7-0 decision by board of trustees places Delta president on administrative leave not even a year after his hiring
With two meetings, one unanimous vote and many comments from the campus community, Delta College is once again without a permanent president/superintendent.
The San Joaquin Delta College Board of Trustees voted 7-0 in favor of placing Dr. Jeff Marsee on paid administrative leave following two closed session meetings over a three-day period.
Kathy Hart, former Vice President of Instructional Services was named acting president/superintendent following the decision.
Within days of the vote, the campus executive team met with Hart to discuss the continuance of college business.
One of the first campus wide emails Hart sent out was regarding the reorganization plan.
“I am writing to let everyone know that I am permanently withdrawing the reorganization plan that was scheduled for release on Friday, February 10. While we continue to face very serious budget issues here at Delta, we will not solve them with the proposed reorganization plan,” wrote Hart.
On Tuesday, Jan. 31 the board met in a special meeting concerning the “potential discipline, dismissal or release” of Marsee.
After the public comment session, in which many statements were made both in favor of and against Marsee, the board adjourned to a closed session that lasted four hours, after which the meeting was postponed until Thursday, Feb. 2.
“(Marsee) has failed in four areas: policy and procedures, campus safety, district contracts, and leadership,” said Elizabeth Maloney, president of Delta’s California Teacher’s Association (CTA) during the first meeting. The CTA had previously taken a 96-percent vote of no confidence in Marsee.
Marsee has also been accused by the California School Employees Association, the Associated Student Body Government, and the CTA of violating California Assembly Bill 1725, the shared governance law that states all constituent groups are allowed a voice in changes to campus policy and procedures.
Not everyone who spoke during the meetings was against Marsee, however.
“Dr. Jeff Marsee is the only community college president that comes to the (San Joaquin County Office of Education Board) meetings in the past 20 years,” said Mick Founts, superintendent of the San Joaquin County Office of Education.
“Honor who you hired,” said Sue de Polo of San Joaquin A+, a non-profit volunteer organization that helps to enhance the education of San Joaquin County youth.
“(Marsee’s) community involvement is excellent,” she said.
When asked how she expected the change to affect the college in an email interview, Hart said: “The most wonderful thing about a college or organization like Delta is that even though there are serious problems or changes that occur in administration momentarily or periodically, they truly don’t have an effect on the learning and teaching that goes on.”