Dr. Simpson Delivers Annual Report to Trustees

President Bob Simpson presented his final Annual Report to the NOCCCD Board of Trustees on Tuesday night, lauding Cypress College students and the employees who support their success. The annual report presentation encompasses the Cypress College Annual Report and the Cypress College Institutional Effectiveness Report.

In providing an overview of the two printed documents, Dr. Simpson covered eight primary topics:

  • Measure J Bond Projects
  • Participation in the Baccalaureate Degree Pilot Program
  • Diversity and Inclusiveness
  • Equity
  • Academic Achievement
  • Completion and Transfer
  • Environmental Stewardship

“It is my honor this evening to present to you an overview of the 2015-2016 academic year at Cypress College. The College’s accomplishments will resonate and propagate decades into the future,” Dr. Simpson said in opening his presentation to the Trustees for the North Orange County Community College District and other leaders.

The Board’s decision to approve a new Science, Engineering, and Math Building served as the first significant highlight in Dr. Simpson’s report.

“This new building will support the education of our next generation of scientists, engineers, technology experts, and mathematicians,” he said. “In this new facility, students will learn concepts we can’t yet conceive.”

Construction of the new SEM building is scheduled to be completed in 2020. The project will run in tandem with construction of a new Veteran’s Resource Center and Memorial Plaza that includes a bridge spanning the pond.

The presentation continued with an update on development of the College’s baccalaureate degree in Funeral Services. One of 15 programs included in California Community Colleges pilot program, instruction in the Funeral Services B.S. degree program will begin in fall 2017. In the past year, curriculum has been developed and the accrediting agency approved the key components of the bachelor’s degree.

A highlight of the year was the Yom HaShoah event in May. Focusing on the College’s core value of Inclusiveness, the Yom HaShoah commemoration featured portraits of Holocaust survivors created by Photography Department Chair Clifford Lester. About 1,000 people attended the event, which featured survivor Dr. Jacob Eisenbach.

In the area of equity, Dr. Simpson highlighted the first-ever Equity Summit held in April and the shift in employee demographics to more-closely resemble the student body. He also noted that nearly half of the incoming freshman class were first-generation college students.

Speaking about academic achievement, Dr. Simpson said the number of associate degrees awarded has grown significantly in the past five years from 753 to 1,201.  The number of certificates awarded has also increased over that same period. In addition, 458 transfer degrees were awarded in 2015-16, up from 114 in 2012-13.

The College also exceeded its target for both degree and certificate completion. The most common degrees awarded by Cypress College are in Liberal Arts, Social and Behavioral Sciences, Life and Physical Sciences, Math, and Business. Students earn the highest number of certificates in Automotive Technology, and in the Hotel, Restaurant, and Culinary Arts program.

Finally, speaking about environmental stewardship, Dr. Simpson noted a recent state award presented to the College as a leader in energy efficiency.  Water consumption at the College was reduced by 30% and electricity usage by 5.4 million kilowatt hours last academic year. More than 8,600 energy-efficient lighting fixtures and bulbs were installed by College employees — generating an annual savings of approximately $80,000.

“These are good times at Cypress College and the unsolicited accolades we have received are the result of commitment, hard work, and a true investment in our students,” he said. “Fifty years ago, people of foresight and vision committed to the development of a new college serving the needs of North Orange County.  We and the students who have been served over the years are the recipients of that grand vision. Today, we are laying the groundwork for the next 50 years. It is a privilege to be a part of that legacy and to know that because we have dared to Dream Big Dreams, we are now positioned to Do Great Things.”

He closed with the observation that the two printed documents “validate the commitment of the College to our Core Value of Excellence.”



‘Matriarch’ Pat Ganer to Retire

Dr. Ganer is the Longest-Serving Faculty and One of the College’s First Students


As an alumna of both USC and UCLA, the moniker “a person divided” accurately applies to Dr. Pat Ganer. Despite loyalties on both sides of that Southern California rivalry, there’s little doubt about which campus holds her heart: Cypress College.

She was standing at the campus flagpole on Day 1, September 12, 1966, as one of Cypress College’s very first students — student number 428, to be precise. Fifty years later she again stood at the flagpole; this time, as the matriarch of Cypress College, she emceed an anniversary event.

Dr. Ganer, a faculty member in Speech Communication at Cypress since 1971, will retire at the end of the academic year. At Cypress College, she spent 7 years as Chair of the Curriculum Committee, served four terms as President of the Academic Senate, chaired the Professional Growth and Development Committee, and was the first faculty Chair of the Accreditation Self-Study. She twice instructed in the semester-abroad program in both London and Madrid. For two decades, she directed the school’s speech teams, taking them to local, state, and national competitions.

