On Valentine's Day, February 14, 1969, Saddleback Junior College District observed its second anniversary. It was the first observance that students were on campus to share.
The first six months of the calendar year of J969 placed the college in the midst of its first year of the instructional program at the new interim campus, on one hand, and in the throes of planning and moving for the 1969-70 academic year.
Summing up the operational phase of the college during this period, it could be accurately said, with double meaning intended, that Saddleback was on the move. Events of the year included the following:
The year opened with the commencement of the second term, Winter 1969 Quarter. The third and final term for the academic year, the Spring 1969 Quarter, ended June 25.
The permanent-campus planning, phase one, was to be completed in the spring of 1971.
The concept for a multi-campus, in the far future, was adopted by the Board of Trustees. (Note: The motion for the multi-campus concept placed a limitation on the size of the first campus of 7,500 to 13,000 full-time students.)
The college staged an open house February J4 in observance of the second anniversary of the founding of the district.
Senate Bill 773, approved by State legislators, eliminated a technical restriction on realigning the permanent campus boundaries. A portion of the northeastern area of the 199.99 -acre campus was exchanged for extension of the southwestern area to facilitate construction of an access road. The bill was authored by Senator John Schmitz, R-Santa Ana.
Selection of a second campus location would be a future decision -it was believed to be three to five years into the future; however, the Board noted that 40 per cent of the college's students resided in Tustin, the northern section of the district, and the farthest removed from the campus.
As Saddleback College moved into its second academic quarter, the administrative staff and duty assignments changed slightly. Fred H. Bremer, Ph.D., served in the dual position of superintendent/president. Roy N. Barletta was business manager. Melvin E. Mitchell continued as director of college and community services. However, because Bud Weber had resigned, the position of dean of instruction remained vacant. The school's only counselor, Mary M. Beets, also resigned. Because her resignation came in the middle of the year, finding a replacement was difficult. Two changes in titles were enacted, with the approval of the Board of Trustees, near the end of the first half of the 1969 calendar year. On June 4, the Board of Trustees changed John Flood's title of associate dean of students to dean of students, and R. L. Platt's title of assistant dean of admissions and records to dean of admissions and records. Jack A. Swartzbaugh was coordinator of student activities. Flood and Howard H. Marcou, who was business science division chairman, continued duties as assistant deans of extended-day.
Continuing as division chairmen were B. George Hartman, health, physical education and athletics; Doyle G. McKinney, Ph.D., languages and fine arts; James F. Thorpe, science, mathematics, engineering and technology; and William M. Williams, social science. Librarian was Arlene Moore.
There were 34 full-time instructors in the classrooms and 30 part-time instructors for the extended-day program. An additional 25 new instructors, to be assigned in the fal1 of 1969, were offered contracts by June 30. Two other instructors were scheduled to be offered contracts at a later date.
Ray Chermak served as director of planning, buildings and grounds, and Ray Duthoy as purchasing agent.
There were 30 classified employees on the staff as this period ended. The reelection of two Board of Trustees incumbents, Backus and Vogel, in April 1969, assured that the same Board membership would extend through June 30, 1971, when the terms of Brannon, Collins, and Zitnik would expire. The Board reduced its meetings from the first, second and fourth Mondays to the second and fourth Mondays, starting at 7:45 p.m., beginning in April 1969.
Although at the start of 1969, the college sought financial assistance from the State in order to build its permanent campus, the first fiscal year closed in June 1969, on a happy note. Nearly one-half million dollars remained as a beginning balance for the fiscal year 1969-70. The proposed budget for 1969-70 was pending further studies and a public hearing scheduled for August 4. However, the Board of Trustees and administration indicated the tax levy would be 53 cents on $100 assessed valuation, thus keeping a promise made to the people during the bond election of 1968.
The breakdown established was 40 cents in general tax rate -one of the lowest in the county -and 13 cents for interest and redemption payments on bonds.
