Ohlone College President's Office

State of the College Address - Fall 2004

[Printable 201 KB PDF file.]

Douglas M. Treadway
Ohlone Community College District

Presented August 13, 2004.


Welcome to the 2004-05 academic year and state of the college address. We can say with confidence that the state of Ohlone College is one of well-being. We are strong in our commitment to student learning, we have outstanding employees throughout our District, excellent programs and services and a stable enrollment and budget for 2004-05. This morning I will be reviewing some highlights of 2003-04, enrollment, budget and facilities status for 2004-05, new strategic plan goals and priorities, and the unveiling of our new college identity theme.

Highlights of 2003-04

Student Services

Within the division of student services headed by Lisa Waits, staff were engaged in implementing more online services, planning for the new student services building, moving toward implementing the new smoke free campus, expanding financial aid outreach and hiring a new mental health counselor. Counselors served 7,000 different students through over 9,000 scheduled appointments and 6,500 drop-ins. Counselors created Student Success workshops and specialized services through DSPS, EOPS and Financial Aid, including expanded outreach through bi-lingual programs. Online orientation was instituted and there were 1600 email contacts for electronic counseling assistance and three personal development courses provided on line. The staff piloted a new Degree Audit software on Web Advisor. On line admissions applications increased to 53% and online registrations exceeded phone registrations for the first time in Spring 2004.

The career and transfer center worked with nine UCs, 23 CSUs and 77 independent colleges and universities to assist students with university transfer. Ohlone College continues to rank among the top California Community Colleges for our student transfer rates. The counselors and transfer center staff play an important role in that success. Out of the 2004 graduating class, two Ohlone students were accepted into the prestigious Haas Business School at UC Berkeley, one at Cornell University, 2 were accepted out of 2 who applied for Santa Clara University, four out of four at UC Santa Cruz, 44 out of 49 at UC Davis, and 11 out of 12 at San Jose State University. The list goes on of Ohlone student transfer successes of which we can be duly proud.

Faculty members are working closely with counselors and special programs staff to improve student academic performance and the results are impressive. We are showing a decrease in students on academic probation from 1562 in Fall 2002 , to 1377 in Spring 2003, to 1298 in Fall 2003.

In 2003-04 the state provided additional categorical funds to the financial aid office. Under Jacque Bradley's guidance, staff conducted 19 workshops at high schools in the district. Students from 13 high schools and parents attended a College Goal Sunday program with workshops in English, Spanish, Mandarin and Cantonese. Results of these new efforts include 53% increase in Cal Grants, 41% increase in BOG waivers, and 20% increase in Pell Grants to Ohlone students.

The student services division supported academic program improvements including getting a much expanded list of AP courses approved, a new information competency graduation requirement, expansion of the college website, revision of the distance education plan and continued faculty training on Web CT. Over one million dollars in Ohlone College contracts for workforce training were generated through the Newark-based one-stop center. One of the training contracts was conducted this summer in India. The Ohlone College center was rated # 1 for customer satisfaction over all 18 centers located throughout Alameda and Contra Costa counties.

Business Services

Under the leadership of Deanna Walston, the division of business services embarked on a project they call New Ways to Work. Each of the departments analyzed how they currently spend their time and what services are prioritized on a day-to-day basis. They are reviewing all processes for efficiencies and identifying areas where staff can be cross-trained to provide back up when needed. Datatel's Colleague system is used to improve documentation, new or redesigned forms and more efficient processes. The division has created its own web page to assist in communication and will add links to other departments. On line processing of purchases, HR authorizations, budget transfers and bookstore transactions are under development. Human Resources was very busy, especially spring semester, with searches for 21 new faculty and other staff positions. Lyle Engeldinger served as chair of the Bay Area 10 Human Resources Council.

With Steve Fajardo's leadership, the Safety and Security Department is working on a sabbatical program for staff to become certified as Peace Officers. While we see the uniformed officers every day, I was not aware of what the relatively small staff accomplishes until I reviewed their reports. Based on just 3 month's activity, the Safety and Security Department staff opened or secured doors 2,730 times, set or disarmed alarms 468 times, and conducted 317 special security checks. They responded to 22 false alarms, provided escort 108 times, general assistance to 140 students, 21 smoking violations, emptied parking meters 193 times, wrote 1,049 parking citations and 87 incident reports and responded to 638 other miscellaneous calls for assistance. The department is working to empower staff and students to be more prepared through various new forms of communication including email announcements, rape prevention classes, and training for building safety monitors.

