Volume II Issue IIIJuly 2010 
Mathur Retires as Chancellor
Acting Chancellor Named
Deputy Chancellor Poertner Retires
Saddleback College Students Honored
VETS Student Worker Honored by AMVET
Strategic Plan Update
Chancellor Search Update
Faculty Spotlight: Rita Tamer
Athletic Department Recylcing Phones and Ink Cartridges
Upcoming Events
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President's Greeting
Can you believe that we are more than halfway through the summer?  It seemed that it was just yesterday that we gathered at commencement, congratulating our students for a job well done before starting up with summer classes and/or leaving for our summer vacations.  For many of you, vacation still awaits, but
President Burnett and USMC Colonel Marano, Commanding Officer, Camp Pendleton
President Burnett
August will be here before we know it.  I look forward to seeing everyone as we gather together again, this time for In-Service Week and as we work to welcome what is sure to be a record number of students who will be starting classes here in the fall semester. 

We have many exciting changes coming our way.  As you know, our own Dr. Don Busche has started as our Acting Vice President for Instruction.  I know all of us look forward to working with Don throughout the year and we are fortunate to have such a knowledgeable and experienced professional serve in this capacity for our college.  We also look forward to welcoming Dr. Juan Avalos, who will be serving as Vice President for Student Services beginning July 19th.  Dr. Avalos' background in student services is most impressive and I am confident that he will be an extraordinary addition to our Gaucho family.

We also have a familiar face up in our district offices.   Dixie Bullock, our former president who also recently served as the acting dean of fine arts, has taken the reins as Acting Chancellor.  We are thrilled to have Dixie serve in this capacity and look forward to continuing to work with her in her new role.

College business continues to run smoothly, with our accreditation self study complete and soon to be sent to the Accrediting Commission on Junior and Community Colleges.  We look forward to the Commission's visit that begins on October 11th and are confident that it will lead to an affirmation of the college's accreditation.  We also continue to focus on the strategic plan for 2010-2013, with implementation beginning when our faculty return and our strategic planning groups resume meeting.

Above all, our college is dealing with the budgeting challenges that are being felt around the state. We are no exception and out college and district will be forced to make difficult decisions over the coming years.

I wish you all the best as we enjoy the rest of our summer and look forward to seeing you at our fall semester In-Service Week!


Tod A. Burnett, Ed.D.
Dr. Raghu Mathur Retires as the Chancellor of the South Orange County Community College District
After more than 34 years of service at the South Orange County Community College District, Dr. Raghu Mathur retired as Chancellor. Mathur served as Chancellor for eight years, as President of Irvine Valley College for five years, and as a professor for 21 years. 
Former Chancellor Mathur
While serving as chancellor, Dr. Mathur led the launch of a third campus, the Advanced Technology & Education Park (ATEP), and guided the district through construction and renovation initiatives at the highest level in district history since the first building phase of Saddleback College over 40 years ago. Under his leadership, online courses increased more than 200% and over $40 million has been invested in technology initiatives for students. Enrollment is also at its highest level in district history with a total headcount exceeding 40,000 students. One of his hallmarks was sound fiscal management as evidenced by the fact that the district is one of the first in California to fully fund its retiree liability.

Chancellor Mathur dedicated his professional career to the South Orange County Community College District since 1976. He spent more than two decades on the faculty of Irvine Valley College as a chemistry professor, chair of the school of physical sciences and technologies and academic senate leader, before ultimately becoming the college president in 1997.

"Education is the most noble profession and we are all educators, each in our own way.  The education and learning at our three campuses is making a wonderful difference for our students and enabling them to make changes in their lives so they can make changes  in our region, State, nation and the world.  In many ways, change that students make in the world is our greatest reward," said Mathur in an email to faculty and staff.

Board President Donald P. Wagner said, "On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I would like to take this opportunity publicly to thank Chancellor Mathur for his years of service to the district and its students. He has been tireless in his efforts in the Chancellor's office and can take great pride in the many accomplishments listed in his email. We on the board are fortunate to have been able to work with him in pursuit of the district's goals. We wish Chancellor Mathur all the best in his future professional endeavors."

Former Saddleback College President Named Acting Chancellor
The Board of Trustees selected Dixie Bullock as acting chancellor, beginning July 1.  She brings a wealth of experience to the position.  Over the course of 28 years at Saddleback College, Ms.
Acting Chancellor Dixie Bullock
Acting Chancellor Bullock
Bullock served as president for six years in addition to positions as vice president of instruction, dean, department chair and professor of nursing.  Since retiring on 2004, she has served as acting deans of the Saddleback College Division of Fine Arts and Media Technology and Irvine Valley College School of Mathematics, Science and Engineering. 
"I want to offer my heartiest congratulations to Dixie Bullock personally and on behalf of the Board," said Board President Donald P. Wagner. "We're excited that she has agreed to serve as our interim chancellor and we think she will do a wonderful job for the district at this time of transition. Dixie is well known at both colleges in the district and has long been a well liked and respected leader. The board and I look forward to working with her in the coming months."

"I am pleased that our board of trustees has placed their support in me. I hope to provide the stability for this district that I love while the search for a permanent chancellor moves forward."   Bullock earned a B.S. in Nursing from California State University, Long Beach and a Master's in Nursing from the University of California, Los Angeles. Bullock earned a B.S. in Nursing from California State University, Long Beach and a Master's in Nursing from the University of California, Los Angeles.
Deputy Chancellor Gary Poertner Retires
After more than eleven years of dedicated service to our district, Deputy Chancellor Gary Poertner retired on June 30.  His retirement culminates over 40 years of administrative experience in California public schools, including over 30 years as a district chief business official. 
Since 1999, Gary provided leadership to our district for all business operations including fiscal services, payroll, accounting, purchasing, and facilities planning.   For many years he supervised the operations of human resources and information technology and most recently he led the complicated negotiations for the ATEP project.   He has overseen the growth of our total budget go from approximately $100 million to over $400 million.  He has served as the effective chair of the Board Policy and Administrative Regulations Council, District Resources Allocation Council and the 2006 Master Plan Advisory Council.  During Gary's tenure our district retired bond debt and became one of the first districts in the state to fully fund its retiree liability.  Notably, Gary still finds time to serve the community as a member and past president of the Rotary Club of Mission Viejo.
Gary stated in his retirement notification, "I want to express my sincere appreciation to the Board of Trustees and to the Chancellor for the opportunity to work at this wonderful district.  I feel the same appreciation for the many faculty, staff and administrators that helped me to be successful.  My years at South Orange County Community College District have been the best of my professional life.  It has truly been a privilege to have been a part of this superb educational institution."
Saddleback College Students Honored at Psi Beta Honor Society Undergraduate Research Conference
Last month two Saddleback College students were honored for the research at the 15th Annual Psi Beta Honor Society in Psychology Undergraduate Research Conference for Southern California Community Colleges.
Ryan Hitch (left) and Julia Elliott stand in front of their research poster
Hitch and Elliott
Ryan Hitch and Julia Elliott received independent project honors for research poster for their "A Qualitative Analysis of Leadership" presentation.

Julia Elliott, a Mission Viejo resident, is a psychology major at Saddleback College and plans to transfer in spring 2011.

Ryan Hitch, a resident of Mission Viejo, is also a psychology major and will attend California State University Fullerton this fall.

VETS Center Student Worker Named AMVET of the Year
Saddleback College student and Army veteran A
Ann Reeder, AMVET of the Year.
Photo by Brooke Sauter
AMVET of the Year
nn Reeder was named AMVET of the Year for her work at the college's Veterans Education and Transition Services (VETS) Program along with her advocacy for female veterans and volunteerism at the Los Angeles Veterans Affairs Hospital. Reeder, a full-time student pursing Associate Degrees in Drug and Alcohol Studies and Women's Studies, is the first African American Woman to win this award.

"Saddleback College is committed to supporting our student veterans and their families," said Dr. Tod A. Burnett, President. "Ann Reeder is a wonderful example of how our students and staff take pride in creating programs to help veterans transition from military to higher education."
Reeder established the Saddleback College Female Veterans Unity Group which meets each month to help ease the transition to civilian life for female veterans, spouses of veterans, and family members. She secured Talbots gift cards through Maria Schriver's "We Support" program for female OIF/OEF veterans and distributed them to group so they would be able to purchase new profession attire for entering the civilian workforce.
"Reeder's passion is improving services for all veterans but specifically female veterans," said Terence C Nelson, Acting Dean, Counseling Services and Special Programs and VETS Center Director. "She is an advocate for veterans issues and has made it her mission to bring educational awareness, positive change, and solutions to all prior military, on and off campus."
The Saddleback College VETS program provides current and prospective Saddleback College students who are United States military veterans or active military, and their families with access to educational opportunities and the necessary support services to reach academic success, their career goals, and transition back into civilian life.
AMVETS is a veterans' service organization that assists veterans and sponsoring numerous programs that serve our country and its citizens. The group is a major donor of the VETS Program. The AMVET of the Year award is given to a veteran who has gone above and beyond through leadership, achievements and carried the mission of AMVETS.  Reeder serves as AMVETS Post 116 as 2nd Vice Commander, Women Veterans Coordinator and Founder/Director of the Women Veterans Esteem.

Saddleback College Strategic Plan Update
The Saddleback College strategic plan for 2010-2013 has been finalized and implementation now begins.  The four strategic planning groups - Educational Development, Student Affairs, Operational Support and Resources, and College Advancement - will begin meeting again at the end of the summer to create plans and resource requests to implement the plan's goals and strategies.  To view the college's strategic plan visit  For information on participating in the plan's implementation, contact Gretchen Bender, Director of Planning, Research, and Grants, at or extension 4565.

Search for SOCCCD Chancellor is Underway!
The search for a permanent chancellor is underway.  While the position is open until filled, initial applications are due August 11 and the search committee is scheduled to conduct first level interviews September 2-3.  The committee is composed of: Dr. Tod Burnett, Dr. Glenn Roquemore, IVC President; Dr. Bob Bramucci, Vice Chancellor of Technology & Learning Services; Jerilyn Chuman; Dr. Karima Feldhus, IVC Dean of Humanities & Languages, Social Sciences & Library; Brandye D'Lena, District Director of Facilities Planning & Purchasing; Mike Merrifield, SC Faculty Senate representative; Dr. Dan Rivas, IVC Faculty Senate representative; Lee Haggerty, Faculty Association representative; Daune Main, CSEA Representative; Santos Garcia,  POA representative; and an administrator to be named.  Dr. Jim Walker of Community College Search Services serves as the committee chair and is a nonvoting member.  Dr. David Bugay, Vice Chancellor of Human Resources, is the designated representative of the board and a nonvoting committee member. 
Information about the chancellor search and application procedures are posted on the district website.  Click here to view
Faculty Spotlight: Rita Tamer
ASL Professor Dr. Rita Tamer
Dr. Rita Tamer
Dr. Rita Tamer joined Saddleback College in 2001 and serves as the Department Chair of Administration, Teaching and Scheduling. She received her B.A. in Deaf Studies from CSU, Northridge in 1997 and her M.A. in Linguistics from CSU Northridge in 1999. Dr. Tamer received her Ed.D. in Community College Executive Leadership from Argosy University 2008.

Recently, Dr. Tamer was rewarded for her work in creating American Sign Language (ASL) videos for Saddleback College's online education. She was honored with a 2010 International Blackboard Catalyst Award in the area of Staff Development. The BbWorld 2010 Client Program Committee selected Dr. Tamer and her project to "join a select group of e-Learning professionals...from around the world whose participation has been recognized as a significant and exemplary contribution to our Blackboard Community." 

Dr. Tod Burnett, President, said, "Saddleback College is always searching for innovative ways to serve all student populations. Accolades are definitely warranted for Dr. Tamer, who created a new way to enable ASL students to learn anytime, anywhere."
Professor Tamer took on the project because she recognized a gap in ASL learning. "Creating my class online was something that I realized I needed to do for my students. I created several detailed videos that help students better understand not only the language, but the culture in the deaf community."
"This achievement is highly significant, as it provides students with unlimited opportunity for practice ASL using the expert modeling provided by Dr. Tamer in these online videos," said Dr. Donna Rane-Szostak, Dean, Health Sciences & Human Services
Valerie Senior works in Saddleback College's Center for Instructional Design and Distance Education and assisted Dr. Tamer with the project and commended her for making online education more dynamic. "While the technology exists to bring 'personality' into online instruction, it's a huge commitment of time and energy to create effective online course materials. Dr. Tamer painstakingly and methodically bridged that gap and made a connection that many instructors are striving to achieve."

Saving the World (and our campus) One Cell Phone at a Time
Assistant Athletic Director and Sports Information Officer Jerry Hannula poses with some of the items recycled by the Athletic Department.
Photo Courtesy of the Saddleback College Athletic Department
Hannula Recycling
Once again, the Athletic Department is going to be collecting old, used cell phones and spent inkjet cartridges for recycling.  The items can easily be sent to the department through inter-office mail.

Cell phones should be intact (with battery) but adapters and chargers are not needed.
Inkjet cartridges are the small ones you would have on a desktop printer or a home printer. 

Unfortunately, the department can no longer recycle the Laser cartridges for your division printers.  Those should be sent back directly to HP (or whatever company manufactured them) in the box that the new cartridge came in. 
Upcoming Events

July 16th-August 1st
Theatre Summer Series: Damn Yankees
McKinney Theatre

July 22nd
Saddleback College Foundation Executive Board Meeting

July 26th
SOCCCD Board of Trustees Meeting
District Offices Building, Ronald Reagan Board of Trustees Room

August 11th
College Picnic and Chili Cook-off
11 a.m.- 2 p.m.
Details to Follow

August 13th-14th
Management Team Retreat

August 16th-20th
In-Service WeekAugust 23rd
Fall Semester Begins

September 13th-14th
California Board of Governors Meeting