Klein focuses on future for college | TheUnion.com

Klein focuses on future for college

Newly elected Sierra College trustee Aaron Klein vowed Wednesday to move past the controversy surrounding the departure of retired president Kevin Ramirez and concentrate on bringing quality education to more students.

Speaking at the monthly Nevada County Republican Central Committee meeting, Klein, 26, also said he would work to increase investments into the college system’s fund for retired teachers to avoid projected shortfalls.

Klein opened his speech by thanking the group that met him nearly a year ago as a relatively unknown entrepreneur seeking to replace 20-year board veteran David Parker.

“Thank you for giving me a chance,” he said. “I’m profoundly grateful for you and Nevada County for supporting me,” he said.

Klein and Roseville-area trustee Scott Leslie were elected on a slate in November with support from the Nevada and Placer County Republican parties.

Klein said he’d like to increase opportunities for high school students to take classes at Sierra and proposed that the college seek endowments that might pay for a student’s entire tuition, especially since Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has encouraged University of California and California State University-eligible students to take their first two years of instruction at the state’s community colleges.

Klein said he’s worked diligently to introduce himself to faculty at Sierra College, most of whom didn’t know him or were skeptical when he first decided to run for the office.

With members of the Nevada County campus faculty in attendance, Klein acknowledged that some have asked for the recall of Klein, who asked in December for the resignation of Ramirez because of alleged fiscal improprieties related to a failed bond measure in March.

“We need to look toward the future,” Klein said following the meeting. “It’s past time to move on to the job of educating our students.”

Klein pointed out that Morgan Lynn, named Tuesday as Sierra’s interim president, is a registered Democrat. He said that he didn’t believe that a person’s political views should overshadow the college’s purpose of educating students.

“I don’t believe that partisan politics has any role in Sierra College,” he said. “It never has had a role, and it never will.”

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