Off campus, she served as President of both the American Forensics Association and the Western States Communication Association. She has taught consistently at California State University, Long Beach. Known, in part, for wearing her politics on her sleeve, Dr. Ganer has served as an analyst on presidential debates for the Los Angeles Times and MSNBC. One of her courses at Cal State Long Beach focuses on campaign-based communication. Another of her classes covers international speaking —  an area in which she also brings real-world experience, having presented at conferences in Japan, Dublin, Amsterdam, Sydney, and Sao Paolo.

In 2010, Dr. Ganer was dubbed the “Matriarch of Cypress College” after the retirement of colleague Donna Friess. In fact, Friess provided her with a crown to make the moment official. “I love the atmosphere at Cypress College,” Dr. Ganer said at the time. “It is a very collegiate environment. Everyone pulls together to make things work.”

She earned her B.A. in Political Science from the University of Southern California, her M.A. in Political Science, from the University of California, Los Angeles, and her Ph.D. in Communication, with an emphasis on Political Communication, from the University of Utah. She is an avid fan of the Utah Utes as well as the Anaheim Angels.




President Simpson Announces Retirement at Academic-Year’s End

Dr. Simpson leads the 49th commencement at Cypress College.
Dr. Simpson leads the 49th commencement at Cypress College.

Bob Simpson will preside over one final commencement — Cypress College’s 50th. A fierce advocate of public education, Dr. Simpson announced his retirement decision to the campus community late Tuesday — and he received a standing ovation when he shared the news during the NOCCCD Board of Trustees meeting about an hour later. His final day as president will be at the end of the academic year next June.

Dr. Simpson was selected as Cypress College’s 11th President in June, 2012, following a 5-year stint as the College’s Executive Vice President. He has spent 30 years working in education and serving as an advocate for access to higher education, especially for those who begin their studies unprepared for the rigors of academic life.

A California native, he grew up in the Southland and graduated from Norwalk High School. His academic background includes both a bachelor’s in arts and master’s in arts in mathematics from California State University, Fullerton, and a doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Dr. Simpson was a classroom teacher at Fullerton College for 12 years. He also served the college as an instructional dean for 9 years before coming to Cypress College in 2007 as the Executive Vice President. During his tenure at Cypress College, Dr. Simpson has focused upon issues of access, equity, student support, and community outreach.

In his free time, Dr. Simpson enjoys outdoor sports, reading, cooking, playing the guitar, rooting for the UCLA Bruins, and fly fishing his favorite trout streams in south-central Idaho.

Dr. Simpson receives a flag during the College's 50th Anniversary celebration.
Dr. Simpson receives a flag during the College’s 50th Anniversary celebration.

Here is his announcement:

Dear Chargers,

I came to Cypress College in June of 2007 as the Executive Vice President. It became obvious to me very quickly that I had made the right career choice and that I had been given an extraordinary opportunity. Everything that has transpired since that time has validated my first impression. In my time here, I have felt a sense of excitement and vitality and belonging in a way I had never previously felt in my professional life. I came to love this College.

As I think back upon that time, my first impressions and all that has since transpired, we have accomplished so much together, and I believe the future is now brighter for the College then it has ever been. The tasks before us this academic year, once completed, will lay the foundation and position the College for the next 50 years, and I will work diligently with you to assure this comes to pass. At the same time, this is my 10th year at the College and my 30th year in education. I have a growing sense that my time as the leader of this outstanding institution needs to give way so that others can carry forward the work we have begun. I have decided that it is the appropriate time to announce that I will be stepping aside at the end of this academic year.

There are some significant tasks remaining before us this year, including the Accreditation Self Study, 50th Anniversary celebrations, 3-Year Strategic Planning, and Measure J construction planning (S E M Building, Library/LRC expansion, Veterans Resource Center). These “additional duties” are on top of the regular business of the College which continues unabated. With these tasks substantially under way, it is my sense that the time is appropriate to step aside so that you will have the opportunity to identify your next leader in a timeframe that will best suit the needs of the College. Going forward, I have no doubt that the person chosen to be your next leader will have the same kind of support I have experienced, support that is directly responsible for any success I may have had as your President.

We have much work to do before that last day, and I am hopeful that if anything, I may be leaving a year too early rather than a year too late. It is my intention to work with you, to laugh and to celebrate with you, and to contribute in every way that I can through the end of this academic year. I want each member of the Charger family to know how very much I have appreciated your contributions to our work. It has been, and remains, a privilege to engage in that work beside you.

