Pat Nichelson, a California State University, Northridge, professor who in November narrowly lost his bid for election to the Santa Monica College board of trustees, has been appointed to fill the vacancy created by the death of trustee Anne K. Peters.
The board chose Nichelson in a 4-2 vote Monday after a three-hour hearing in which 12 applicants were interviewed.
Nichelson immediately took the oath of office and was seated on the board.
In a brief acceptance speech, he praised the "phenomenal qualifications" of his fellow applicants and paid tribute to Peters, who died Feb. 25 of leukemia.
"I regret to the bottom of my heart the occasion which made this all come to pass, Anne Peters' death," he said.
Peters' husband, Ed Berger, appeared before the board at the beginning of Monday's meeting to urge Nicholson's appointment.
Trustee James M. Bambrick, who won reelection by a 78-vote margin over Nichelson in November, supported Nichelson's appointment. At the board's March 16 meeting, he suggested Nichelson be appointed immediately because of his proven voter support.
"But for 78 votes, he (Nichelson) would have won the election in November, 1986," Bambrick said. "Further, since Anne had endorsed and supported his candidacy, his philosophy would likely parallel hers, thereby continuing the board's diverse mix of philosophy and political views."
The board in March decided instead to solicit applications for the opening, and 12 were received. Nichelson is the only applicant who ran in November.
List of Applicants
The applicants included Ellen Radner Baron, a doctoral student; Maximillian Daneshman, a computer businessman; Theresa Gray, a student at the college while on sabbatical from the Los Angeles Unified School District; Vincent Guarino, a real estate law consultant, and Joseph Hartnett, a marketing and communications businessman.
Also, Mae Laborde, a retiree; Cherie Lewis, a part-time college instructor and tax adviser; Vernon Sholund, a consulting mathematician; Arthur Stein, a retired business executive; H. A. Thomas, a retired mechanical engineer, and Kathryn Welds, psychologist.
It took two ballots to reach the majority vote necessary for the appointment.
Nichelson has been on the Cal State Northridge faculty since 1970. He is chairman of the Department of Religious Studies and co-director of the honors program.
In the November campaign, he was endorsed by the Committee for a Quality College Board, which was founded by Peters, and by Santa Monicans for Renters' Rights.