RCCD Board of Trustees Vice President steps down

Nathan A. Miller stepped down as vice president due to backlash for controversial tweets

By Diego D. Garcia 

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Riverside Community College District Board of Trustee member Nathan A. Miller’s resignation from his position as vice president was made public Sept. 26.

Miller was elected to the Board in 2012 and currently remains the representative-trustee for Area 1, which consists of Eastvale, Norco and Corona.

RCCD Academic Senate President Mark Sellick presented a vote of no confidence to the Board on Sept. 20 in which he expressed his dismay with Miller in regards to his tweets made about Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

  The tweets contained a meme that showed a hangman standing at a gallows, with text at the bottom that reads “I’m Ready for Hillary.”

President Virginia Blumenthal formed a Board of Trustees Ethics Advisory Committee that night to investigate the claims made against Miller.

RCCD Secretary Tracy Vackar and Trustee Mary Figueroa were assigned on Sept. 20, to oversee that task force.

This committee could only motion to censure or strip Miller from the title of vice president.

Dariush Haghighat, president of the Faculty Association says that Miller has been playing “Russian roulette,” with the vice president position and did not heed his past advice and mentoring. He refers to Miller’s retweets as “sexist and violent,” in rhetoric.

Miller’s resignation as vice president was announced to Figueroa and Vackar before any action could be taken but Vackar and Figueroa concluded that Miller was in direct violation of Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges Accreditation Standard IV.C. 11.

The standard states that an accredited individual must refrain from displaying a political partisan when assuming a position on an educational board.

According to Vackar, the law restricts an individual or group of individuals from removing a member of their board from their elected representative position.

Vackar and Figueroa later moved to issue a governance committee to review and consider updating Board Policy 2715 in conjunction with ACCJC IV.11.

Vackar said that RCCD’S Code of Ethics is outdated.

“It was so loose that it was difficult to corral. The only opportunity it gave us was to censure,” she said.

Haghighat says that he commends the Board — primarily Vackar and Figueroa — for going “beyond the call of duty,” while investigating Miller’s code of conduct.

Haghighat also said that Miller’s resignation was not sincere and that he, along with the Faculty Association will not be satisfied until Miller steps down from the Board entirely.

“We will not be satisfied until he resigns from the board all together. His resignation is a step forward,” Haghighat said.