.Cabrillo Board Creates Native American Committee

The board also discussed infrastructure funding deficit and Trujillo censure

Cabrillo Board created a Native American committee to support indigenous students and studies on Monday night. 

The subcommittee is tasked with exploring the creation of a Native American lecture series, an endowed Native American-studies professorship, endowed scholarships for students studying Native-American studies, and a multi-cultural center for intersectional learning. The motion recommends Native leaders be consulted in the process.  

The subcommittee comes after a September decision to drop the controversial name change of the college until at least 2028.

During the contested debate over Cabrillo’s name, many critics of the renaming alluded to more pressing concerns facing the college than its name. At Monday’s meeting, the Board was presented with some of these long-term challenges from staff.

The college faces a total of $11 million in technology maintenance. This includes network and wireless technology, data server infrastructure, and security camera systems. The last time work was done on these systems was in 2018. 

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Director of IT Rick Harden warned that the IT projects’ expected cost would only increase if deferred further. The rise of remote work led to a huge demand-side increase in IT systems that has increased costs across the sector.

Over many years, Cabrillo College has underinvested in its infrastructure according to Jon Salisbury, director of facilities. The college spends $500,000 on deferred and scheduled infrastructure work annually, said VP of Finance Bradley Olin. According to estimates, the annual infrastructure lay-up should be between $4.5 and $9 million to keep the capital investment in facilities from declining.

A bond measure is off the table: the board members doubted that voters would be receptive to it after the defeat of the proposed name-change of the college. 

“My impression is we lack voter confidence in a tremendous way,” Adam Spickler said. “The community is just, seeing what we are doing as wrong. I think we are all very clear what the media is reporting on us doing wrong.” 

Trustee Rachel Spencer agreed, saying that infrastructure updates must be done independently of new revenue. 

Any changes in the existing budget would invariably cut into salaries which make up 90% of Cabrillo’s operating cost, according to Olin.

“It is a perfect storm. We have enrollment decline, shifting modalities,” said Olin.

A state bond measure is in the works, but even if it were to pass, the college is overbuilt for current enrollment, limiting any funds that could be received, according to Olin. No decision on how to bring in more funding was reached at the meeting.

Trujillo finished the meeting by telling his fellow board members that, “the atmosphere at the last meeting helped lead to the poisoning of my dog. An environment that is so toxic. That meeting created real toxicity.” 

Trujillo was censured by the board for his online diatribes against Marjorie Taylor Greene and other Republican women. Although Trujillo and Spickler both supported the name-change, Spickler and the rest of the trustees voted to censure Trujillo on November 6th for his misogynist conduct.

Trujillo claims his Facebook was hacked by people who were opposed to the name-change of the college. The ad hoc committee that looked into Trujillo’s posts said there was no evidence he was hacked.

“Folks, I can’t even tell you that coming home and discovering your dog, calling for the state, having to rush him to the hospital is pretty overwhelming,” said Trujillo.

The President of Cabrillo, Matthew Wetstein said: “I think to set the record straight I thought the November meeting was managed tremendously… and I do not recall in any way the fostering of comments over the course of the meeting to break the law.”

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