With heartfelt thanks,


Bob Simpson, President
Cypress College

Dr Simpson with his wife, Denise, in a photograph at the College's rededication ceremony on Monday. Dr. Simpson announced his retirement on Tuesday evening.
Dr Simpson with his wife, Denise, in a photograph at the College’s rededication ceremony on Monday. Dr. Simpson announced his retirement on Tuesday evening.

Rededication Ceremony on Monday to Mark 50th Anniversary of Cypress College

Cypress College officially turns 50 on Monday. The campus community will celebrate with a rededication ceremony similar to the official dedication of the College on September 12, 1966.

On that day, the founding faculty, other employees, and the first class of students gathered at the flagpole — an event that included a warning to local Marines who were about to hoist Old Glory: Don’t tug too hard because the concrete holding the pole might not be completely set. Pat Ganer — then one of the first students and now Cypress College’s longest-serving faculty — will emcee Monday’s rededication.

The rededication is the first official event celebrating Cypress College’s 50th anniversary.

Please join us at the flagpole at 9:50 a.m. Additional information is on the 50th anniversary website. The event is open to all members of the campus community and the public, and is free.

ADVISORY: Monday’s 50th anniversary rededication will include a three-volley gun salute performed by military members from the Joint Forces Training Base. No live ammunition will be used in the salute.

9/11 Remembrance Included in Rededication Ceremony

This week’s 15th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks will be incorporated into the rededication ceremony, which takes place on Monday, September 12 at 9:50 a.m.

The event — which includes participation of military members form the Joint Forces Training Base — will include a moment of silence in tribute to those who lost their lives in New York, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania on September 11, 2001.

The rededication ceremony will also include a three-volley gun salute.

ADVISORY: Monday’s 50th anniversary rededication will include a three-volley gun salute performed by military members from the Joint Forces Training Base. No live ammunition will be used in the salute.

Three-Volley Gun Salute on Monday as Part of Anniversary Event

 Joint Forces Training Base Participation in Rededication to Include Traditional Salute

Military Members to Fire Three-Volley Gun Salute

Military members from the Joint Forces Training Base will fire a three-volley gun salute as part of the flag retirement incorporated into Monday’s rededication of Cypress College. No live ammunition is used or present during the ceremony.

The flag being retired is donated to the College specifically for the 50th anniversary by the Cypress College Veterans Organization.

Tony Zapata, Special Project Manager for the Veterans Resource Center, explained the significance: “The current veterans at Cypress College wish the flag to fly and represent 50 years of military and military families that have walked the campus. This special group of men and women who have fought for our freedoms still stand united. That stereotypes and adversities do not define them. To represent the past present and future.”

The flag will fly for the first, and only time, on Monday before being retired and presented to Dr. Simpson on behalf of the College community.

Cypress College to Mark 50th Anniversary with Rededication Ceremony


It is one of the beloved myths of Cypress College that on September 12, 1966, during the initial dedication ceremonies, the concrete that set the flagpole was so freshly laid that it could not bear the weight of the flag. … The concern, though, was not entirely misplaced as the physical campus of the College was constructed with astounding rapidity. Newsweek had even spotlighted Cypress College before a single class had graduated when it noted “For pure speed, though, Cypress Junior College probably holds the record. In just 74 days, Cypress hustled dairy cows off its 112-acre campus and installed eighteen prefabricated buildings and 2,300 students.”

— Excerpt from “A Tree Grows in Cypress”
By Dr. Patricia Ganer

Please join us on Monday, September 12, 2016 — at the flagpole adjacent to Lot #1 — as we rededicate the College on its 50th anniversary. We will also mark the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. The ceremony begins at 9:50 a.m. RSVP: (714) 484-7127.

Eventbrite - Cypress College 50th Anniversary Rededication

ADVISORY: Monday’s 50th anniversary rededication will include a three-volley gun salute performed by military members from the Joint Forces Training Base. No live ammunition will be used in the salute.

Visit the 50th anniversary page.

Tips for a Great Start to the Fall 2016 Semester

Cypress College Hosts High School Senior Day

Cypress College classes begin on Monday, August 22. To welcome you back and help get your academic year off to a great start, here is some helpful information:

On the first day of classes, please plan to arrive early. Parking can be congested and you’ll also want to be certain to arrive on time for your classes. It is very important not to miss the first class meeting since faculty are obligated to drop students who fail to show up on the first day. Also, please note that if your class is not scheduled to meet on Mondays, you do not need to attend on the first Monday of the semester — just the first day of the class.

