Norco interim president applies for permanent role

By Erik Galicia

Norco College Interim President Monica Green has announced that she will be applying for the college’s open permanent president position.

The Riverside Community College District has begun the presidential search and plans to present its choice to the Board of Trustees for a vote in January of the upcoming year.

Green, an 18 year employee of the district and former vice president of Planning and Development at Riverside City College, was appointed interim president of Norco College after the firing of Bryan Reece this past summer. She also served a short stint as interim president of Norco College from 2016 to 2017. 

“The feelings of loss, grief and anger are still here,” Green said about the college’s feelings on having their last president fired. “They’ve lessened somewhat, but there are still some unresolved feelings.”

Moving forward, Green plans to work with the district to achieve a fair and equitable budget allocation model “in the next few months” and help Norco College become a “fully comprehensive college.”

“We are still working on defining what a fully comprehensive college means,” Green said. “For me, it means we are serving our community. It means thriving arts and athletics. And offering the courses students need here so they don’t have to go elsewhere.”

According to Green, the college’s goal for the next budget cycle is to have that budget include a line item specifically for Norco College.

One of the top priorities within the college is the implementation of Guided Pathways, the new system for mapping the educational path of students. 

Green divides the new system into “four pillars,” the first of which is to clarify a student’s educational path. 

“Pillar two is to students enter that path and provide them with direction early on,” Green said. “That includes … providing the support students need to get through those transfer-level courses.”

The interim president explained the third and fourth pillars are to make sure students stay on their path and to ensure learning.

“This means restructuring our entire institution,” Green said.

Green attended Norco College’s presidential search focus group on Sept. 19, where she urged that the next permanent president be someone that is “able to support the full reorganization of our institution” around Guided Pathways.

Green explained that addressing the basic needs of students will continue to be a top priority should she be chosen as the permanent president. 

According to Kaneesha Tarrant, interim vice president of Student Services at Norco College, the college is exploring partnerships with local hotels for vouchers to house homeless students. 

With the announcement that the city of Riverside will fund the construction of a student housing facility in its downtown area in the coming years, Green suggested Norco College seek similar partnerships in its area.

“We need to look at how we can synergize our resources with non-profits and the surrounding area to help our students,” Green said. “There are requirements of cities to provide affordable housing. We should be a part of that.”  

Associated Students of Norco College President Sarah Gadalla, who meets with Green regularly, has agreed to contact community members herself to aid the progress in addressing student homelessness. 

Gadalla is participating in the presidential selection committee and will be looking at potential candidates and helping to pick the final three.