However, a new, unknown made projections for the budget even more difficult. The Orange County Board of Supervisors placed agricultural land in preserves. This land included over 50,000 acres of Irvine Ranch and over 36,000 acres of Rancho Mission Viejo. It was feared this proposal would cost the college $100,000 in tax revenue. Under the preserve program, an agreement between the county and landowners meant the acreage would be used only for agricultural purposes for the next several years, and the land would be assessed at a lower value based on agricultural use, not other development valuation.
With the property placed in preserve under the enabling power of the state's Williamson Act, it was not immediately disclosed by the county assessor's office how much the college district should estimate the assessed valuation of this preserve land. College officials voiced concern to county officials at several hearings held on the land preserve proposal. The Board of Trustees approved a resolution January 27 that requested the Supervisors deny an application for establishment of an agricultural preserve "when the establishment of such preserve will result in a substantial loss of tax income to local taxing districts."
The resolution also urged the Supervisors to request the State Legislature to enact legislation providing a method that the state or county compensate the loss of the tax revenue.
During the months of preliminary planning for the 1969-70 budget, the district approved a salary schedule for instructors with a range from $8,000 per year for first-year instructors to $22,000 for instructors with 30 years' experience and a doctorate degree or equivalent.
Approved April 14, the salary schedule provided credit for all teaching experience, whether at Saddleback or another institution. It provided a future pay scale related to the cost-of-living index. The negotiations and plans for the relocatable facilities to the permanent campus continued during this period with two large contracts for development, construction and the move of buildings.
On April 7, the Sully-Miller Contracting Company of Orange was awarded a contract on its low bid of $253,661 for site development which included grading, road construction and installation of a water line.
The following week, April 14, the Board awarded a $1.5 million contract to W. J. Shirley, Incorporated of Pasadena for its low bid of moving the 13 relocatable buildings from the interim campus to the permanent campus and for construction of additional structures, doubling the facility from 36,040 square feet to 72,369 square feet.
During this period the Board of Trustees was reviewing district policies for the purpose of clarification and updating, where appropriate. In its review of the purchasing policies, the Board approved a measure to encourage purchasing within the district. The policy stated that purchases not exceeding $500 will be made from firms located within the area of the district, whenever the prices quoted are not more than 5 per cent above the prices quoted by firms located outside the district.
With the beginning of the 1969 calendar year, college officials were looking for some financial relief from the state to help defray capital outlay expenses. The previous year, Saddleback College failed to receive funds under the Junior College Construction Act.
With the support of the Board of Governors of California Community Colleges, the State Senate approved Senate Bill 508 that could mean financial assistance to new colleges, such as Saddleback, under the Junior College Construction Act funds.
Saddleback College applied but was not eligible to qualify for assistance in construction under Title I of the Higher Education Facilities Act. The reasons for the college's ineligibility were because the interim campus property was not owned by the college, and the relocatable buildings were already complete.
Heavy rains that fell generally throughout Southern California caused little damage at the interim campus. Soil eroded severely at the northwest end of the physical education athletic field, but this did not interfere with the physical education or athletic programs.
With plans for the move to the permanent campus following the end of the spring quarter, the Board of Trustees canceled the summer session upon recommendation of the administration. The scheduled move to the permanent campus meant the physical relocation of the interim campus buildings.
Equipment and supplies had to be relocated also.
The Winter 1969 Quarter opened January 6, and closed March 21. The Spring 1969 Quarter was scheduled to open April 2 but was delayed until April 3 because of national mourning of the death of former U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower.
During this period, in addition to teaching a full-time load and, in most cases, loads with multiple preparations, many members of the staff had to look to the fall in terms of offering additional courses, employing more instructors, planning for sophomore-level curriculum, and planning for new facilities.
While it would appear that events were running smoothly, campus dissension took place. Headlines in the Daily Sun-Post, February 7, 1969 read "Saddleback College Near Chaos: Five-Months-Old Institution Called Educational Dictatorship." The article noted:
"Saddleback Junior College, which opened its doors just last fall, is rapidly becoming an educational disaster ... Students are quitting the college by the hundreds. In the second quarter which began last month, there was a 20-percent drop in enrollment over the first quarter."
