Quick Take:

Following a recommendation from a Cabrillo College board subcommittee last week to change the name, the board of...

On November 14, 2022, the majority of the Cabrillo College Governing Board voted to move forward with renaming the College. The Board set a goal of selecting a new name by August 2023 and starting to use it across campus at the start of fiscal year 2024-25.

To achieve this goal, the college is reaching out to the entire community for help in creating a new name for the institution. The college is inviting individuals to submit their ideas through the College Name Suggestion Survey, which will run until February 22, 2023.

After February 22, the Board will ask individuals to propose a name for the college that reflects the college’s mission, values, and community. The college is also forming a task force to review the suggested names and select one(s) that meet the renaming criteria. The task force will then submit the chosen name(s) to the Governing Board for a final decision.

The Backstory

The Board Name Exploration Subcommittee initiated this decision after a rigorous, two-year process of research, community education, surveys, and community dialogues. In July of 2020, the Subcommittee formed in response to a request to rename the college amidst a period of widespread social unrest in the United States and critical analysis of the college’s namesake, Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo.

In September of 2020, the Board Name Exploration Subcommittee created the Name Exploration Advisory Task Force to solicit widespread community stakeholder input, develop community education and engagement strategies, and examine the costs and resource implications of changing the college’s name. The Committee and Task Force worked during the 2020-21 and 2021-22 academic years and produced a comprehensive, 60-page report in fall of 2022. The Committee presented its report and recommendation to the Cabrillo College Board of Trustees on November 14, 2022.

In its decision, the Cabrillo College Governing Board set a goal of selecting a new name by the August
In its decision, the Cabrillo College Governing Board set a goal of selecting a new name by the August 2023 meeting of the Board of Trustees, and beginning to use the new name at the start of fiscal year 2024-25. Credit: Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz

“The Board Name Exploration Subcommittee followed its core principles of aligning with the mission of being critical thinkers and doing deep critical thinking expected of an institution of higher education,” said Christina Cuevas, Chair of the Board Name Exploration Subcommittee. “We conducted rigorous outreach to ensure all voices, demographics, and perspectives had an opportunity to receive the information and voice an opinion. This was an incredibly thorough and academically rigorous process, and I feel like all involved learned something significant about the namesake of Cabrillo College.”

“Our Board of Trustees decided to change the name of Cabrillo College after reading the extensive report prepared by the Board Name Exploration Subcommittee and conducting a robust discussion during the Board meeting,” said Donna Ziel, Board Chair. “As stated in the report, the harm caused by colonial expansion is real and represents transgenerational trauma to this day. We have a responsibility to correct that harm now that we know the name Cabrillo causes harm to members of the College’s public.”

The Board Name Exploration Subcommittee believes that the positive impacts of a name change will outweigh the negative ones and that community engagement is necessary to ensure widespread agreement on the new name. The Committee recommended, and the Board agreed, that the new name should either reflect Cabrillo’s values or have a geographic touchstone, and that the College should not be named after an individual person.

The Board directed the Cabrillo Board Name Exploration Subcommittee and College President and Superintendent to concurrently work on building financial resources to address cost concerns and conduct a process to seek input for renaming the College. The goal is to select a new name by August 2023.

“I’m proud of the education and outreach effort that the College engaged in and hopeful that we’ll continue to have strong community input as we work to select a new name for this great College,” said Trustee Adam

After three years of reporting on public safety in Iowa, Hillary joins Lookout Santa Cruz with a curious eye toward the county’s education beat. At the Iowa City Press-Citizen, she focused on how local...