Retired Cuesta College history instructor Dick Hitchman will serve on the college’s board of trustees through year’s end. He will be sworn in April 2.
The board voted unanimously Tuesday to appoint him to the board until the seat can be permanently filled during the November election.
Hitchman succeeds Gaye Galvan, who resigned in February for health reasons after serving on the board for 17 years. He plans to run in the November election to complete the term, which expires in 2016.
Hitchman, a Santa Margarita resident, was one of three candidates considered for the provisional appointment. Guy Rathbun, a public radio producer, and Grigger Jones, a retired attorney, also sought the appointment.
“It was a difficult decision,” said Pat Mullen, board president. “Part of the reason the board went with Hitchman was his background and understanding and history with Cuesta College. His ability to be able to come up to speed quickly on many of the issues facing the college will be beneficial.”
Those issues include keeping the college on track with its accreditation progress, dealing with continual budget shortfalls and deciding if the college will seek a bond measure to pay for needed infrastructure improvements.
Also up for re-election in November are Mullen and trustee Charlotte Alexander. Both will seek to retain their seats.
When asked by the trustees why he sought the post, Hitchman said he was ready to “give back” to the college.
Hitchman has more than 50 years of education-related experience, including 36 years as a history instructor from 1967 to 2003, plus time as a division chair, Academic Senate president, and member of college committees, according to application for the board seat.
“President Gil Stork is leading a remarkable recovery of Cuesta’s reputation and proud heritage,” he wrote. “I relish the opportunity to contribute to the completion of this difficult but critical task.”
The seat represents District 5, which includes the communities of Atascadero, California Valley, Creston, Garden Farms, Pozo, Santa Margarita and portions of San Luis Obispo, Templeton and Cal Poly.