Friday, March 09, 2007

Piedad Robertson Resurfaces at Riverside Community College

According to the Riverside Community College District website, former SMC President Piedad Robertson has suddenly resurfaced in a race to nab the prestigious title of Chancellor. The Riverside Community College District Board of Trustees has allegedly conducted a nationwide search for a new chancellor and has now narrowed down their decision to three finalists. The finalists include Stan Arterberry (chancellor of West Valley-Mission Community College District), Noelia Vela (president of Cerritos College), and Piedad Robertson.

Stan Arterberry Noelia Vela Piedad Robertson Winniphred Stone
From left to right: Stan Arterberry, Noelia Vela, Piedad Robertson, Winniphred Stone

Both Arterberry and Vela seem to be admirable candidates based on their extensive experience. However, I question how Riverside CCD could even consider Robertson for this new position given her previous less than stellar credentials and the fact that the District had an entire nation of candidates to choose from. Robertson received votes of no confidence from both her former positions as Secretary of Education in Massachusetts and as president of Santa Monica Community College District. While in Massachusetts, Robertson's charter schools were met with lawsuits, investigations, and failed results. After she left her position, it was dissolved.

While at Santa Monica College, Robertson was the subject of a
federal lawsuit involving alleged extortion, racketeering, bribery, conversion of student funds, and undue influence. Robertson also met massive criticism from both the SMC faculty association and the classified staff, which led to more litigation involving unfair labor practices. Thanks to Robertson's mismanagement of the college, it now faces serious enrollment and fiscal recovery problems. The Malibu Times has run an online article (May 10, 2006) in which they have uncovered an email sent to all SMC employees from current SMC President Chui L. Tsang, which states in part the following:

"What I have found is that SMC has been plagued with budget instability for the past several years ... What this means is that the college has been spending about $6 million more than it takes in ... If we continue down this road, we face serious financial consequences-even bankruptcy."

After Robertson was ousted from Santa Monica College, she went on to take control as president of the
Education Commission of the States in Denver, Colorado. Although it took Robertson approximately a decade to run SMC into the ground, she accomplished this feat with the ECS in about nineteen months. Robertson resigned from the ECS around September 16, 2006. It appears that Robertson's lackey, Winniphred Stone, who has been her right hand throughout her career in Massachusetts, California, and Colorado, has now also left her position as Vice-President of Planning and Development at the ECS. Stone is no longer listed as an employee on the ECS website. Will Stone find herself once again as Robertson's underling if Robertson is selected as Chancellor of Riverside Community College?

Perhaps Riverside Community College is having second thoughts about Robertson. I have noticed that someone from the school's website has been spending a great deal of time over the last week thoroughly reading the SAVE SMC blog and website. Do those in power at Riverside wish to run this college into financial ruin or are there perhaps several corrupt administrators who wish to personally benefit from Robertson's financial wheeling and dealing with taxpayer dollars? As a candidate for chancellor, Robertson is currently visiting the Riverside campus to participate in public forums and to be interviewed by the Board. The Board is using these public forums to aid in their final determination, slated for later this month. Now is the time, regardless of whether you are a student at Riverside, a California taxpayer, or a concerned member of the public, to make your voice heard. Let's work together to keep Piedad Robertson out of California before it is too late.

-- Des Manttari,
Phoenix Genesis

(c) 2007: Phoenix Genesis/MBS LP

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At 1:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Will your school respect your rights when you need them the most? Riverside Community College doesn't. See for yourself at

Guilty parties range from professors like Kerry Herr and Joe Anguiano, all the way to higher officials like Patrick Schwerdtfeger, Tom Harris (acting president), and Gregory W. Gray (Chancellor for the Board of Trustees).

Visit the blog, and PLEASE show your support by commenting and/or following.


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