By Greg Zeman
Associate Dean of Student Activities Charlton “Skip” Fotch has retired. An interim replacement has been selected by Chancellor Don Q. Griffin and will likely be approved at the next Board of Trustees meeting.
Vice Chancellor Mark Robinson said he was “sad to see him go.”
Robinson described Fotch as “something of a fixture,” at City College and characterized him as a dedicated administrator who cared about students.
“There were a lot of things that would happen on campus and with students. Problems would arise and Skip would deal with them to the point where I wouldn’t find out until later that there had even been a problem. It had been dealt with successfully, and students were pleased with the outcome,” Robinson said. “He was good like that. He did a lot of good things.”
According to acting Dean of Student Affairs Rod Santos, Fotch’s replacement would need to be “someone who has a background in working with students and is very student friendly and organized — someone familiar with the functions of not only student activities, but also with Associated Students.”
“That job description we used for Skip was done about ten or eleven years ago. There wasn’t a Twitter or a MySpace or a Facebook,” Robinson said. “We want this person to be as technologically savvy as possible because we want to be in a position where we can communicate, not only with the Associated Students, but with the entire student body on a regular basis.”
The interim Associate Dean of Student Activities was selected through “a hiring committee comprised of administrators, classified staff members, faculty members who were approved through the Academic Senate and [representatives] from the Associated Students,” Santos said.
The interim position was only available to those currently employed with the district, according to Robinson. However, the permanent position will be made publicly available.
“We should have had way more student involvement,” Student Trustee Josh Nielsen said. “There were some concerns that we [Associated Students] had: None of the candidates we saw was a person of color and I would have liked to have seen a comparison.”
Nielsen also expressed concern about the small number of candidates the AS was given to choose from.
“There were a number of applicants who applied that I thought were very well qualified and they unfortunately didn’t make it through that process,” Nielsen said. “Only two final candidates that the students get to decide on? No, I don’t think that’s fair.”
Robinson said the chancellor’s office is trying to have the position filled by July 1, 2010 in order to allow time for a quality candidate to be vetted.
“We want to talk to some of the people on the AS council, and we want to get their opinion on some of the things they want to include or change or takeout in terms of the responsibility of that person,” Robinson said.
Fotch could not be reached for comment, but both Robinson and Santos said that he had been planning his retirement for some time.
“He’s been planning it for the last couple of years … he’s been an educator for a whole lot of years,” Santos said.
“I know I’m going to miss him,” Robinson said.