Fred Jandt submitted his letter of resignation effective Friday, March 31

Fred Jandt

Fred Jandt

Citing health reasons, Fred Jandt, College of the Desert Area 3 Trustee, on Monday evening submitted his resignation to Superintendent/President Martha Garcia and Chair Bonnie Stefan, Uken Report has learned.

His resignation is effective March 31.

“Recently I have experienced a change in health status,” Jandt stated in his letter to Garcia and Stefan. “It is my judgment that I am not able to continue to participate with the strength I had been able to in the past. For that reason, I am resigning my appointment …”

Jandt asked that his resignation letter be read into the minutes of the next Board of Trustees meeting, which is Friday, March 17. It was painfully clear that he did not feel well.

News of the resignation comes after he was unable to attend the first meeting in January due to health reasons. As a result, plans to vote on schematic designs for a Palm Springs campus had to be postponed until this month. At the February meeting, he attended via Zoom and left the meeting early.

Jandt was first appointed to the Board of Trustees in February 2016. He was one of eight applicants who applied. He was elected in November 2020. His current term is set to expire in 2024. Trustee Area 3 generally includes Palm Springs and Cathedral City.

Jandt is a proponent of higher education and has championed the College’s role in providing a skilled workforce for the Coachella Valley. An author and longtime educator, he previously served as Dean of the California State University, San Bernardino’s Palm Desert Campus. Jandt has been an advocate for student achievement, working to successfully create benefits and opportunities for students throughout the Coachella Valley, according to the COD website.

In his letter, Jandt wrote that, “In the mid-1980s during a vacation in the Valley I happened upon the College of the Desert campus and its dramatic water display at the entrance. It was a Sunday, the campus was deserted, so I was able to walk around the campus. I remember thinking how pleasant the campus was and how nice it would be to be associated with the campus.

“A few years later Cal State’s president Anthony Evans recruited me to the San Bernardino campus. President Evans had a commitment to bringing upper division programs to the Valley and I was an early supporter teaching classes both remotely and in-person in what was then temporary classrooms housed on the COD campus.

“A few more years later the next campus president Al Karnig appointed me dean of the newly established Palm Desert Campus of Cal State. Working with local community leaders including Dick Oliphant and Betty Barker we saw the campus triple in size and in cooperation with COD begin to offer lower division classes. It was my pleasure to work with Maria Sheehan, Jerry Patton, and Joel Kinnamon to advance higher education in the Coachella Valley.

“After my retirement from Cal State it was my pleasure to join the COD board of trustees. I hope on my time on the board I continued to advance higher education in the Valley.

“If I am able to leave any parting comments to the board it would be to place the best interests of all the students in the Valley first in your heart and mind. Unfortunately, I fear at some times those words can be used to advance personal agendas that are simply not appropriate.

“It’s been my honor to have served the residents of the Coachella Valley in those roles to advance higher education these some 30 years.”

Within 60 days of the vacancy or filing of a deferred resignation, the Board shall determine
whether to order an election or make a provisional appointment to fill the vacancy, according to Board policy.

If an election is ordered, it shall be held on the next regular election date no less than 130 days after the occurrence of the vacancy.

If a provisional appointment is made, the person appointed to the position shall hold office only until the next regularly scheduled election for District Board members, when the election shall be held to fill the vacancy for the remainder of the unexpired term.

The provisional appointment will be made by a majority public vote of the Board members at a
public meeting.

The Superintendent/President shall establish administrative procedures to solicit applications that assure ample publicity to and information for prospective candidates. The Board will determine the schedule and appointment process, which may include interviews at a public meeting.


Image Sources

  • Fred Jandt: College of the Desert
  • Resignation: Shutterstock