Merced College board votes to appoint new Area 5 trustee

yamaro@mercedsunstar.comDecember 5, 2012 

— The Merced College Board of Trustees on Tuesday night voted to appoint a new trustee.

Joe Gutierrez, a Los Banos insurance agent, will represent Area 5. He replaced trustee Eugene Vierra, who resigned from the board because he retired.

The board had the option to appoint a new trustee or hold a special election. A special election could have cost the college $10,000 to $20,000.

Three new trustees also took their seat on the board during Tuesday night's meeting. They include Gary Arzamendi, who will represent Area 2, Atwater; Wayne Hicks, who will represent Area 3, north Merced; and Jean Upton, who will represent Area 6, Chowchilla. Gutierrez will take his seat on the board next month.

The new trustees have said they share the same priorities -- getting the college out of academic warning status with its accreditation and continuing to ensure it has a solid budget.

The college has been on warning status from the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges since the summer of 2011. The college has to submit a follow-up report in March detailing how it has addressed the commission's concerns and recommendations.

Reporter Yesenia Amaro can be reached at (209) 385-2482 or yamaro@mercedsunstar.com.

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