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By Kristin Grafft
Faculty Senate President Bob Chester took a surprising turn in his speech at the Cerritos College convocation, warning that he was done sitting silently at the board meetings.
Chester elaborated on his statement at the September 24 faculty senate meeting saying that he would try to be respectful and collaborative, but “if this body wants me to just sit there, then we need to talk about who’s going to be senate president.”
Chester then proceeded to express the many concerns that he has with the board, and with one trustee in particular.
Chester said that he is especially troubled by, what he described as, “remarkable cynicism about the college.”
He stated that he continues to hear stories about “one of our trustees” bashing and attacking the president, sending inappropriate emails, and, “making wild accusations about stealing and other activities.”
He went on to say that there is a growing perception that the board is protecting the individual. Chester was very clear, however, that he took no issue with the president herself and instead advised her to take legal action to protect herself from this individual.
Chester also said that he would be willing to meet with any of the trustees and argued the notion that the board president should be concerned to meet with him because of his, “ferocious temper and [his] physical hostility towards people.”
“You don’t get to be faculty senate president for five terms if you’re a bully,” Chester said, referring to Trustee John Drayer’s alleged email stating that he was a bully and was bullied by him.
He also explained that there was, “a single faculty member that got in [his] face and [he] was less than polite, and [he] makes no apologies for that.”
Chester then continued, saying that he has witnessed a “complete lack of humility” at the board meetings and is concerned about the way people have been treated.
“I see people texting, I see people talking, I see people not paying attention, I hear people asking a question that has just been answered, and so I’m concerned about that. I think people have been treated really shabbily at the table,” Chester said.
Chester then reiterated numerous times that, “The only thing I want to say to you is that I have just finished being silent about certain things.”
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