Tuesday, November 30, 2010

SWC Superintendent/President Raj K. Chopra Resigns

A belated Happy Thanksgiving to everyone as we announce some more good news: Superintendent/President Raj K. Chopra has resigned from his position effective today.

Chopra announced his resignation with a global email sent to the SWC campus community:

Sent: Tuesday, November 30, 2010 1:41 PM

College Community,

Effective today, November 30, 2010, I will resign from my position as Superintendent/President.

Until the Board can meet to discuss this matter, the vice presidents will serve as administrators in charge on a rotating basis and will perform day-to-day duties on behalf of the District. Following is the schedule:

· December 1-2 Vice President Suarez

· December 3 Vice President Kerns

· December 6 Vice President Alioto

· December 7-8 Vice President Meadows

It has been an honor to serve the students and community of Southwestern College. I wish you all a happy holiday season and all the best in the future.

Raj K. Chopra, Ph.D.
Southwestern College


Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has. ~Margaret Mead


  1. The word is "hope". Until Dr. Chopra's departure I couldn't savor the Governing Board win. With this and Aliota's impending departure, I feel hope that SWC can right its pathway into the future.

  2. and there are a few more that need to go and soon: Meadows, Suarez, Osborne, Bender to name a few. Im sure Im forgeting some deserving souls.

  3. Barbara J. Speidel, SWC ProfessorNovember 30, 2010 at 9:16 PM

    This is the day I can say there is truly hope for the renewal of SWC. It's a glorious day, and I look forward to the farewells of the rest of the Chopra crew so we can begin to rebuild this wonderful college.

    As we anticipate the search for a leader, and I don't say a new one because we haven't had a leader for 4 years, we need to send/market the message to applicants that we are a college who has been through it all. We have fought; we have won. Now our search is for s/he who will recognize and enhance the true assets we have and work with us to strengthen our college for the students we serve in the 21st century. No more bottom feeders; that we will not accept. We, the new governing board, and Margaret Mead we know we don't have to.

  4. Wow..... I can't believe it.... I am sorry to say this (on a "trying to be a good human being always") level, but I feel truly happy to see him go, I haven't felt optimism about our school in at least 2 years... that's a hard thing to put up with.... we all know....

  5. i think it was a great lesson in what a grass roots effort can achieve. i am so proud of everyone who worked so hard. I agree that this is the beginning of rebuilding our school, and it will take time. our choices need to be thoughtful and educated. lets not lose this togetherness that we are feeling now. put all agendas aside and continue to work together. california is BLUE!

  6. Raj Chopra and his cronies almost succeeded in ruining this college. Now we have an uphill battle to convince the accrediting agency that we are on the right track. We need to work together as hard and as collegially as we did during the campaign.

    We can feel the change in morale already. Now we have to prove it.

  7. While his departure is exceptionally good news, the terms of Chopra's departure were never announced as required by the Board, if in fact the Board made the decision in any closed session to agree to a six-month payout --- and the Board is the only body legally constituted to do so. So, how and exactly WHEN and BY WHOM was the 'agreement' and pay-out decision crafted? Although the closed session subject of two post-election meetings, there was NO public announcement of any action regarding Chopra's status except a statement by the college lawyer that his contract would continue in force. This smells of Brown Act violation on the part of the sitting board. The express purpose of the Brown Act is to 'do the public's buisness in public.' Perhaps someone cares to investigate how this miracle happened?
    Let's hope the next board has better legal advice and a rudimentary understanding of this important law.

  8. @anon 1:05 pm: I wondered about that too (Chop's severance pay without prior announcement). Perhaps the board figured that we'd be so happy to see Chop go that we wouldn't question this glaring Brown Act violation?

  9. It makes me wonder what else the old board did in closed session (or with three or four of them meeting in secret)that we have yet to learn about!

  10. Take a look at the agenda for the December 8 meeting. Where is the formal SWEARING IN of the two new board members? If Yoli is not going to stick around to do so (I think she has high-tailed it to be with her so-called husband and family, as she told a student whom she called during the election), and if Terri would rather not, then Nick Aguilar or a judge or some other official should be asked to do so. This is a slap in the face of the new board members and must be rectified. GEESH.

  11. It may also be illegal for them to take any action without being sworn in. Who knows about these things? Is it a trap?

  12. The plan is that the new board members will be sworn in at 6 PM prior to the 7 PM meeting on Wednesday, Dec. 8. I heard that it will be in L238, across from the SWC Library. Hopefully an official announcement will come out on Monday.

  13. And just how is the public is supposed to learn about the earlier event? If there are three or more board members gathered, it should be publicly noticed per the Brown Act. The swearing in should be part of the meeting, as has been done in the past, with an opportunity for the new members to say a few words and for their supporters to bask in the glow of that.
    I hope that the planners, whoever they are, are not trying to keep it a secret.
    However, I do not understand why it would not be done in Mayan Hall, which seats about 450 people and is the proper venue. After the formal swearing in, there should be a break for refreshments (perhaps in the foyer) as has been done in the past to honor and celebrate the occasion.

  14. The swearing-in should be an event enjoyed by anyone who wishes to attend. It is also the public's right to know under the provisions of the BROWN ACT, and as such should be officially noticed because it will be a gathering of three or more board members. WHY is there NO OFFICIAL WORD of it posted anywhere...It is not posted on the SWC website, there is no news release, no mention in the board meeting official AGENDA. This is not a good way to begin the new era at Southwestern College.

  15. Anons 7:57 and 10:19:

    Per the Brown Act, the public has a right to be informed of official gatherings where business may be discussed and decisions made. Social and ceremonial events are specifically excluded (provided the parties do not discuss specific business within their jurisdiction).

    See pages 8-11: http://caag.state.ca.us/publications/2003_Main_BrownAct.pdf