Off Beat: No Alt-ernative for San Diego district
It's time for an update on one of your favorite Yuba College administrators, Al Alt.
Alt departed Yuba in June when his position as vice chancellor was eliminated. He had arrived in 2003. His tenure was marked by a few controversies, but Alt always managed to survive, until he didn't.
What became of him?
The news filtered up from San Diego early last month. Alt landed a job as chief financial officer at the Sweetwater Union High School District and a $24,000 pay boost from his Yuba job.
"The Sweetwater Union High School District has hired the former vice chancellor of the Yuba Community College District in Northern California as its chief financial officer, a choice drawing criticism from some in the community," reporter Aaron Burgin wrote on the U-T San Diego website.
With some apparent glee, the story went over Alt's colorful tenure at Yuba, including that "in 2008, Yuba faculty members gave Alt — then the college's human resources director — a vote of "no confidence" after an investigation revealed, among other things, that he had received a doctoral degree from an unaccredited school that has been described as a diploma mill."
Sweetwater's spokesman, when contacted by U-T San Diego, was unfazed, which, of course, is his job.
"We believe that we had a very thorough process before arriving at Mr. Alt for the position of CFO," Sweetwater spokesman Manuel Rubio told the website.
Apparently, they've never heard of Google searches. U-T San Diego even went to the trouble of contacting a former Yuba College trustee, who heaped praise on Alt.
"I thought he did a fine job as our vice chancellor, and I am glad that he has landed somewhere," the former trustee, Jim Buchan, was quoted as saying.
U-T San Diego said Alt "advised the district's trustees on issuance of a $4.6 million capital-appreciation bond that will cost taxpayers $54 million in interest."
Xavier Tafoya, another trustee, told U-T San Diego: "When he started doing finances, we were very impressed with him because he had all the answers and was very succinct. I don't think he deserves all of the blame. We're all big boys, and we should have asked more questions of him and the administration."
U-T San Diego noted that Sweetwater has had its own bit of controversy as "four board members are targeted in a public corruption probe by the District Attorney's Office. Two have pleaded not guilty, and two have yet to enter pleas."