MERCED -- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.