So Cal education, LAUSD, the Cal States and the UCs

UC Davis police chief says she will retire; 'this chapter of my life must be closed'

Occupy Pepper Spray

Wayne Tilcock / AP

File: In this Nov. 18, 2011 file photo, University of California, Davis Police Lt. John Pike uses pepper spray to move Occupy UC Davis protesters while blocking their exit from the school's quad in Davis, Calif.

The police chief who oversaw the UC Davis Police Department during the November incident in which peaceful protesters were pepper sprayed said today that she is retiring. 

Annette Spicuzza told the Sacramento Bee today in an email statement that she does not want the incident to define her or the university and so she is stepping down "in order to start the healing process."

"My 27 years in law enforcement have been dedicated to the ethical and committed service to the departments and communities I have been proud to be a part of," the statement read. "For the past seven years, I have accomplished many good things for both the Police Department and community here at UC Davis; and am grateful to those of you who have remembered this. As the university does not want this incident to be its defining moment, nor do I wish for it to be mine. I believe in order to start the healing process, this chapter of my life must be closed."

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Santa Monica College board to hold emergency public meeting Friday

Santa Monica College

mylocationscouts/Flickr/Creative Commons

Two college students were injured after getting pepper sprayed while rallying at a Board of Trustees meeting at Santa Monica College.

The Santa Monica College Board of Trustees will hold an emergency public meeting at 10:30 a.m. Friday to discuss California Community Colleges Chancellor Jack Scott's request that the college put on hold its plan to offer a new tier of higher-cost courses this summer.

Scott called Santa Monica College President Chui L. Tsang Wednesday to make the request after students were pepper sprayed by campus police at a Board of Trustees meeting the night prior while protesting the plan.

Three students were transfered to a hospital for minor injuries; the college is reimbursing them for their costs.

The incident is under investigation by campus officials.

Scott has asked the state Attorney General for guidance on the legality of the Santa Monica College plan. He said he expects their opinion in the next couple weeks.

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Santa Monica College will continue with two-tier class pricing plan

santa monica college

Photo by Michele Markel Connors via Flickr Creative Commons

Santa Monica College.

Santa Monica College will continue with plans to implement a new tier of higher cost classes this summer despite a request from the California Community Colleges Chancellor Jack Scott to put the program on hold after protesting students were pepper sprayed Tuesday night by campus police, said college spokesman Bruce Smith today.

Santa Monica College President Chui L. Tsang spoke with Scott on the phone Wednesday, the morning after students were pepper sprayed while interrupting a Board of Trustees meeting.

"Dr. Tsang was very appreciative of the call," Smith said. "They had a great conversation and the college is going to take that request under full consideration. As of this point, here is no change, we're moving ahead with the program."

The college plans to initially offer about 50 courses priced at $180 to $200 a unit this summer. That would be at least five times the current $36 per unit, which is a fee set by the Legislature. Fees will rise to $46 per unit this summer. The higher-fee classes will support themselves, university officials said.

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Chancellor questions fairness of SMC plan to provide higher-cost classes

Vanessa Romo/KPCC

Kayleigh Wade, a freshman at Santa Monica College, and her partner Aura Chavez were both pepper sprayed at a recent protest there.

Community Colleges Chancellor Jack Scott said today that a Santa Monica College plan to offer a two-tier pricing plan for classes raises questions of fairness for the open enrollment system.

"The biggest issue right here is whether or not we are favoring those who have greater income over those who don’t," Scott said. "That's I think where it's problematic."

Scott has asked the state's Attorney general for an opinion on the legality of the program, which would provide additional self-funded courses to students. On Wednesday, Scott advised Santa Monica College President Chui L. Tsang to put the plan on hold the morning after dozens of students were pepper sprayed by campus police as they protested at a Board of Trustees meeting.

As of 10 a.m. the college had not made any decision to put the plan on hold, said spokesman Bruce Smith. In a recent interview, Tsang said the college believed its plans are legal. "We definitely want to work within the limits of the law," Tsang said.

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Community Colleges Chancellor asks SMC president to put two-tier plan on hold

Jack Scott, California Community Colleges

Tami Abdollah / KPCC

California Community Colleges Chancellor Jack Scott talks about the impact of the state's budget crisis on the nation's largest higher education system.

In a phone call the morning after Santa Monica College students were pepper sprayed by campus police, California Community Colleges Chancellor Jack Scott advised college President Chui L. Tsang to put on hold a plan to offer a tier of higher-cost classes this summer.

"[Tsang's] a good friend of mine and I have a lot of respect for him," Scott said in an interview today. "He is obviously trying to determine what the incident was. I did say that given the circumstances that perhaps it would be wise to put this program on hold until we would get a ruling on the legality of it. That’s only my advice. Chui Tsang answers directly to the Santa Monica elected Board of Trustees. He made it clear, and I understand."

Campus police used pepper spray on about 30 students Tuesday night as they interrupted a Board of Trustees meeting to protest a new plan to offer to start offering courses — priced at roughly five times the current $36 per unit fee at $180 to $200 a unit.

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