to comprehend complex situations and demonstrate any viable leadership. His lack of a moral compass didn’t help either.
The leader of the District’s Human Resources department chancellor until June 30, 2018, Judy Chitlik, has now departed after allegedly creating a $1 million liability for the District and/or its insurance carrier. Chitlik initiated termination of an employee on a “district granted” medical leave which prompted a lawsuit that the District lost, not once, but twice, on a subsequent appeal.
And lastly, the manager of Santa Ana College’s health center, Veronica Oforlea, has been removed from oversight of the Santa Ana College Health Center. Last spring, to save money, she reduced the Center’s nursing hours forcing students to go elsewhere for basic health services that they had paid for.
With new leadership, things will definitely be looking brighter for the RSCCD. Hopefully, the new leaders will lead with understanding, compassion and a sense of ethics.