Name: Louise Jaffe

Occupation: Script Supervisor/Santa Monica College Trustee

Neighborhood of residence: Sunset Park

Own or rent: Own

Marital status/kids: Married/2 daughters

Party affiliation: Democrat

School history: BA in Biology from Antioch College (in Ohio); Ed.D. from UCLA.

What Santa Monica organizations or institutions are you involved with outside SMC?

PTA, Community for Excellent Public Schools (CEPS), Early Childhood Task Force, Lifelong Learning Community Project, Cradle to Career, League of Women Voters. I also contribute to – partial list – Connections for Children, People Concern, St. Joseph Center, Westside Family Health Center, Westside Food Bank, NRDC, Meals on Wheels, SM Conservancy.

What SMC classes have you taken? What was your grade?

Political Science 101– A

Spanish II (twice) – A

Gospel Choir – non-credit (no grades)

I have also taken college classes at CSUN, UCLA Extension, UCLA Graduate School of Education, West LA Community College, Antioch College, and Salisbury University.

What classes are essential offerings to prepare students for the modern job market?

Students must learn to express themselves effectively through speaking and writing; be competent in using technology; understand quantitative reasoning; think critically; and most importantly, become confident lifelong learners.

Depending on the students’ goals, different classes — ideally all classes — will contribute to preparedness for the job market and life.

How many arts events (plays, concerts, art shows) featuring SMC students have you attended in the past two years?

No idea. Many. The quality of our SMC student performances and exhibitions is amazing and inspiring!

What more can be done to bring students to campus without the use of a car?

This is an area where SMC is exceptionally innovative and effective, creating Any Line, Any Time; successfully advocating for the Expo 17th Street/SMC Station; encouraging ride-share pools, bikes, scooters, walking; and offering robust distance ed. We also advocate for student transit subsidies in Sacramento. We must keep working all fronts.

Is the SMC Board more accountable to students (wherever they might live) or residents (regardless of their SMC affiliation)?

I don’t think this is a question of “more.” The Board is accountable to the local community – those are the voters who elect us and whom we represent — but we are elected by them to serve all of our students. That is SMC’s mission!

Is the campus a never-ending construction project or can you foresee an end to expansion?

The current main campus construction replaces old, shoddy facilities. As facilities age and technology, safety requirements, and learning needs change, there will always be a need for maintenance and upgrading facilities. New construction makes SMC a better, greener college, with better services, facilities, and opportunities for students and the community.

How much time and energy should be put into continuing adult education vs. undergrad?

There is no competition between continuing adult education and credit undergrad. Both are funded by the state. Both are part of the community college mission and part of SMC’s mission. Both serve students – meeting different needs — and both serve the community. I totally support both!

Does the future of college education still focus on the campus experience or will education become more virtual?

The benefits of students meeting on campus, developing friendships, and building personal connections with faculty, are such valuable experiences that I expect the campus experience to remain in demand. Here too the development of extraordinary facilities supports the student experience and the unique opportunities offered on campus.

In planning maintenance for a city’s infrastructure, a civil engineer estimates that, starting from the present, the population of the city will decrease by 10 percent every 20 years. If the present population of the city is 50,000, which of the following expressions represents the engineer’s estimate of the population of the city t years from now?

  1. A) 50,000(0.1)20t
  2. B) 50,000(0.1)t/20
  3. C) 50,000(0.9)20t
  4. D) 50,000(0.9)t/20


What qualifies you to lead a major educational institution like SMC and how will/do you contribute to the board?

I am committed to student-centered, community-serving, fiscally responsible stewardship of Santa Monica College. I am fully engaged in the community; have deep knowledge of the community college and public education systems; work collaboratively and constructively with others; have a deep commitment to SMC’s mission; and I’m effective. With my leadership, SMC is:

  • #1 in transfers to the UCs
  • A sustainability leader in facilities, transportation, and curriculum
  • A model of diversity and inclusion
  • An extraordinary educational and cultural community asset with exceptional programming – that includes The Broad Stage and KCRW!

My passion to advance student success and equity locally lead me to spend time in Sacramento, attending to and influencing state legislation that supports or diminishes SMC’s mission. Through my work on the SMC Board and/or in Sacramento, I’ve helped SMC achieve.

  • Priority enrollment for Santa Monica and Malibu residents
  • Free tuition for high school students and better college/school partnerships
  • SMC Promise – free enrollment for first-time, full-time students
  • Protection of Emeritus College from state budget cuts
  • Stronger community-serving partnerships with Santa Monica, Malibu, and SMMUSD
  • Perfect audits for the past 11 years

Local and statewide colleagues recognize my record as an effective trustee. Elected President of the California Community College Trustees in 2014, I have learned from and learn with community college leaders and researchers throughout the state. I use these opportunities to influence policy and funding to better serve our students.

For example, I facilitated or advocated for additional resources for mental health services, food insecurity, open educational resources to reduce textbook costs, subsidized student transit passes, expanded dual enrollment opportunities for high school students, expanding the law degree pathway, support for DACA and other undocumented students, increased financial aid for community college students, and protecting Emeritus College. All of these efforts benefit SMC.

Why is SMC and therefore this election relevant to residents who have not attended SMC?

All residents have a shared common interest in ensuring that they, their family members, friends, neighbors, and all students have the educational opportunities they need to advance in their personal and professional lives. Education strengthens the fabric of our daily lives and enhances equity as well of course as being essential in today’s economy. Every day I meet people working in Santa Monica – at the bank, at the grocery, at the physical therapist, at the schools, in shops and restaurants, everywhere! – that attended SMC. Everyone in Santa Monica benefits, indirectly or directly, from Santa Monica College.

And many community members do take classes. Fifty-five percent of residents say that they or someone in their family has taken classes at SMC!

SMC also provides community members with other direct benefits beyond classes — KCRW, The Broad Stage, the Civic Swimming Pool, access to the track, the football (and soccer) fields and stadium, the Main Stage, and non-stop performances, lectures, and events throughout the year. We also partner with the City of Santa Monica, the City of Malibu, and the School District to leverage our combined resources and expertise on behalf of residents.

In short, whether they are self-interested or altruistic, or both, every resident is positively impacted by SMC. It is in their interest to ensure that SMC continues to be the wonderful student-centered, community-serving, environmentally friendly, fiscally healthy, collaborative, inclusive institution that it is today.

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1 Comment

  1. None of the answers for the mathematical question are correct. D is probably the closest, but it only gives the correct answer for t = 20 years. If you put t = 40, then you get an answer of 90,000, which is even higher than the original 50,000, not lower. The correct formula is: 50000 – (50000 x 0.1 x t / 20).

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