College of the Canyons Chancellor Dianne Van Hook’s contract was extended to 2025 during Wednesday’s board of trustees meeting.
This comes after the board conducted a special closed session meeting last week to evaluate Van Hook’s performance, an annual occurrence that had been postponed from June to last week due to the pandemic.
Van Hook’s evaluation followed the college’s Trustee Area elections, in which two incumbents secured their reelection and COC alum Sebastian Cazares was elected to join the board to represent Area No. 3. The chancellor’s evaluation took place two weeks before Cazares was set to take his seat.
Following the closed session last week and again during Wednesday’s meeting, COC faculty member Nicole Faudree questioned the board’s urgency in holding the meeting, sentiments that Trustees Joan MacGregor and Edel Alonso echoed.
“I think the most important role of the board … is the selection and evaluation of your superintendent, president, chancellor, and to have our board wait, again, to be late, late, late, and then all of a sudden rush it through without any time to study, to pose goals, to get a new instrument together, to look at the tools that might be available or being used at other colleges, was very inappropriate,” MacGregor said, adding that she resents the rush through the process.
Alonso agreed, adding, “I’m very uncomfortable with us having contract language and having board policies, and then ignoring those regulations and moving forward with actions that totally disregard and ignore our own policies.”
While both MacGregor and Alonso abstained from the vote, the motion passed with a 3-0 vote.
Following amendments agreed to by the board, the final year of the contract is set to automatically be extended an additional year on June 30, 2021, to 2025.
“The ending date of the contract may be extended for an additional year, subject to the chancellor, Santa Clarita Community College District and president (of) College of the Canyons receiving a satisfactory performance evaluation by the board of trustees,” the contract stated.
Van Hook’s 2019 salary was $351,112.41 in addition to $79,333.43 in benefits, according to Transparent California.
The district is expected to continue setting aside $9,000 per year through 2024-25 to assist in covering the costs of long-term care, supplemental health, dental and vision care, upon retirement, per the contract.
Those benefits, according to the contract, are renewable in future years upon the mutual agreement of both parties (amount and duration).