Santa Monica College Trustee David Finkel Announces Early Retirement

Thursday, 9 Jan 2014, 4:19:00 PM

Brenton Garen

David Finkel will retire early from the SMC Board of Trustees.
Courtesy Of SMC
David Finkel will retire early from the SMC Board of Trustees.

Longtime Santa Monica

College Board of Trustees member David Finkel announced Thursday he would resign and retire from the Board next Tuesday, Jan. 14. He cited ill health as the reason.

In a letter

to the Board of Trustees, Finkel said he deeply regretted the need to retire.


the College with you has been a rich and rewarding experience for me," Finkel wrote. "I

thoroughly enjoy being a part of the college community for a number of

reasons, not the least of which is that it is the most democratic and

creative institution in Santa Monica and Malibu.”


who was elected to the SMC Board in November 2006 and served

as its Vice Chair in 2009 and Chair in 2010, has had a long and

distinguished career in public service and education.

He is a retired

Judge of the Los Angeles Superior Court,

a former Presiding Judge of the Santa Monica Municipal Court, and an arbitrator

and mediator.

He has also been a member of the Santa Monica City Council and its Mayor Pro Tem, and was

one of the “charter” parents who formed SMASH.


was an adjunct professor of political science at SMC prior

to his election to the Board, teaching U.S. and California government

and politics with an emphasis on constitutional law.

In fall 2008, he

resumed teaching the course as a volunteer, while helping students as a

tutor in political science, law, and English.

Finkel is also a former faculty member at the California Judges

College, where he taught judicial ethics and fairness, and was a member

of the Ethics Committee of the California Judges Association.

SMC Board Chair Susan Aminoff said the Board was deeply saddened by Finkel's imminent departure.

“As a Trustee, as a teacher, and as a

tutor, he has always been devoted to the College and its students and

community, and committed to helping them secure and advance their

future. In his letter to us, he said he hoped to resume

serving SMC in some way when he regains his strength," Aminoff said. "We’re looking

forward to seeing him back on campus soon.”


Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE) has

been notified and has responded with options for filling the vacancy,

which include a provisional appointment within 60 days of filing of the


A recommendation to fill the vacancy by making a provisional

appointment is agendized for the upcoming Jan. 14

meeting of the SMC Board of Trustees.

The agenda also includes a

recommendation to establish a schedule to fill the vacancy through a

recruitment process that starts Jan. 15 with the appointment set for

the regularly scheduled Feb. 4 meeting.

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