Ramirez’s future decided tonight? | TheUnion.com

Ramirez’s future decided tonight?

Sierra College trustees will meet behind closed doors for what could be the last time today as they work toward a resolution on the future of embattled college President Kevin Ramirez.

Three previous closed-door meetings have yielded little more than general statements from the collective seven-member board in front of those with close ties to the community college.

Trustees are scheduled to meet in closed session at 6 p.m. at the Learning Resource Center on the Rocklin campus to hopefully resolve the college president’s situation.

Ramirez, 57, has a contract that runs through 2007 and pays him $168,000 annually.

“It’s been a long, tiring and exhaustive process, and I very much hope we have a resolution by the end of this week,” said Trustee Aaron Klein, whose district includes Nevada County.

Klein has played a starring role in the ongoing saga involving the future of Ramirez, who has led Sierra College for nearly 12 years. In December, just six weeks after ousting 21-year board veteran David Parker, Klein asked for the college president’s resignation.

In a memo, Klein, 26, said he asked Ramirez to resign for a number of reasons.

Klein’s memo alleged that Ramirez reduced class sections; spent money earmarked for critical repairs to the Rocklin campus on new bleachers for the football stadium and gave large raises to administrators despite the cut in class sections.

Klein also accused Ramirez of shifting $100,000 from the Sierra College Foundation to the campaign supporting Measure E, a $384 million bond rejected by voters in March.

Ramirez, the college and the nonprofit foundation have vehemently denied any of the alleged campaign violations.

On two separate occasions before these closed negotiations, members of the community have spent hours debating the pros and cons of dismissing Ramirez. The board, by Klein’s estimation, has spent 20 hours deliberating a settlement for Ramirez.

“It has been a very collaborative process,” said Klein, who is closely allied with new Trustee Scott Leslie and board President Jerry Simmons.

After Monday’s closed session, Klein was the only trustee not to approve a counter-proposal offered by the college president’s attorney.

These meetings come less than a week before classes begin Monday.

“Everybody’s distracted by this, and that can’t be good for the students of Sierra College,” Nevada County Campus Provost Tina Ludutsky-Taylor said after the end of Tuesday’s public-comment period. “We need closure.”

Klein said he would like closure, too. Members of his family sat in the second row of the Dietrich Theatre during the open session Tuesday.

“It has been a difficult process and not one I wanted to go through in my first month as a trustee,” he said. “But I am committed to doing what’s best for Sierra College.”

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