The article went on to report that the Dean of Students was locked out of his office to force his resignation, that faculty were intimidated against forming an Academic Senate and felt that they were under a dictatorship, and students were enraged over the strict dress code. Letters in rebuttal claimed that the local paper had printed "half truths."
The enrollment had decreased. The opening fall enrollment had been 1,536. The winter quarter accounted for 629 full-time and 586 part-time students for a total of 1,215. The spring quarter equaled 519 full-time and 490 part-time students for a total of 1,009.
Almost a year later an article in the Los Angeles Times, Feb. I, 1970, observed, "U.S. District Court Judge Harry Pregerson, sitting in Los Angeles, has handed down one preliminary injunction ordering admission of five students the administration decreed had long hair. Three other students with long hair were allowed to register if they complied with the code either by putting their tresses in a ponytail style or wrapping it with a band of some kind."
The same article noted, '"A predominant feeling among many Saddleback faulty is that this is the best teaching job they've ever had , something just this side of the millennium."
The curriculum, which accommodated only freshmen during this term, included anthropology, art, astronomy, biology, business, chemistry, drama, economics, engineering, English, French, geology, German, health, history, journalism, marine science, mathematics, music, philosophy, physical education, physics, political science, psychology, Russian, sociology, Spanish, and speech.
Occupational programs included accounting, airline stewardess, clerk typist, drafting, technology, general business, merchandising and selling, police science and secretarial.
There were more than 100 courses offered.
With both freshman and sophomore-level courses to be offered during the 1969-70 academic year, the Board of Trustees approved the 1969-70 curriculum. The day program would offer 145 courses and the extended day would provide 75 courses.
Division chairmen and Dr. Bremer interviewed and recommended offering contracts to 25 new instructors by June. Additions would join the staff in the fall.
On May 7, two representatives of the Accrediting Commission for Junior Colleges, Western Association of Schools and Colleges, officially visited Saddleback College, and at a June 16-17 meeting of the full commission it voted to accept Saddleback College as a "Recognized Candidate for Accreditation" for a one-year period, ending June 30, 1970. The previous year the college had been granted "Correspondent" status. It took a minimum of three years for full accreditation.
The college's honor program for high school students within the area of the college district was implemented. During the winter quarter, five students from San Clemente High School and one student from Mission Viejo High attended. The Mission Viejo student continued the program during the spring quarter. It was determined that during the 1969-70 academic year, students would be allowed to attend under the honors program throughout the day. During this beginning honors program, students were offered classes only at the 8 a.m. period.
The College Faculty Association elected new officers. Bob Parsons, science and mathematics instructor, was elected president. He succeeded Bill Otta, physical education instructor. The faculty also formed an Academic Senate during this period. It was officially recognized by the Board of Trustees.
James Thorpe, division chairman of science, mathematics, engineering and technology, was named to head the Senate.
The community services and instructional program scheduled numerous public, educational and entertaining programs open to the college community.
On February 14, the college observed an anniversary "Open House Tea."
Guest lecturer Colonel Walter F. Dunn, Jr., retired U.S. Military Agent, spoke on "France, Friend or Foe."
The drama department presented the production of "Winnie the Pooh" at various local elementary schools.
John Lenk, world traveler, presented a film-lecture for day and evening programs.
The drama classes also staged "Solid Gold Cadillac" and "The Fantasticks."
The language and fine arts division presented a "Fine Arts Festival and the first Oral Interpretation Festival"
"Amigos Night," May 20, was presented to acquaint prospective students, parents, and friends of the college with the campus.
Throughout the academic year, about 40 programs were presented to civic, service and community groups by the college staff and students under the Speakers Bureau service.
Subcommittees of the General Advisory Committee met throughout the period. Certificates denoting outstanding leadership were presented to members with the conclusion of term June 30.
The Associated Student Body was, at this time, led by student Stan Kenyon, who was quoted in the February 4, 1969 Sun Post as saying, "Educationally, Saddleback is going downhill .. . There is an atmosphere of secrecy and intimidation about how the administration and Board of Trustees operate." Board member Collins retorted in a letter to the newspaper that the Board of Trustees had asked student government to persuade students not to litter the parking lots.
