(Santa Ana)—Rancho Santiago Community College District (RSCCD) Trustee Brian E. Conley, M.A., has retired from his seat effective June 30, 2012. Conley of Santa Ana submitted his resignation to Phillip E. Yarbrough, president of the RSCCD Board of Trustees. With 24 years of continuous service and leadership, he is the Board’s longest-serving member. The Board of Trustees will formally accept Conley’s resignation at its meeting on June 18.
“The length of Brian’s tenure on the Board of Trustees speaks volumes about his dedication to our students, the community, and the mission of community colleges on a local, state, and national level,” said Raúl Rodríguez, Ph.D., RSCCD chancellor. “His spirit and perseverance will be missed.”
Conley’s seat represents what was formerly Trustee Area 1, which included a large portion of Santa Ana and a portion of east Garden Grove. On May 21, the RSCCD Board of Trustees voted to adopt revised trustee area boundaries, changing the past at-large method of electing trustees to elections by individual trustee areas. That action increased the number of trustee areas from three to seven and changed Conley’s seat from Trustee Area 1 to the newly created Trustee Area 5. The Board is composed of seven elected trustees, who serve four-year terms.
Conley was elected to the Board in November 1988 and is in his sixth term. During his tenure as a trustee, Conley has served as president of the Board an unprecedented five times. He is currently chair of the Board's Legislative Committee and serves as a member of the Board Policy Committee. He was selected in 2009 to serve a three-year term as the Regional State Coordinator for the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT), the nation's leading trustee trade association, based in Washington D.C. His responsibility included keeping ACCT leaders apprised of the challenges and innovations of California's community colleges - the largest two-year college system in the nation. He also participates in federal advocacy efforts spearheaded by ACCT.
“Since 1988, I’ve served with 20 elected and/or appointed trustees and four chancellors,” said Conley. “During that time, RSCCD has had many challenges in regard to funding, planning, direction, establishing a multi-college district, serving the needs of our diverse community, and numerous public policy issues. The district is fortunate to have an outstanding team made up of faculty, staff, and administration who have made my job as a trustee much easier. Providing the tools for students to chart their own course in life is what RSCCD does best and this board is at the helm of that ship.”
Recently, Conley was appointed by California Assembly Speaker John Pérez to serve a five-year term on the California Student Aid Commission. Conley was specially appointed because of his expertise regarding community colleges and his reputation as a statewide and national leader.
In addition to these current leadership positions, he also was an appointee of the California State Assembly to the Statewide Pupil Assessment Review Board. In 1999, Governor Gray Davis appointed Conley to the Board of Governors of the California Community College System, a position he held for four years.
During his 24 years of service to RSCCD, Conley has received many awards, including: the national Trustee Leadership Award from the Association of Community College Trustees; the Advocate of the Year Award from the Faculty Association of California Community Colleges; the Community College Leadership Award from the California Federation of Teachers; and Outstanding Alumni Awards from both Sacramento City College and California State University, Sacramento. He has also been recognized for his commitment to higher education in California, including two Television Arts & Sciences "Emmy" nominations for educational productions he directed and produced.
He has been a professor at Golden West College (GWC) for over 37 years, where he has served as department chair for ten years and participated on numerous academic committees. He has also announced his retirement from the college.
Prior to his appointment as professor at GWC, he served two years as an aide to Congressman Jerome R. Waldie of California. As a member of the Orange County Community Colleges Legislative Task Force, Conley has also served as an advisor on higher education issues for California Assembly Members, California State Senators, State Cabinet members, and Congressional leaders.
A reception is planned to honor Conley for 35 years of public service on Friday, June 22, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. at Rancho Santiago Community College District, 2323 N. Broadway, Board Room 107, Santa Ana. For more information, call (714) 480-7450.
About Rancho Santiago Community College District
The mission of the Rancho Santiago Community College District (RSCCD) is to respond to the educational needs of an ever-changing community and to provide programs and services that reflect academic excellence. Santa Ana College and Santiago Canyon College are public community colleges of RSCCD, which serve the residents of Anaheim Hills, East Garden Grove, Irvine, Orange, Santa Ana, Tustin and Villa Park. Both colleges provide education for academic transfer and careers, courses for personal and professional development, customized training for business and industry, and programs to train nurses, firefighters and law enforcement personnel.
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