Solar panels on roof of the gymnasium (Building 9).With the addition of Paula Bray as Assistant Director of Buildings and Grounds, the staff are implementing new ways to work including online key request and work orders, upgrading waste management and recycling on campus, a new card key system, and expanded staff training. The department responded to 2,275 service requests last year, including 1,870 for maintenance. An additional custodian was hired and I met twice with the custodial staff during the school year to listen to their concerns and update them on college developments. Simon Barros' primary assignment is coordinating major facilities projects including the Bond improvements, a campus beautification plan, energy management systems including solar and alternative energy installations, and removal of dangerous Eucalyptus trees on the parking lots with replacement by native California trees. For the Newark Center, the division was successful in obtaining a $200,000 grant from the EPA to help off set costs and provide technical assistance for the brown site clean up of agricultural pesticides.

Douglas Burns and the Department of Information Services have been streamlining the programming request process and defining protocols for users and pro-grammers to test Colleague applications. With nearly 80% of staff time spent on routine operations and only 20% for new projects and services, re-engineering the work of the department is critical. Personnel in other departments are being trained and all end-users are being served in a manner that will give them more ability to operate and problem solve at their desktop. Examples include on-line answers to common technical questions and allowing end-users to install software on their own office computers. A new end user support plan has been developed for personal equipment such as PDAs and Laptops and where possible we are moving to thin clients. The Help Desk processed 3,800 service responses last year.

Office of Instruction

The Office of Instruction headed by Jim Wright produced updated master educational plans for both campuses and created the framework for implementing the new Newark campus in 2007. Based on a new 15-week term, evening pro-grams previously held at the McGregor Jr. High are being relocated to Newark Memorial High School. For spring semester the Newark day classes will also be offered in the 15-week semester format.

Following an international search, our new Dean of Deaf Studies and Special Services came to Ohlone with impressive credentials. A graduate of Gallaudet University with an MA in Education and Counseling Psychology from the University of British Columbia, Joe McLaughlin is a highly experienced educational administrator as well as guidance counselor and university professor. There was strong student and community interest in this appointment.

A Faculty Senate task force on student learning outcomes and assessment developed operational definitions to guide our work related to new accreditation standards and best educational practices. I am glad to report that even in a very difficult budget year, the administration recommended and the board approved 8 faculty members for sabbatical leaves for 2004-05.

Following local board approvals, 10 new associate of arts transfer degrees were approved by the Chancellor's Office including: chemistry, engineering, geology, mathematics, physics, speech, computer science, music and physical education.

Ohlone collaborated with Alameda and San Mateo Counties' Workforce Investment Boards to provide a pilot training program in biotechnology. Firms including Genentech, Chiron, and Stanford University have already employed students enrolled in this training. During a recent visit by the U.S. Assistant Secretary of Labor, a federal grant was awarded to Alameda County WIB and Ohlone was cited prominently in the grant announcement made in San Francisco. Under Ron Quinta's direction, a grant to the National Science Foundation for training under-represented students in new technologies has passed the initial review and is now in the final competition phase.

Led by Sharlene Limón, a grant that received much local publicity is the Nursing Program Expansion project with Washington Hospital. An additional faculty position has been hired and the new training lab for Ohlone at the hospital is now fully functioning.

Funds donated to Ohlone College from private sources for the hospital lab and the campus bio- tech lab total over $1.5 million.

It was indeed a challenge in preparing for this address to select a sampling from the many accomplishments of our students and faculty. Beyond what I report today, a more complete rendering will be provided in our Ohlone College Annual Report to be released next month.

One of our strongest programs, Our Speech/Forensics team won four state medals in 2003 and three national medals in 2004.

A multimedia student has won first prize for two years running, outdistancing 450 entrants at the statewide Media Arts competition.

Ohlone's production of “Dracula” won the American College Theater Festival's regional award for best ensemble, and three actors and seven technicians/designers won individual awards.

Ohlone women's and men's basketballs teams both won conference titles and the men's team recorded the most wins in a single season in school history. Donna Runyon and John Peterson were named conference coaches of the year; John for the second consecutive season. Baseball, softball and women's soccer teams all made it to state-level playoffs. 17 Ohlone athlete graduates received partial or full scholarships to universities. We salute all of our student athletes and recognize our coaches for your dedication, extra time and effort throughout the year.

Professor Tom McMahon released a new edition of his book “Teen Tips” and during his sabbatical leave will research teen sex education and developmental psychology.

The credits of our television technology faculty include Dominick Bonavalenta, the former director of “Extra”, Lawrence Iriarte, an animator on the movie Matrix, and Gary Kauf, a former writer for national newscaster Tom Brokaw.

Professor Xigheng Fang lectured graduate students of information science and engineering this summer in Bejing, China and Richard Grotegut taught a contract course for Cisco Systems in Bangalore, India.

