Arterberry aims for chancellorship

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By Daniel Segraves

Stan Arterberry is one of three candidates for the position of RCC chancellor. (Justin Henderson)

By Daniel Segraves

Stan Arterberry returns to Riverside City College as a candidate for the position of chancellor of the RCC District with a history at RCC and a past laden with progressive if sometimes unwelcome ideas.

In 1974, after attending Whittier College, Atlanta University and eventually receiving a certificate from Harvard University’s Institute for Educational Management, Arterberry began his ascension through the California leadership at RCC.

He began as assistant professor of sociology and history and eventually reached the status of dean of Student Services six years later.

Arterberry moved into West Hills Community College as the dean of Community Based Education in 1983.

He made an impression on the college, soon becoming the vice president for Academic/Student Services and went on to become superintendent-president of the District.

After a successful run at the West Hills Community College, he became Superintendent-president of the Solano Community College District and served there for eight years.

Arterberry’s reputation for being a strong leader led him to the West Valley-Mission Community College District as the chancellor of the district in 2002.

Arterberry was not only the chancellor, but the chief executive officer. Despite his record of success, it was here that Arterberry’s reputation would be tainted with a vote of “no confidence” from the Academic Senate of Mission College.

According to Santa Clara Councilman Kevin Moore, the financial crisis of the district began long before Arterberry arrived at the school. Arterberry’s position was assumed at a time when former Gov. Gray Davis had left many schools in a financial slump.

Moore, a former member of the West Valley-Mission Board of Trustees, explained that Arterberry was faced with laying off a large number of people. “He absolutely refused to lay off any teachers,” Moore said. “When (Arterberry) came in, he knew there were issues… but he was worried about doing what was right.”

Moore continued to say that the vote of no confidence came out of fear that jobs would be lost as Arterberry attempted to save what he could during the crisis.

“(Arterberry) couldn’t save everything, but he absolutely refused to lay off faculty,” Moore said. “We had to lose programs, but he refused to fire people.”

Academic Senate President Cathy Cox agrees that the vote came at a time when college were facing statewide financial problems.

Cox was also one of the faculty members who received a pink slip at the time, and said that some faculty are “still not favorably inclined.”

This fear of layoffs on behalf of the faculty led to the “no confidence” vote on Arterberry in 2003.

One week after the vote, however, all of the pink slips would be rescinded.

Despite the blemish on Arterberry, Moore still supports Arterberry’s decisions and applauds his character as an inventive, entrepreneurial leader.

Mission College, one of the two community colleges Arterberry now oversees, has begun preliminary talks with the San Francisco 49ers franchise.

The football team hopes to build a nearby stadium and use Mission’s parking lot on Sundays in exchange for work force programs for students and other opportunities for the school.

Cox agrees that this situation shows Arterberry’s wealth of experience with community leadership as well as his extensive wealth of contacts, but does not deny that there is a consensus among the faculty of Arterberry that makes him seem “arrogant,” as an anonymous Academic Senate member claimed.

Dave Fishbaugh, vice presdent of Instruction at West Valley College, shared Cox’s view of Arterberry.

“I’ve worked with Stan closely for nearly five years,” Fishbaugh said. “He’s a veteran in administration, honest and respectful. (Arterberry) can’t be loved by the entire faculty. He’s more of a ‘big picture’ kind of person… not to say he’s not aware of details.”

“Just as the faculty seems split on Arterberry, the truth may be the same way,” Cox said. “Stan will bring strength to the RCC district… a strength in regards to getting things done that Stan believes are in the best interest of everyone.”

Upon mention of Arterberry’s arrogance and what part it would play in future plans of RCC, Cox perceived the problem to be as complicated as she believes Arterberry himself is.

“Any leader must have some sense of arrogance,” Cox said. “Whether it’s overwhelming or not is the real question… that’s much harder to judge.”

For coverage of Arterberry’s town hall forums:

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