The Del Mar College Board of Regents voted 7-0 to investigate District 4 Regent Guy Watts for possible ethics violations at its Feb. 9 meeting. Regent Carol Scott and Watts were not present for the meeting.
“The Board of Regents authorized me as chair to conduct an investigation to determine if Mr. Watts violated the board’s bylaws or Code of Ethics,” chairman Trey McCampbell stated in an email after the meeting. “An independent investigator will be identified who can conduct the investigation and provide a written report of opinion to the Board of Regents.”
The Del Mar College Board of Regents voted 7-0 to investigate District 4 Regent Guy Watts for possible ethics violations at its Feb. 9 meeting.
The regents each year sign a code of ethics, but this code was not signed by Watts in 2015.
The vote was brought about because of a memo Watts sent to the Island United Political Action Committee that called McCamp- bell and Regent Susan Hutchinson “charming, but academically alarming” for voting in favor of a resolution regarding the new Southside Campus.
The resolution excluded 10 academic proposals Watts had proposed. Watts has called the East and West campuses a “sea of mediocrity” and wants to see the new campus to be for academically prepared students taught by Ph.D.-level instructors.
“The board voted to ‘correct the facts’ in Mr. Watts’ handout, and to ‘repudiate’ his actions,” McCampbell said. “Clearly, the board as a whole does not think he is accurately representing the views of the college or the regents.
“The tone and character of his emails to the regents is characterized as threatening and bullying,” McCampbell said. “That is unprofessional, and not in keeping with the behavior of a community college regent.”
Watts stated he was going to step down from the board then took it back and will continue to attend board meetings. Attempts to reach Watts for comment via email were unsuccessful.
“Additionally, our bylaws specify that no regent can speak on behalf of Board of Regents except the board chair,” McCampbell said. “The way Mr. Watts is representing his views as that of the board is one of the board’s ethics concerns.”
According to McCampbell, if the report determines that Watts did violate board ethics, the board has the option to initiate censure proceedings, as outlined in the board’s bylaws.
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