New governance structure approved almost unanimously by College Council

El Camino’s College Council approved a new governance structure in an almost unanimous sweep.

During the April 18 College Council meeting, the council met to approve the governance structure discussed in a previous April 4 meeting.

Academic Senate Representative Darcie McClelland said that the new governance structure, scheduled to be implemented in fall 2023, was approved almost unanimously except for an abstention from one voter.

The new governance structure comes with changes to voting and non-voting member policies compared to the current membership. One of many new changes to the governance structure include more classified representatives of divisions such as student services.

The new structure comes with the addition of an Executive Cabinet member represented by one of the four divisions: Marketing and Communications, Vice President of Human Resources, Vice President of Administrative Services or Vice President of Academic Affairs.

The new governance structure also comes with a few subtractions. While the college’s Classified Employees Union currently has a representative voter spot on the council, that spot is non-existent in the new structure.

El Camino College Classified Employees President Roy Dietz filled in as an alternate for Brian Hayden, the council’s classified employees representative, in Monday’s meeting where he abstained from voting due to “complicated, but not complicated reasons.”

“Since COVID, there’s been a lot of issues that have come up between the [Classified Employees] union and the previous administration,” Dietz told The Union student newspaper. “With the problems I’ve had in the past with [them], that causes the hesitation I have to want to move to a different structure.”

Concerning why the El Camino College Classified Employees are having their voting spot removed, Dietz said although he likes the new administration, he still feels unsure. Dietz said that because of previous attempts to go around the El Camino Classified Employee’s authority, it does not sit well with him to make such a big change.

“In the past, the old administration has put things before the council to circumvent the [Classified Employees] union, my concern is that with this new structure, that may happen and there is no way to stop it because the union doesn’t have a voice,” Dietz said.

Dietz said that despite his issues with the previous president’s administration, he is hopeful about the new administration and has a closer relationship with El Camino College President Brenda Thames than the past administration.

Dietz said that he feels that the College Council under previous administration would rubber stamp whatever the old administration wanted, but now “we have a different president and we may not all agree but we all come out with the same message.”

In response to Dietz’ abstention, President Thames said in the meeting that while not everyone may walk away happy, everyone walks away with their voices heard.

Agreeing with Thames, Dietz said “change is inevitable and everyday there’s change, the things we don’t like are the things we constantly have to deal with.”

While Dietz has his concerns about the structure, others feel positive about it. Vice President of Human Resources and non-voting member Jane Miyashiro said that she thinks the structure is encouraging of different voices and perspectives.

“I think as a result of taking our time to make sure everyone understood what the voting membership would be and why we have voting memberships versus those that are non-voting, having that dialogue ends with a membership that is much more cohesive and foundational for the good work we need to do from this point,” Miyashiro told The Union.