Nancy Greenstein.

Name: Nancy Greenstein

Occupation: Educator

Neighborhood of residence: just south of SMC

Own or rent: own

Marital status/kids:

Party affiliation: Democrat

School history (High School, college/university with degree attained): Ed.D – UCLA, MSW – UCLA, B S – Boston University

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

Social Justice Learning Institute Board (SJLI)

Students4Students Board (homeless shelter for college students),

Broad Stage Board

Malibu/SMC Joint Powers Authority Board

Santa Monicans for Renters’ Rights

L.A. County West Vector District Board

So. Calif. ACLU Board

Santa Monica/UCLA Medical Center Board of Advisors

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

Continuing education, language classes – not for grades.

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

General Education requirements, such as English and Math remain important to the student’s foundation.   Counseling 20, the student success seminar, explores factors that impact lifelong learning. Counselors and faculty advisors help student determine the essential offerings for their personal goals.

How many arts events (plays, concerts, art shows) featuring SMC students have you attended in the past two years? Approximately 50

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

SMC is a leader in this area: staff and students ride the Blue Bus for free, offsite parking with a shuttle to the main campus, arrangements with ride-sharing services including LYFT and WAZE, 17th St/SMC EXPO station and we continually seek out new approaches to reduce our traffic footprint.

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

We are accountable to all students. We have programs for our local community including dual enrollment, Young Collegians, Priority Enrollment for classes, summer institutes for SMMUSD and local community students. We have a counselor that visits Santa Monica High providing information on our programs and helping with transition.

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

The construction is less about expansion and more about providing an exceptional learning environment for students and shared spaces for our community. The college population is not expanding. We are replacing older temporary buildings, adding technology, reengineering science buildings and creating green spaces. We are grateful to our community for their support.

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

Preparing students to transfer, continuing their academic education and providing career and technical education is a significant part of our mission. However, programs like Emeritus College, ESL, providing classes to help with skills for a promotion or a better life also serve our community. We are a community college.

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

The campus experience will always be important. Attending classes, science laboratories, technology, student interaction, joining clubs, resource centers, i.e. Veterans, playing collegiate sports and campus jobs help students persist, make career decisions and learn to navigate in our world. On-line and hybrid classes will continue to play a significant role.

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? D

  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


Candidates have a maximum of 600 words for the combined answers in this section.

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

I have worked as a teacher, social worker, administrator and community activist. My first job was teaching 2-4th graders in a two-room school on the Navajo Reservation in New Mexico; recently, I retired from UCLA as the Director of Police Community Services. In between I acquired advance degrees and valuable professional experience including in setting policy, overseeing the budgetary process and managing personnel – important leadership skills and knowledge that I bring to my work at SMC. Both a leader and a team player, I respect our students, faculty and staff. I believe it is my job to stay informed and be part of the solution. As a new board member, I identified funding from an outside source to ensure that a new building would meet LEED certification standards, the first one to do so and the start of a legacy of environmental leadership. I believe it is important that our community college students understand public policy as it impacts their lives and those of their families’ and communities every day.   I was able to secure a seed grant that started The Public Policy Institute at SMC and, today, we offer AA degrees and certificates in public policy, the only community college in the state to do so.

I am proud of these two examples of my leadership but mostly a trustees’ job is the collective work of insuring that our college serves our students and communities. We are number one in transfers to the UC; in the forefront of career and technical education, have the highest ratio in the state of students to counselors, and this fall started offering the Santa Monica College Promise Program, which includes free tuition and a stipend for books to incoming recent high school graduates attending full time. I am a leader on our board, whether making the hard decisions or the popular ones. Above all I care about student success. This is why I serve. I feel fortunate to have watched amazing students representing the diversity of our communities, coming with different experiences and challenges, succeed. There is more to be done; we must implement the new state funding formula, develop and enhance pathway programs, protect our vulnerable students, work with our neighbors, our city and school district. The most rewarding part of my job is the opportunity to mentor the next generation of leaders.

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

Residents, who have not attended SMC, may have children who will go there or take a dual enrollment class at the high school. Perhaps their parents or neighbors take classes at Emeritus College. Maybe they swim at the pool, attend world class performances at the Broad Stage and listen to KCRW. They go to a local hospital and their nurse or respiratory therapist earned their credentials at SMC. A study conducted a few years ago by the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office showed SMC leading the state in “local participation”, a measure of how well a community college serves its local residents. According to SMC enrollment data, approximately 27,000 Santa Monica and Malibu residents (an unduplicated count) have taken classes at SMC over the past decade. SMC district residents care about education and understand its importance to the future of our society.

Join the Conversation

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).

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *