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Questions Remain About Gervin’s Dismissal

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Columbia, CA – The Chancellor of the Yosemite Community College District sent an email to staff members this morning regarding the dismissal of Columbia College’s President.

The Chancellors Office has denied questions related to Dr. Dennis Gervin, stating that it is personnel matter. The letter was supplied by the YCCD’s public information office after we made a request to receive a copy. Here’s the letter sent this morning by Dr. Joan Smith:

“As you all know by now Dr. Dennis Gervin was placed on administrative leave last Friday and yesterday the Board met in a Special Meeting and Board Chair Abe Rojas reported out the following statement:

“By unanimous vote, today the Board held a Special Board Meeting and took action to terminate the contract of the Columbia College President, effective April 30, 2013. Dr. Gervin will have an opportunity to address the Board regarding this action. The Board’s decision was the culmination of an extended process of performance evaluation. Reluctantly the Board concluded this decision had to be made for the good of the college. Dr. Leslie Buckalew will continue in her role as acting President.”

I wish Dennis the best in his future pursuits. I cannot always share what I know or what is happening. As I have stated previously on many occasions, the Board and I cannot and do not discuss personnel actions with anyone; especially the media. There are many reasons for this practice.

As you all know, Dr. Leslie Buckalew will be acting President until a process and timeline are developed to fill the Columbia College Presidential vacancy. I will be working with the Board on that process as it is not yet developed. I have the utmost confidence in Leslie and her abilities, as I do Gary Whitfield as your Vice President. You are in very good hands.

Please work with Leslie during this transitional time and continue with the progress you are making in accreditation. Many have asked, “Will this compromise Columbia College’s accreditation?” Absolutely not! I will be supporting Leslie, Gary, and all of you during this time.”

Gervin was appointed President in June of 2011, after previously serving as the school’s VP of Student Learning.

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