GCC trustee aims for state-level board

A Glendale Community College trustee has announced her candidacy for a seat on a 21-member state board that sets policy and drives legislation shaping the operations of the state’s 112 community colleges.

If elected to the California Community College Trustees Board, Ann Ransford would be its first Glendale representative. Former Glendale trustee Kathleen Burke-Kelly ran unsuccessfully in 2005.

“This is just another way we can represent Glendale Community College in a statewide situation,” Ransford said of her decision to run. “We as a community college have a lot to offer in the kinds of programming we have done, the things we have done to work with the budget.”

Voting will take place through the spring, with the results to be announced in May.

The board functions under the Community College League of California, and is made up of 21 college trustees and one student representative. The trustees are elected to three-year terms and can re-elected up to two times.

Each of the state’s 72 community college districts gets a single vote in the election, meaning that candidates have to promote themselves to their fellow trustees up and down the state.

This year there are eight seats up for grabs, although six belong to incumbents who are eligible for reelection, said Pasadena City College trustee and current California Community College Trustees Board President Jeanette Mann.

“It is very hard to beat an incumbent,” she said.

The state board sets policy on governance, finance and education, while also monitoring and driving education-related legislation in Sacramento, Mann said.

Board officers also have access to top state officials, including members of the Legislature and California Community Colleges Chancellor Jack Scott, Mann said.

In recent years the board has played a influential role in important debates, successfully supporting equalization — in which colleges are compensated equally for each full-time student — and helping to defeat a proposal to eliminate local boards of trustees entirely.

Hot topics facing the board in the coming years will include the ongoing state budget cuts to public education and the chancellor’s Student Success Task Force, which recently published 22 recommendations to revamp the system.

“The big point now is, how will it be implemented?” Mann said. “The board will be deciding what position the league is going to take on the things that have to go to the Legislature, what position they are going to take on the regulations. That is very important.”

Ransford attended Oakland Community College and worked at Glendale Community College for more than three decades as a faculty member and an administrator before being elected as trustee in 2009. Glendale Community College President/Supt. Dawn Lindsay said Ransford’s long history with the community college system makes her uniquely qualified for the position.

“This is another area where Glendale College would assume a leadership role at the state level,” Lindsay said. “Ann is not afraid to ask questions or search for alternative strategies.”


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