Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Marsee Reflects on Accomplishments as President of CR

Posted By on Wed, Feb 23, 2011 at 4:00 PM

The news broke yesterday, but today College of the Redwoods President Jeff Marsee officially announced his impending departure to become President/CEO of San Joaquin Delta Community College in Stockton.

Here's the press release from CR:

College of the Redwoods President Jeff Marsee has accepted a new position as the President of San Joaquin Delta College in Stockton, Calif.

Marsee, who has been CR's president since July 1, 2008, will begin his tenure at San Joaquin Delta College on May 1. Delta College's seven-member Board of Trustees unanimously selected Marsee to be the college's leader out of three finalist candidates during a meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 22. Delta College has approximately 19,000 full-time-equivalent students. During the 2009-2010 year, CR had more than 5,900 full-time-equivalent students.

"I am very proud of the work that the CR Board of Trustees and the employees of the CR District have accomplished during my tenure at the college," Marsee said. "I wish the CR District, its employees and the CR Board of Trustees the best in the future."

Marsee discussed some of the college's successes he is most proud of during his time at CR.

"CR has reconnected with the community in many ways," Marsee said, "including increasing access to education by opening new educational sites in the District and significantly increasing the number of night and online classes offered. We have also been free of any accreditation sanctions since January 2009 and the college is now preparing for its six-year accreditation self- study, to be completed later this year."

Since July 2008, CR has opened new instructional sites in McKinleyville and Arcata. Also, using Measure Q/B Bond funds, CR last year bought the historic Garberville School site from the Southern Humboldt Unified School District. Renovation plans were recently approved by the California Division of the State Architect. Classes are expected to be offered at the new
CR Southern Humboldt Instructional Site in Garberville sometime during the 2011-2012 school year.

"We are bringing educational access straight to the communities where people live and work," Marsee said.

He added that he is also pleased that CR has not had to lay off any employees in spite of a shaky state financial picture. During the first two years of Marsee's time at CR, the college experienced rapid, double-digit enrollment growth. The college received a significant boost in state funding following these enrollment surges.

CR has also benefited from a number of large grants it has received in the last three years which have allowed the college to develop new programs and stabilize others, Marsee said.

He pointed to the $2 million collaborative grant the County of Humboldt's Economic Development Division and CR received from the U.S. Department of Labor in 2009. The grant calls for CR to establish 12 new career technical education programs, including: water and waste water operations; solar photovoltaic installation and solar thermal installation; a new welding certificate; a paramedic certificate; and a management and supervision certificate.

CR also received $2 million for its 38-acre Sustainable Agriculture Farm in Shively from a CalTrans mitigation grant, the details of which were finalized during Marsee's first year at the college. CR has also garnered well over $500,000 in local, state and national grants for the Humboldt Bay Regional Simulation Center, which uses a high-tech "family" of patient simulators to train nursing students and professional nurses to address high-risk situations in a safe setting.

Marsee also pointed to an administrative restructuring of the college with new deans and a new academic vice president during the past two and a half years as a major success. He pointed to a new Business Training Center, which provides contract education for businesses and individuals, and the CR Plus Program of classes for those 50 and older as positive new directions for the college developed during his time at CR.

He said he also very proud of the recently developed partnership with the Hoopa Tribe at the Klamath-Trinity Instructional Site in Hoopa which has doubled the enrollment and graduation rates of an under-served population of the CR District.

CR, especially on the main Eureka campus, is undergoing a major physical transformation. A new $19 million Student Services/Administration/Performing Arts building is being constructed with a combination of local bond and state funds. Two new academic buildings, funded with $29 million in local bond and state monies, are projected to break ground in summer 2011. The CR Del Norte Education Center in Crescent City and the CR Mendocino Coast Education Center in Fort Bragg are expected to renovate new science labs within the next year.

CR still has more than $12 million remaining in local bond money from Measure Q/B funds. Marsee was the driving force behind the effort to save the current Student Union building on the main Eureka campus when he arrived in July 2008.

A new Student Union had been proposed, which would have used about $11.5 million in local bond money. When the CR Board of Trustees, at Marsee's request, abandoned that plan, $10.5 million in bond money was saved for other projects, including the possible re-use of the old library.

CR also recently received word that it will receive priority funding of $28 million in state funding for utility infrastructure replacement and seismic strengthening if the state passes a community college facilities bond measure on the state November 2012 ballot.

"My wife, Leslie, and I have made some wonderful friends on the North Coast," Marsee said. "While we are excited to be moving on to San Joaquin Delta College, are sad to leave our friends at the college and in the community." 


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Ryan Burns

Ryan Burns

Ryan Burns worked for the Journal from 2008 to 2013, covering a diverse mix of North Coast subjects, from education, politics and marijuana to human suspension, sex parties and amateur fight contests. He won awards for investigative reporting, feature stories and news coverage.

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