Thus, the Associated Student Body, with Stan Kenyon of Tustin serving as president, formed a constitution committee. The constitution was approved by the Board of Trustees, but in a close tally, it failed to receive the two-third plurality approval by the students. The count was 49 "yes" and 32 "no." The election was held concurrently with election for the 1969-70 ASB officers.
Elected to serve as president for the 1969-70 academic year was John Bothwell of Laguna Beach.
Basketball, track and baseball highlighted the sports activity. Coach Roy Stevens' basketball team ended its 28-game schedule with an 8-win, 20loss record.
All track meets were held away because of lack of track facilities at Saddleback. Coach Jay Roelen's trackmen held 5 wins, 13 losses and one tied game.
Baseball provided excitement at the home baseball diamond, and Coach Douglas Fritz's team recorded 4 wins and 22 losses.
The Scholarship Commission -composed of citizens, student representation, and staff educators -was active with the following scholarships and loan fund grants received during this period.
Scholarships were presented by the Scholarship Commission for the winter and spring quarters. Recipients and awards were:
Outstanding Scholarship Award Paul Cox
Division Award Charlene Patterson
Business Division Scholarship Commission Award Eva Parret and Charles Rawn
Student Activities Scholarship Linda Whitacre
Dan Collins Scholarship Herbert Henry
Outstanding Scholarship Award April Mysliwy
Division Award Bradley McMahon Languages and Fine Arts Division
Scholarship Commission Award Bruce Anderson and Dennis Franklin
Student Activities Scholarship Bob Yount
San Clemente Optimist Club Charles Rawn
Outstanding Student Government Officer Fred Turnbull
At the conclusion of the six-month period, Saddleback Junior College District offices were moved to temporary quarters in preparation for relocation of its interim facilities to the permanent campus.
The administrative offices, which included the division chairmen section, were moved to Crown Valley Elementary School, a few miles west of the interim campus, 29292 Crown Valley Parkway, South Laguna. The school is in the Capistrano Unified School District.
On June 19, the equipment and supplies from health, physical education and athletics division, library, and maintenance garage equipment were moved to the warehouse.
On June 26, the day following the end of the spring quarter, supplies and equipment from the student center, art and drafting rooms, music room, and classrooms K, L, and M were moved to the warehouse.
On June 27, administration and faculty office equipment and supplies were moved to Crown Valley Elementary School, Building B. On June 30, the moving vans completed the transfer of supplies and equipment from the science, biology and business science classrooms to the warehouse.
On May 1, ground-breaking ceremonies for the Saddleback College permanent campus were held. The site was described as located in the hills of historic Rancho Mission Viejo, commonly known as the O'Neill Ranch, and taking in part of an abandoned private airstrip.
Participating in the ceremony. in addition to local and state dignitaries, were the Rancho Viejo High School Band, El Toro Marine Color Guard, Rancho Mission Viejo cowboys on horseback, and college Board of Trustees and officials.
Relocatable facilities on the permanent campus, scheduled for completion by September, consisted of20 steel-frame, and all-steel structure buildings housing administration and staff offices, library, student center, physical education quarters, operation and service facilities, and 35 classrooms and laboratories. The campus included an athletic field for the physical education program and paved parking for 1,000 vehicles. Utilities were to be installed underground. Avery Parkway and Marguerite Parkway would border the campus in the near future. The relocatable buildings on the permanent campus provided 72,369 square feet compared to 36,040 square feet in the interim campus facility.
Contract called for completion of the campus by early September.
Registration was scheduled for September 15 and classes would begin September 22.
The target date for completion of the first phase of the permanent construction, to possibly include the library, science and fine arts facilities, was the spring of 1971.
Summary of 1969
The first six months of the 1969 calendar year was a period of success notwithstanding internal conflicts.
The educational accomplishments during the college's first year of instructional operation more than matched the hopes of the concerned citizens when they went to the polls to form the district in 1967.