Our Student Ambassadors will be out in force to help you get answers and find your way. Speaking of help, new students are advised to attend New Student Welcome Night on Friday, August 19.

There is a one-week grace period for parking-permit enforcement at the start of the Fall 2016 semester. This grace period extends from August 22-27, 2016. Officers will enforce all other parking violations during this grace period.

We’re on a mission to eliminate unnecessary lines so you don’t have to stand around waiting. New this semester is an automated parking permit. Instead of placing a physical decal inside your car, simply register your license plate when you register for classes and purchase parking.

We’ve also eliminated the little sticker validating your ID card. Instead of standing in line for a sticker, your existing student I.D. card is activated when you enroll. Simply scan in at the Library and other academic and student support areas. If you need a new or replacement I.D. card, visit the Photo I.D. center in the Student Center. You can even purchase your card right there, instead of standing in a separate line.

We will no longer mail I.D./semester stickers or parking permits since — well, since — that’s no longer necessary. If you’ve purchased an Associated Students benefits sticker, that can be picked up at Student Activities after August 16.

NOTE: If you’re visiting the Student Center or Student Activities Center prior to the start of classes, please be aware that construction near the pond has limited access. If you’re headed to the Student Center (say for an I.D. card), it’s best to park in Lot #1; meanwhile, if you’re headed to Student Activities (for your benefits sticker), Lots #4, 5, or 7 are better options.

When you’re logged into myGateway next time, it’s a good idea to print out your “schedule bill,” (or make an electronic copy of it to keep in your phone). This form lists your classes, their locations, times, and other important information. The “schedule bill” also helps Cypress College employees help you find your way.

If you’re attempting to add a class and myGateway asks for an add authorization code, it means the class is full or is not available for registration because it has already begun (or is about to begin). Distribution of these codes is at the discretion of the faculty member, and is generally done on the first day of classes. If a waitlist is available for a full class, you should be given the option to add to it.

When you are on a waitlist (or waitlists), we strongly encourage you to check your myGateway messages channel on a regular basis. If a spot opens up for you, a notification will appear in your messages. We’ll also attempt to send you an email. However, some providers (ahem, Yahoo!) aggressively block email from cypresscollege.edu and nocccd.edu.

Waitlists expire at midnight on the day the class begins. That means that on the first day a class meets, there’s no longer a waitlist. Instead, the list is included in priority order on the instructor’s roster as a tool to help faculty with the petition process. So, if you’re on a waitlist, you’ll need to attend the first class meeting in hopes of obtaining an add code. Likewise, if you’re petitioning a class, you’ll want to arrive early to the first class meeting. Since your name isn’t on the roster or the waitlist, you’ll want to let the instructor know before class that you’re petitioning.

The first phase of our major energy-efficiency project is just wrapping up (and the second phase is beginning). That means we have some fences on campus. Work in the pond area is nearing completion. Here is the current access map. Please check back for updates.


Get a Jump on Fall 2016 at New Student Welcome Night

New Student Welcome Night takes place on Friday, August 19, from 3-6:30 p.m. The event is designed for students to complete important tasks prior to the start of the semester on Monday, August 22, 2016. Important success-oriented information will also be shared with participants at 4 p.m. Speaking of success, be sure to check out our Tips for a Great Start to the Fall 2016 Semester.


Complete the following checklist before the
Welcome Night program begins and receive your
“FAST TRACK STAMP” for food line privileges!

Go to the Admissions & Records Office to:

❏ Pay your registration fees in full – online or in Line “B.”
❏ Pay online only for parking and register your vehicle.
❏ Pay for AS and /or ID card online or in Line “B.”
❏ Pick up your AS and/or ID carc (if purchased). You must show picture ID and your Schedule Bill (receipt of registered classes).
❏ Take your ID photo and pick up your Photo ID card (if purchased) at the photo booth

You must show a picture ID, your Schedule Bill, and your ID card.

Admissions & Records Office
First floor of the Student Center, Building 19
Summer Hours (closed Fridays through August 12): 8 a.m.-6 p.m. M-Th
Regular Hours (week of August 15-19): 8am-6pm M-Th, 8 a.m.-7 p.m. Fri

Please see the attached flyer for much more information. Take special note to complete the checklist on page 2 at Admissions & Records BEFORE the event to receive a FAST TRACK stamp for food line privileges!

FREE Parking in Lot 1. Arrive early as parking is limited!

For information to to ask questions, please contact Lark Crumpler at (714)484-7347, or visit the Student Ambassadors at the Welcome Center!