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Chancellor emeritus

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By Monique Larkin


By Monique Larkin

The term emeritus, loosely translated can mean among the best of retired professionals and officials.

The best, not loosely translated, means that there has been competition before and a long list of predecessors who have come and went leaving their legacy behind.

The RCC Board of Trustees appointed Salvatore Rotella chancellor emeritus on Oct. 20. He will serve as a consultant for two years that will end his contract at RCC as chancellor.

He has been the only chancellor in RCC history.

Salvatore Rotella is the first chancellor of Riverside Community College who was elected December 2004 after being the president of RCC for 12 years.

“We have to move on,” said RCC president Daniel Castro. “It is another phase for Rotella.”

Board of Trustees member Jose Medina reflected that perhaps the term emeritus might be a bit much when Rotella announced his retirement as the only “former chancellor.”

“I am extremely concerned that he is going to be serving as a paid consultant,” Medina said. “And why a special meeting was held at such short notice.”

Jan Schall, department chair of Behavioral Science, is pleased that Rotella will be able to give guidance to the future chancellor of RCC and projects such as the RCC School of the Arts were born under his leadership.

“He has produced an intellectual community,” Schall said. “He has a long history of years of service. He is a visionary whose experience has been long-standing. We need a person who knows us.”

Board of Trustees member, Mark Takano mirrored Schall’s reaction. “He is the Inland Empire wise man,” Takano said. “He will serve as a welcoming gift for the next chancellor.”

Wes Stonebreaker reacted in the same manner as Medina saying that he was shocked that a “meeting like this” was held in such short notice and students were not involved.

“This was done behind closed doors.” Stonebreaker said. “It would be better to make a clean break and start with new blood.”

Due to being in Northern California in order to serve on an accreditation team for community colleges, Board of Trustees member Grace Slocum was not able to attend the “special meeting.”

“I think that it is very said commentary on the administration’s part,” Slocum said. “He still has full power to run the college, exactly the same power.”

Slocum suggested that the administration’s motivation is leaning more toward the politics of RCC itself, instead of the basis of the college which is the students who attend RCC.

“It is very clear to me that their sights have been diverted,” Slocum said. “They have basically sidelined the students.”

However, Rotella is honored to remain serving RCC.

“If I knew it wasn’t desirable to be elected this, I would just go,” Rotella said. “I will relinquish the office.”

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