We estimate that as many as one-fourth of our full time faculty members were engaged in some form of international travel or education this summer.

It was my special pleasure to attend with 10 other Ohlone faculty and adminis-trators a three day conference in March for the League for Innovation. During the conference and over brown bag lunches thereafter, I continue to learn how Ohlone is in some areas leading and in others definitely engaged in significant reforms in higher education.

President's Office

We were indeed fortunate this past year to bring on to our staff Robin Koelkebeck as Executive Director of the Ohlone College Foundation. Since arriving in January, Robin has made a strong mark on the college and the community. He has organized the President's Circle and has enlisted to that circle 32 donors, including 1 trustee and 9 Ohlone administrators, contributing at least $1,000 each and with annual pledges totaling $64,200. 10 Corporate Members of the President's Circle and sponsors of the Citizen of the Year Luncheon are contributing an additional $45,000 to date.

A new Heritage Society was initiated for people to include Ohlone College in their wills and 9 people have joined that society. Five new endowment funds have been initiated. The annual campaign for employee giving is underway. Before the staff and faculty fund drive begins, I am very pleased to report that all seven of our board members and 90% of the administrative staff have made pledges. This is very remarkable, uncommon among community colleges, and a strong platform upon which to build on for asking others to give. Including the board members of the foundation itself, $66,630 has been raised from our group as the first leg of the employee fund drive.

I have heard from many sources how pleased people are with the positive position of Ohlone in the local news media. Patrice Birkedahl is doing a marvelous job of working closely with the Bay Area media in telling our story as well as responding to issues and requests for news information. As President I have made a point of being accessible at all times to the media and have taken the initiative to work closely with the Monitor and the Argus staff and editors to be certain we have an open door to them. I held two state of the college meetings last year, four general information forums, a college wide planning day and a community-planning forum, and provided announcements and updates to all college constituencies as needed. Through participation on the College Council, serving with Dennis Keller as co-chair, and in working with the Board of Trustees, I have placed a special emphasis on shared governance this past year. We will continue to lead and facilitate a very open and collegial process of decision-making at Ohlone and will continue to improve communications with all of our college constituencies.

Status of Budget, Enrollment and Facilities Development

2004-05 Budget Approved

The community college budget is a good budget given the state's poor financial condition. Fiscal analysts warn, however, that due to heavy reliance on borrowing and one-time savings, the state will be at least $8 billion in the red for the 2005-06 fiscal year. The state continues to live beyond its means and postponement of this reality creates a false sense of well being, especially for education, which constitutes more than half of the state budget. The major provisions of the 2004-05 budget are as follows:

  1. Student fees are increased from $18/credit to $26.
  2. Partnership for Excellence program has come to an end with the dollars placed in the base apportionment funding, but not before the Governor took $34 million out. Ohlone's share of this reduction to base funding is $224,721.
  3. 2.41% COLA was funded for general apportionment and categorical programs.
  4. 3% for enrollment growth system-wide.
  5. $80 million for equalization with Ohlone's share being $595,504.
  6. $6 million for non-credit matriculation
  7. $28.3 million in one-time funds for maintenance and equipment and $27.4 million in on-going funds in this category
  8. A trailer bill to guarantee a seat in UC or CSU for eligible students who opt to first attend a community college (dual admission)

Last year's budget task force did an excellent job of preparing us for this year. The task force will be reconstituted for this academic year as part of the strategic planning task force and will be charged to continue to look for ways to economize. They will also monitor the integration of the budget with accomplishment of our strategic goals and priorities.

In budget development for the next 3 years, priority will be placed upon developing new sources of revenues and making sure funds we have are prioritized to the district goals, staff training is expanded, and all categories of employees are compensated as close as we can get to the Bay Area salary and benefits average.

Enrollment Report

Students at graduation ceremony.We expect to enroll about the same number of students this year as we did last year, and some margin of growth is desirable. It is important to get the word out regarding movement of the Newark classes to the high school and the September starting date for the new 15-week format. These classes could substantially assist with our enrollment target attainment. The confusion that has existed this summer over UC and CSU admissions and fees and the so-called diversion of students to the community colleges has caused admissions and registration personnel to be cautious about our numbers at this time. I sent a letter to all parents and all students who graduated this spring from local high schools explaining as best we could the situation and urging them to consider Ohlone no matter what their circumstances. Under Ron Travenick's leadership, I have confidence that our enrollment management monitoring and strategies are very solid.

