By Benjamin Diaz
The Board of Trustees appointed Irma Archuleta to fill the LBCC District’s vacant Area 2 seat after a second round of public interviews during a special meeting on Thursday Sept. 11.
Out of five finalists, Trustees Virginia Baxter, Doug Otto and Jeff Kellogg had ranked her at number one. Trustee Sunny Zia had given Vivian Malauuhu a first-place ranking and Archuleta fifth.
The rankings were used only as an advisory vote. The Board then voted unanimously for the appointment, and Archuleta took the oath of office there in T1100 on the LAC.
The newly sworn-in trustee said to LBCC students she was excited to hear from them. “I’m looking forward to working with student leadership, to working with … the student groups and just to find out what their needs are and how we as a Board can serve the students. What we can do to improve their experience here at the college.”
A long-time resident of Long Beach, Trustee Archuleta commutes weekly to San Jose where she has been the vice president of Student Affairs
at Evergreen Valley College since 2008.
She has worked at Rio Hondo, El Camino, Compton and Santa Ana community colleges, her resume states. From 1982 to 2000 she worked at Cal State Long Beach and again from ’06 to ’08 as a teacher.
The 61-year-old attended Compton City College and transferred to Cal State Dominguez Hills where she earned both a bachelor’s degree in human studies in 1981, and a master’s degree in public administration in 1998.
In her first interview Tuesday, she spoke about equity and making communication efforts for underserved populations. Archuleta has spent many years advocating for undocumented students. She has given presentations about Dreamers at conferences in 13 cities in eight states across the country.
Speaking to LBCC’s student Dreamers, she said, “I hope they feel welcome at this institution. They have a right to be here just like anyone else and I hope they’re taking advantage of the education and the services that are available here.”
When talking about issues other candidates wanted addressed, Archuleta brought up Vivian Malauulu’s interview response about high school preparation and said it was important to align the curriculum so transitioning students have a better time adjusting to community college.
“I think it’s a critical point that (Malauulu) made about the work that she is doing in the classroom and how we need to have our faculty work with faculty in the high school,” Archuleta said.
When talking about what he liked in Archuleta’s application and resume, President Oakley cited her understanding of how community colleges work, the “challenges we face,” and the college’s relationship with Cal State Long Beach. “I think the students will be very proud of their new trustee and very proud that she represents their interests,” Oakley said.
Roberto Uranga served as the Area 2 trustee for 14 years and resigned on July 15 to become a city councilman for Long Beach’s 7th district.