• a building with green lawn and sun rays on it

      Pasadena City College (Photo – pasadena.edu)

      The Pasadena City College Board of Trustees convened on February 16, 2022 to discuss the evaluation of PCC’s current president, Dr. Erika Endrijonas.

      By Melissa Michelson

      Several PCC professors expressed dissatisfaction with the president’s performance at the college and called for her removal. All of the comments were related to the controversial forced return of faculty to in person teaching on January 24, 2022 from remote teaching in the height of Omicron.

      According to Board Policy BB2435, “An annual evaluation of the Superintendent-President shall occur by June 30.”

      Professor Shannon Maraghy criticized the president’s mismanagement at the college: “As an adjunct instructor that’s been teaching at PCC since 2009, I can tell you that many faculty and students are extremely upset. We have lost confidence in President Endrijonas due to her mismanagement of PCC during the pandemic. We urge you to remove her as Superintendent President…” and “replace her with someone who displays compassion and a willingness to engage in real shared governance.”

      Professor Catherine Chang, a 14-year professor, cited the president’s unwillingness to compromise and her disregard for people, and called for a vote of no confidence on the president. “I am tired of each administration being worse than the previous one,” Chang said.

      Several anonymous comments were also read aloud, citing:

      • a lack of consideration for low-income high-risk students,
      • absence of an explanation or rationale for cancelling remote learning,
      • trauma to students,
      • the punitive posture toward faculty who continued remote teaching
      • threats of labeling faculty members with insubordination,
      • chaos on campus
      • class cancellations, and
      • lack of trust in the president’s leadership.

      Professor Tracy Bodis, a professor at PCC since 1997, said the president “did not care about how we felt, she would not hear our ideas or voices in regards to delaying instruction face to face teaching one or two more weeks, with Omicron everywhere, like so many other college and universities did,” and Bodis also supported a vote of no confidence.

      President Endrijonas, sat in silence during the comments. Endrijonas became PCC’s president in 2019 and is the 16th superintendent/president of the college.

      Upon the Board’s return from closed session, no report was made about agenda item “Evaluation of Employee (Superintendent-President).” Instead, Board President Berlinda Brown announced that, as per Board bylaws, the anonymous comments would be stricken from the record.

      Public Comment on the President’s Evaluation starts around the 12th minute of the meeting:


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      Contributor

      Comments

      1. Patricia says:

        During the pandemic they decided on a 400 dollar per unit “stipend” that required a “sign-up” to get the funds a pittance for the dearth of extra work we all did suddenly going online. They advertised the funds through the FA emails but did not require supervisors to disclose the opportunity causing some adjuncts to not get paid, only to be admonished for failing not to read thousands of emails that were swirling at the time. When a group contacted Ms Endrijonas to plead to extend the signup she refused, refused to meet or even discuss it, and referred everyone back to “HR” who was even more incalcitrant. When the board of trustees was contacted they also did nothing, leaving many already overwhelmed employees unpaid for extra pandemic work. It as unfriendly as they get, bad faith IMO, and by the way they know who worked the pandemic so requiring a signup seemed a calculated way to minimize payout in my opinion. Complaining employees were ignored, ostracized, driven away and even squeezed out because it was such a toxic work environment to work all those extra hours and be left unpaid for it. At the time, the employees that got paid didn’t stand up for the ones who didn’t, the culture was horrible, and I surmise this vote of no confidence issue forcing teachers back to campus came next. All of this was avoidable if the president of the school had cared about the adjuncts. I qualify this commentary: This is all my personal opinion, I made many sacrifices during the pandemic only to be treated like pandemic garbage. I personally hope Ms Endrojinas goes, the board goes, the head of HR goes, and the FA goes at this school because the toxicity is so endemic. Flip a carpet on the whole entire thing. I don’t work there anymore but I only wish the best for those that still have to.

      2. Patricia says:

        Used and abused is not my real name, it’s honestly just how I personally felt at the time…. still hurt by the inflexibility of PCC during this trying time of Covid. I remember sitting at the holidays crying, recriminating against myself for not seeing stipend emails fly by on a faculty association chain of emails when I was filtering data and astutely following my supervisors anointments that never mentioned it. Commuting adjuncts are juggling emails from multiple institutions and rely on their supervisors to pass on or at least point out critical signups especially when it involves pay. The emails instead called it a “survey” connoting optional read/do.. Was contacted by many other adjuncts who fell into the same trap and just wrote off the loss due to fear or reprisals. Patricia

      3. Joyce says:

        I’m my opinion, Dr. E Has handled the safety protocols dealing Covid-19 well under the continuous changing environment, which will continue to change.

        We must try to get back to some kind of normalcy sooner rather that later. We will not agree with every decision that management makes. We must ask ourselves are we exacerbating the problem or actively being a part of the solution?

