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Santa Monica College Board Elects New Chair, Vice Chair

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By Lookout Staff

January 5, 2016 -- When the Santa Monica College Board meets next week to discuss a proposed campus in Malibu, it will have two new board members at the helm.

Louise Jaffe, EdD, who previously held the top post in 2009, was elected chair last month, while Andrew Walzer, PhD, was elected vice chair. Jaffe succeeds Rob Rader, and Walzer succeeds Jaffe. Both will serve one-year terms.

A 30-year resident of Santa Monica Jaffe, who is a script supervisor for the popular TV show "The Simpsons," has served on the Board for ten years.

Jaffe, who is the founder of the Santa Monica Lifelong Learning Community Project, became involved in community and education issues when her two daughters attended Santa Monica schools, college officials said.

She recently served as chair of the Community College League of California and is currently a director on the board for the Los Angeles County School Trustees Association and a member of the League of Women Voters of California Study Committee on Higher Education.

Photos credit: Santa Monica College Board of Trustees

Walzer, who has lived in Santa Monica for 14 years, also was elected to the Board in 2006, and served as vice chair in 2010 and as chair in 2011.

Walzer, whose four children attended Santa Monica schools, holds a Ph.D. in American Studies and is currently an Associate Professor of Humanities at Los Angeles City College.

The electtion of Jaffe and Walzer comes as Dr. Kathryn Jeffery takes over the post of Superintendent/President, replacing Dr. Chui L. Tsang, who retired in June ("Santa Monica Names New President," November 19, 2015).

“As Board Chair, I will work with my colleagues and with our new president to ensure that SMC stays on the forefront of academic excellence, and continues to serve our community – and all our students – with distinction,” said Jaffe.

The Board is scheduled to hold a special meeting next Wednesday, January 13, to receive input on the proposed SMC Malibu campus and Los Angeles County Sheriff’s substation project located at 23555 Civic Center Drive in Malibu.

Slated to open in 2017, the proposed campus project will include five classrooms and labs, a community room that will double as an Emergency Operations Center for local emergencies, a computer lab and offices, college officials said.

Funding for construction comes from Measure S, the $135 million bond approved by the voters of Santa Monica and Malibu in 2004 to fund facilities projects, officials said.

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