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It’s a small world

June 14, 2006

You’ve heard the phrase before. It’s a small world. It just got too small for me.

For several months I’ve been following a situation at Sierra College in Rocklin, Calif. The interm college president there, Dr. Morgan Lynn, had accused the board of trustees president there of overstepping his bounds and, among other things, asking her to get rid of the adviser to the student newspaper there (hence my interest in the story).

Small WorldWell, the world was already small because I have a relationship with Lynn, who was a VP of Instruction and Interim President here at Cerritos a few years ago. The world got smaller when I found out that Sierra is bringing in a new permanent president, Dr. Leo Chavez, who was the president at West Valley College who made the decision to eliminate the journalism program there, a move that led me to look for the job at Cerritos. For nearly 17 years I was the journalism teacher at West Valley College. So I have a relationship with Chavez, too.

The world got TOO SMALL when I realized today that the board president with whom Lynn is having issues, Jerry Simmons, is the same Jerry Simmons who is a former West Valley College student of mine. Simmons was on the newspaper staff and was author of some controversial stories in the school paper that may have played a role in West Valley deciding to eliminate the journalism program. I never felt that there was a one-to-one relationship of controversial content and the decision to eliminate the program, but I think the controversial content made the decision easier for Chavez to make.

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