        However, we all know Covid is here to stay and we all must make the necessary adjustments to live and work with Covid.

        I work at another college and PCC has greatly exceeded their efforts to protect employees from Covid. That does not negate the fact that frequent dialogue between administration and the unions are critical during this time to find common ground and collective solutions.

        PCC has provided many resources such as testing 6 days a week if you like, a website with many resources, and weekly updates communicated from Alex.

        So, with that being said, what more is it that PCC employees are seeking? Employees cannot telecommute forever. We must make the transition back to some kind of normalcy. Nonetheless, I am mindful that there will be some exceptions for some due to personal reasons (e.g., health, disability).

        Yet, Facilities and Campus Police have been at work since the beginning of the pandemic. I’ll be the1st to tell you that it has been tough! And, I’ll be the 1st to say everyone is entitled to their personal opinions and constructive criticisms!

        This Covid-19 virus has disrupted our lives, how we view our safety, and how we interact with our environments.

        I strongly believe Dr. E is making the best decisions possible! She makes adjustments as needed to deal with Covid, and she has office hours if you want to speak to her one on one. She is trying!

        “The greatest failure is not to try!” (Unknown quoter).

        JP

      4. Melissa says:

        In case the PCC Youtube gets erased after a year, there’s this recording of the comments: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K7XbQ_nlDPE

      5. Jesse Angulo says:

        2022-7-19

        Honorable President, Endrijonas

        My name is Jesse Angulo, I am a Senior Citizen and Student and the
        Nephew of Pasadena City College, Dean, Manuel Perez.

        FYI: Uncle Manny and Mr. Jackie Robinson were one of the first people of color to attend Pasadena City College school district.

        That was made possible because the majority of people in Pasadena inclusive forward thinking. resulting in innovative quality education that was made available to all..

        And using all innovative means available at that time.
        educating all, including disabled students.

        Pasadena is an innovative leader in quality education
        that includes -Technology.

        President Endrijonas,

        I hope the copy of my email that I sent my school counselor will provide you with a perspective of a disabled student.

        My school counselor filed my medical records in my school records.

        My counselor has advocated for me so I could be accommodated in class.

        My accommodations for in person learning have been provided.

        (However over time my need for further accommodation has become greater).

        Please provide Virtual Learning, it is a great tool…that.
        Provides an “Innovative – Lasting Quality Learning Experience”.

        Virtual and Recorded Instruction;
        1. Is a great tool that is making it Possible that.
        2. Seniors and others with cognitive issues like myself, can retain information.
        3.”Learning is Earning for a Living”.

        Ms. Endrijonas, I hope my email will provide you a clear explanation of students and staff of our needs for Innovation and a safe environment.

        (This is an email I sent to my PCC School Counselor..
        requesting Virtual Learning)..

        Good morning Ms. Jennifer, I hope you are doing well.

        Ms Jennifer I am sending you my
        (active medical problems) medical records.

        These medical issues are being addressed at Kaiser down the street from Foothill campus.

        Medical Providers;

        1. February 3, 2017
        Southern California Neurology Consultants Pasadena.
        Dr. Tyler Cheung, M.D., Specialist in (Movement Disorders).

        2. Neck and Head daily average pain level 7,8,9.-
        (note; depending on the movement of the head and neck)

        This pain comes with what’s listed by Dr. Tyler Chueng notes: see (active medical problems) : the nerve damage on the left side of my neck & head.

        These problems are being addressed by Dr. Ross Kaiser- Physical Medicine.

        Note see my school transcripts;

        3. I repeat classes due to cognitive Issues; I have a difficult time retaining information – Virtual learning class makes learning possible.

        4. Virtual instructions provide the ability to review the lesson until we get it.

        5. Zoom innovation has been a blessing..

        6. My classes of Graphic Design have been a blessing

        ( My goal since retirement is to Help Teens).

        I have been attending since 2012 the Foothill Campus.

        Graphic Design Class;
        (provides the fundamentals of Graphics & Design).

        ” learn so we can help others earn a living”.

        (Using all tools necessary)

        ( Menacing – Days like These Require Us to Be Safe
        and Innovative ).

        For now, In class learning can be a higher risk for :
        1.Instructors.
        2.Students & their families.
        3.Classified staff.

        Respectfully submitted.

        Thank you for your kind attention.

        God Bless
        Jesse Angulo

      6. Cc says:

        PCC has created a culture of oppression that keeps people down out of fear of retaliation. They need change! The president and board of trustees perpetuate the toxic environment, all they care about it presenting the school in a way that makes them look good.

      7. David Q Cuatt says:

        When someone hired to lead the college (such as President Endrijonas) has become unable to lead, it’s time for us to thank them for their service, and show them the exit. Just like a gardener who can’t garden, a carpenter who can’t build, a painter who can’t paint–it’s time to go.

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