Article - Office of College Advancement

Surveyors make recommendations to Ohlone

By Wes Bowers.

Thursday, March 20, 2008—Reprinted from Fremont Bulletin.

A team of evaluators told the Ohlone Community College March 6 that its Board of Trustees need to do better if the school expects to keep its accreditation.

John Nixon, interim president at Mount San Antonio College of Walnut, Calif., led a 12-member evaluation team around Ohlone March 4-6 surveying the campus to see if it meets accreditation standards. Nixon's team consisted of California community college teachers and administrators.

Nixon told an audience at Smith Center that Ohlone College's board "has a disconnect" with the rest of the college.

He said the seven-member panel spends too much time overseeing college operations, and not enough time communicating with students or various campus groups. He added the board needs to involve these groups in the decision-making process at meetings.

In addition, Nixon said trustees need to establish a regular assessment and review process for the college's mission and vision, as well as improve its program review process.

The board also needs to evaluate its leadership roles and implement self-evaluations, among other recommendations.

Those recommendations came after the study team found that trustees too often make comments in objection to previously passed items, and that trustees continue to state opposing positions to decisions made by a majority vote.

In contrast, Nixon said Ohlone's self-evaluation was complete and well organized. He added his team was impressed with the level of commitment and cohesiveness the school has for learning.

"You've set a high bar for yourself in setting or meeting high standards," Nixon said. "We feel you are all doing quite well."

Ohlone President Douglas Treadway said it was too early to become worried or excited about the accreditation, as the detailed report would not be released until June.

"A lot of compliments were paid to the college," Treadway said. "They were very impressed with Ohlone, and we think we're a good school. It was very pleasing and affirming to all of us."

The evaluation report will be sent to a state commission, which could put the school on notice or uphold its academic status if overall results are unsatisfactory. The commission is expected to meet in June.

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