At its regular monthly meeting on June 9, the Governing Board of the Palomar Community College District unanimously voted to appoint Dr. Jack Kahn as Interim Superintendent/President of the District effective July 1, 2020.
Dr. Kahn has been serving as Acting Superintendent/President since December 2019.
Each member of the Governing Board provided statements of support and approbation of Dr. Kahn, recognizing him for his leadership and dedication during the last six months. While serving in the acting role, Dr. Kahn has led several initiatives to address the fiscal health of the District; facilitated responses to the needs of faculty, staff and students during the COVID-19 pandemic; and most recently, supported colleagues in their organization of a Black Lives Matter forum and vigil, at which he provided opening remarks.
The latter was attended by 300 faculty, staff, students and community members and provided an opportunity for all to listen, learn and build a unified approach to abolishing racism.
“It has certainly been an unusual time to lead one of the largest districts in the state,” said Dr. Kahn. “I credit the incredible team of administrators, faculty leaders and staff for the results we have been able to achieve within such a short time. We have been able to reduce our structural deficit for this fiscal year through a lot of collaboration, a renewed sense of trust, and difficult decision making.”
“I am really looking forward to working with my colleagues to further improve our fiscal stability, serve students during this difficult economic downturn, and develop an anti-racist culture during a time when our region needs us most,” he added.
The Governing Board also approved a contract extension for Acting Assistant Superintendent/Vice President for Instruction Shayla Sivert. After a short stint in retirement, Ms. Sivert returned to the District in February of this year to work with Division Deans, Department Chairs and faculty leaders to support faculty and staff and their commitment to student success.
With the onset of the Governor’s Stay at Home Order, Ms. Sivert effectively led the transition of hundreds of courses to a remote format so that students could continue to achieve their goals. This work will continue during the summer as the College continues to deliver courses online this fall.
“I am grateful for Ms. Sivert’s leadership and for the team of professionals who have truly worked tirelessly these last months to support our students,” said Dr. Kahn.
In the month prior, the Board approved the hire of Vikash Lakhani to the permanent position of Assistant Superintendent/ Vice President of Student Services. Dr. Lakhani will start on July 1 and hails from Cal State University Bakersfield, where he most recently served as the Associate Vice President of Student Success. He brings over 14 years of experience in enrollment management, student support operations, and programs designed to enable students to achieve to their highest ability.
“We are very much looking forward to working with Dr. Lakhani and our student services colleagues to further support our students on their pathway to earn their degree,” said Dr. Kahn.