Pickett to Step Down from School Board at the End of June

School Board Member Cindy Pickett delivers the keynote address at MLK Day in 2019

Cindy Pickett was elected only about 18 months ago, but on Thursday on Facebook and Twitter she announced she had accepted a position as DePaul University’s Associate Provost for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the Office of Academic Affairs.

The position begins on July 1, meaning that on June 30 she will be stepping down from her seat on the DJUSD School Board.

“Unfortunately, taking this new position means that I can no longer serve as a trustee for the Davis Joint Unified School District. I have tendered my resignation letter and my last day of service is June 30, 2020,” she said.

That will mean the school board will have to fill a vacancy this summer and the position would then be on the ballot as a two-year term this fall.

In her message on Facebook she said that “it is with both sadness and excitement that I announce that I have accepted an offer to be the inaugural Associate Provost for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at DePaul University in Chicago.”

For the past three years Pickett served as the Associate Vice Provost for Faculty Equity and Inclusion at UC Davis.

She wrote, “(I) have learned a tremendous amount from my colleagues in Academic Affairs. The hard work and dedication that Academic Affairs puts into supporting UC Davis faculty is truly inspiring, and I feel very lucky to have been part of this wonderful team.”

She noted, “For the last 15 years, I have also been a faculty member in the Department of Psychology. I have seen the department grow and change over this time to become one of the top programs in the nation. I am constantly amazed by the work of my department colleagues, and I will miss the many friends I have made over the years.”

Pickett said, “I am thrilled to have this opportunity for professional growth and advancement. I am also eager to meet my new colleagues in the Department of Psychology at DePaul where I will hold a faculty appointment.”

This is the first resignation from the school board since 2014.  While the resignation is similar to the one two years ago, in which Madhavi Sunder took a position in Georgetown, Sunder only had a few months left on her term.  The council made an interim appointment and the position was filled in the fall when Joe DiNunzio and Cindy Pickett joined Tom Adams on the board.

In 2014, Nancy Peterson, embroiled in controversy over meddling into the volleyball program, abruptly resigned in a meeting in early April.  The board embarked on a process where Alan Fernandes, who had previously run and finished third, was appointed; he then ran for the two-year seat and won that before being elected to a full term in 2016.

Whomever is appointed by the board would then have to run in the fall—if they chose to.  There will now be three seats up for a vote, as the two-year seat will join the regular election of the seats held currently by Alan Fernandes and Bob Poppenga.

In her Facebook post, she added, “I will have more to say during my comments at next week’s board meeting, but, suffice it to say, it has been an honor and privilege to serve the Davis community. I am thankful for the leadership of my fellow trustees, for the dedication of the DJUSD staff, and for all of the parents who devote themselves to supporting our schools. “

—David M. Greenwald reporting

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About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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  1. Bill Marshall

    18 months into a 48 month term… resume building?  Sheer coincidence?  I’ll lean to the latter, but can’t “dismiss” the former…

    In any event, a new appointee would have ‘a leg up’ in November…

    Credit, where credit is due… Ms Pickett was the only board member who responded to me on a question of the Board… I wish her the best in her new pursuits… our loss, De Paul’s gain, as near as I can tell…

    1. Cindy Pickett

      Hi Bill – When emails are sent to the entire school board, a single response on behalf of the board is typically given by the board president to avoid cross-communication between board members which would be in violation of the Brown Act. This also helps avoid confusion as to what the official board position is.

      Your particular email contained some fairly specific questions. In answering those questions, I found myself responding in terms of my personal views and thus did not explicitly state that I was responding on behalf of the board. In retrospect, I would have handled this differently to avoid the misperception that my fellow trustees were non-responsive. We all read every email that comes to us and appreciate hearing from the community.

      1. Alan Miller

        In retrospect, I would have handled this differently to avoid the misperception that my fellow trustees were non-responsive.

        Do tell . . .

        1. Ron Glick

          I think she did tell.

          Good Luck Cindy. I’ll watch for you in the stands at Wrigley and the next time when DePaul goes to the final four.

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