David A. Grant

Name: David A. Grant

Age: 72

Birthplace: Los Angeles

Residence: Newport Beach

Occupation: retired college president

Education: associate's degree from Orange Coast College; bachelor's dgree from UCLA; master's degree from Cal State Long Beach; graduate study at Stanford University, USC, University of Stockholm, Sweden.

Experience as an educator: college faculty member (U.S. history); varsity rowing/crew coach; dean of students, college president

Previously elected or appointed positions: elected president of the Newport Harbor Nautical Museum Board of Trustees; president of the Orange Coast College Foundation Board; president of the Newport Aquatic Center Board; U.S. olympic rowing coach

Community organizations you belong to: Newport Harbor Nautical Museum, Friends of the Irvine Coast, Sierra Club

Why should constituents vote for you?

I have been a community college educator for 35 years, involved in instruction and college operations at every level.  I understand the needs of students, the importance of living within a budget, the need for the colleges to retain their vitality and responsiveness to community/citizen needs, and recognize that classroom support with full time faculty is critical to the successful functioning of an institution of higher learning.

What do you think is the biggest problem facing your district and how do you plan to address it?

We must start with classroom instruction being the No. 1 priority. Centralization is not the answer; the best way to run our colleges is to give them some autonomy to resolve their own issues and reduce the costs of the district office operations and put that money where it belongs –- in the classroom.

In the last year, what is one issue that you think the sitting board members handled well and why?

I applaud their support for the OCC Foundation’s planned planetarium, which will be financed not by tax dollars but by private gifts.

In the last year, what is one issue that the board got wrong and what would you have done differently? 

Hiring a very highly paid outside legal counsel, when in fact, they could have used the county counsel for nearly nothing.

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