It’s with heavy hearts that we report that Political Science Instructor Emeritus Leon Baradat has passed away. He had been battling cancer for the past few months and passed quietly at his home yesterday morning, his family at his side.
Leon was hired at MiraCosta in 1970 as a full-time political science instructor and retired in 2003. He subsequently taught here part time, most recently in summer 2015. Before coming to MiraCosta, he was at Tulare Union High School District from 1965–1970, teaching classes in U.S. government, California government, world history, and U.S. history. Leon had an MA and BA in political science from Fresno State College.
Leon’s legacy is vast and reaches far beyond teaching and far beyond MiraCosta.
As president of the statewide Academic Senate in 1978-79, Leon was instrumental in making foundational changes by working on issues including UC admissions and credit/noncredit. As chair of the Academic Standards Committee, he helped develop the course classification system, which raised academic standards; worked to have faculty members appointed to ACCJC; and worked with and gave testimony to the state legislature on the need for the Academic Senate to have state funding.
He was a member of the Palomar College Board of Trustees in the mid-1980s, and served as its president in 1984.
Leon was a member of the Collegial Governance Committee that established MiraCosta's first formal collegial governance agreement with the board in 1990, and guided the MiraCosta College Academic Senate through difficult budgetary times while maintaining collegiality as senate president in 1996–97.
He was also president of the Faculty Association of Community College (FACCC) and a commissioner for the Accrediting Commission for California Community College (ACCJC), including chair of the ACCJC in 1998-99.
Leon was awarded numerous honors including the Hayward Award, the FACCC Full-Time Faculty Member of the Year Award, and the Regional Award from the Association of Community College Trustees in recognition of his tremendous contributions made to California community colleges. The Academic Senate for California Community Colleges awarded Leon the status of Senator Emeritus in 2006.
Leon wrote the influential textbooks Soviet Political Society and Political Ideologies, the 12th edition of which is due to come out this year. He has also contributed to education and scholarship through the writing of countless articles, position papers and reports.
Leon leaves behind his wife Elaine and sons Rene and Pierre, and two grandchildren.
When service arrangements are finalized, we will forward the information to everyone. Cards of condolence may be sent to PIO, MS 7, and we’ll make sure the family gets them.
Special thanks to Jonathan Cole, John Phillips and Brad Byrom for helping gather all this information, and to Cheryl Broom for putting it all together.