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District will also pay Dr. Mark Rocha up to $16,000 in attorneys’ fees
By Terry Miller
Pasadena Independent has learned that beleaguered PCC chief Dr. Mark Rocha is to get a whopping severance package as a parting gift August 31. On top that, his attorneys’ fees will also be paid, up to $160,000 worth according to a report obtained under the Public Records act by this newspaper.
What those attorney fees could be is somewhat unclear. However, the terms of the “severance agreement” would require an attorney so no doubt this is part of the equation.
Nevertheless, it is duly noted that Dr. Rocha’s time at PCC has be peppered with considerable controversy almost from the time he was introduced four years ago. From the vote of no confidence; to the publicly humiliating way he and others handled the commencement speaker fiasco this year.
The Board of Trustees was heavily criticized this year for inviting Oscar-winning alumnus Dustin Lance Black to deliver the commencement address, then rescinded it over concerns about an illegally obtained sex video featuring the screenwriter. They invited him again and Black spoke.
– Rocha has consistently let the school be in the public eye, but for the wrong reasons. A negative stain has been etched on the walls of PCC, or as another journalist put it, a Rocha have given Pasadena’s City College “black-eye.”
Faculty have taken two no-confidence votes in him and conducted an online review of Rocha’s leadership that produced scathing results, with most respondents saying he had done a poor job of guiding the school.
“Fascist approach to leadership,” one wrote. “Rocha is destroying PCC,” another said, according to a report in the LA Times
Rocha had been at Pasadena City College for nearly four years. Some faculty and students criticized Rocha for his management style and for approving the cancellation of a winter session.
His resignation becomes effective Aug. 31, but his last official working day was July 31, according to the contract. Initially, Pasadena City College officials declined to disclose details about Rocha’s severance package. Rocha signed the agreement Aug. 4, three days before his retirement was announced. Fellow signed the agreement Aug. 7.
Pasadena Area Community College District Trustees announced 2 weeks ago that Dr. Mark Rocha, Superintendent-President of the District and Pasadena City College, would retire from his position effective August 31. Dr. Anthony R. Fellow, President of the PACCD Board of Trustees, had the following comment regarding the terms of agreement between Dr. Rocha and the Board of Trustees.
Rocha made $250,000 per year as PCC President.
“The terms of the severance package are in the best interests of all parties. The financial and other components are consistent with severance terms for U.S. chief executive officers overseeing organizations with budgets of over a hundred million dollars.”