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Tuesday November 6, 2018 — California General Election
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Marin Community College DistrictCandidate for Board Member

Photo of Robert Ovetz

Robert Ovetz

University Lecturer
13,064 votes (5.34%)
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Grow enrollment by making COM the first fully tuition free community college in California
  • Attract and retain students by turning the underused IVC campus buildings into inexpensive student housing
  • Reduce costly bloated executive management



Profession:University Political Science Lecturer
Lecturer, Political Science, San Jose State University (2016–current)
Bond Oversight Committee member, Lagunitas School District, Marin County — Appointed position (2016–2018)


UT-Austin Ph.D., political sociology; higher education policy (current)

Community Activities

Writer, self (1985–current)


Robert Ovetzis a lecturer in Political Science at SJSU and taught at College of Marin for a decade.

He has a Ph.D. in political sociology from the University of Texas-Austin. He does research and writes about class conflict and public policy and the adjunctification of academic labor in the community colleges.
He worked as a legislative aide for two members of the Texas legislature, executive director of the NGO Seaflow, and has worked as a policy advocate for other non-government organizations on debt, development, human rights and ocean conservation issues in The Netherlands and the US.

In 2006, Robert led an international campaign that successfully lobbied the United Nations Law of the Seas Convention to implement the first global protections for endangered marine species from industrial fishing enshrined in international law.

His writings have been published in the academic, mainstream and alternative media as well as by the United Nations. He is a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Labor and Society.

He is a lecturer in political science at San José State University and De Anza College. Robert’s first book When Workers Shot Back: Class Conflict from 1877 to 1924 was published by Brill (The Netherlands) in August 2018. He is currently assembling his second book.

Robert lives in Marin County, California, USA, loves to ride his bike, bake, listen to loud music, and cheer at his daughter’s basketball games.

Political Beliefs

Position Papers

Why I'm running for the COM board


Having taught political science at COM for the past decade I know its persistent problems first hand. Enrollment continues dropping. The faculty shrinks while upper management is bloated. Bond revenues are wasted on poorly constructed buildings, sweet heart contracts, and leases. The college is distracted from its mission. 

I have a plan.

I have served on the Faculty Senate to make collaborative changes with faculty, staff and administrators.

I helped grow enrollment by creating one of the first COM middle school classes.

I have uncovered wasteful bond spending on the Lagunitas School District’s Bond Oversight Committee for the past 3 years.

If elected my priorities will be to:

  • Grow enrollment by making COM the first fully tuition free community college in California
  • Attract and retain students by turning the underused IVC campus buildings into inexpensive student housing
  • Expand joint BA programs with the CSU’s; expand life long learning and academic transfer programs
  • Reduce costly bloated executive management
  • Stop wasteful bond spending
  • End sweet heart construction and leasing contracts
  • Promote collaboration with students, faculty and administrators
  • Shift all faculty and staff to full-time
  • End faculty and staff layoffs
  • Diversify the curriculum to meet the needs of the diverse student body


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