Facilities Development

The past year marked the first phase of major new construction and renovation projects for our district. The master site plan was completed and construction drawings will soon begin for the Newark Campus. With an emphasis upon health sciences and technologies, the new center will be state-of-the-art in Green Building features, including an entire roof surface solar power collector system. The architectural firm for the Newark Center is MBT, whose project at Stanford University won them acclaim by Research and Development Magazine as 2004 Lab of the Year. This is MBT's third Lab of the Year award in the last four years.

We are in discussions with PG&E for Newark to be a statewide case study as well as an energy alternatives and green construction demonstration center.

The new Master Site Plan for the Fremont campus was completed and the architectural firm tBP has been selected to design the new Student Services facilities and a café as well as remodel the library, bookstore, science and other instructional buildings. tBP is a large firm dealing exclusively with community college projects. The new gymnasium floor was installed, which gave a boost to our outstanding basketball teams, and the south-facing gym roof now supports solar water heating coils for the swimming pool. Lockers were replaced and the physical therapy program was moved from Newark to Building 9.

Drawing of tBP's design of new Student Services center.

Students working in the new Biotechnology Lab.Thirty classrooms were equipped with multi-media teaching accessories and several were renovated including a newly created biotechnology laboratory and greenhouse. Security cameras were installed in parking lots, ADA automatic doors were installed, and an erosion control projected completed. Local Bond Measure A financed all of these projects. The Turner Construction Corporation, a national leader in Green Building, has been selected as contractor for both the Newark and Fremont campus projects.

Entrance to new Child Development Center.In Building One there is a new president's office in the location of the former boardroom. We invite you to stop by and see us, right across the hall from the mail room. Board meetings will be held in the new childcare center for the three-year period until a new meeting room is constructed. The childcare center was constructed with a state bond and will be formally opened and dedicated next month. The president's office and future board room are constructed and furnished with special funds we receive from the City of Fremont for campus capital improvements. The future of building 27 where the former president's office was located will be one of the topics of the first meeting of the Facilities Planning Task Force this semester. I have been discussing with a number of people the prospects for dedicating that building to the Ohlone Indians and creating a local museum to interpret their heritage as well as support the college's continuing research and teaching of California history.

Pursuing the Vision and Accomplishing the Goals

Last August I set forth a broad vision for the future of Ohlone College. We are now in a position to offer a specific blueprint for the realization of that vision. Our college community has come together through campus and community forums, planning groups and strategy sessions to fashion a new vision and a new set of strategic long-range goals. The College Council and the Board of Trustees have adopted seven major goals for our college district for the next 4 years. For each of these goals I am sharing specific implementation strategies for college review.

Goal 1 Promote appreciation for and understanding of diverse races and cultures by:

  • expanding the diversity of college personnel,
  • international education offerings and exchanges
  • cross-cultural curricula, and ethnic/cultural events

Two female students of different races.Expansion of the diversity of college personnel starts with the involvement of our department of human resources, the screening committees and the departments in which the vacancy is posted to make certain information on the position opening is widely disseminated. I am well satisfied with the results of hiring for 17 new faculty positions this year. I also appreciate the fact that the Board of Trustees delegated to me the direct hiring authority so that we could move with dispatch last spring and be competitive with hiring offers. We were most fortunate that not only were we able to hire a diverse group of outstanding professionals, our first choice ranking of most qualified for each of the positions was the person who accepted and was hired.

International Education Offerings and Exchanges need to be expanded over the next four years in conjunction with the Sister Cities program of the City of Fremont, including Puerto Penasco, Mexico; Fukaya, Japan; Hurta, the Azores, Portugal; Lupi City, Philippines; and Jaipura, India. Ohlone College faculty, staff and students will have opportunity to travel to these countries through cultural exchange, service learning and internship opportunities, economic development and trade exchanges in the coming months and years.

Semester and Summer Abroad programs also need to be expanded, not only to the sister cities, but to other areas of the world as well. We can collaborate with the University of California study abroad network and other partnerships Ohlone will form through our membership in the California Community College International Education Council, for which I serve as Vice President. Within three weeks, a delegation from Taizhou China will spend twelve days with us in order to develop a beginning framework for a new community college in their city. A university in Israel with an advanced program in environmental sciences has invited us to partner with them and exchange curriculum, faculty and students.

* Significant expansion of cross cultural curriculum development and events that inform as well as celebrate the many cultures of our community, will be the third major set of activities supporting goal number one. I will be taking the lead in developing a new activity called the World Forum wherein each month we invite to our campus one or more noted speakers with expertise on the major global issues of our times. These forums will be held in the college theater and will be open to the general public, staff and students.

Goal 2 Develop across the curriculum the Learning College Model utilizing methods and technologies that hold the most promise for improving student course and program completion success rates.

The major strategy we are recommending for accomplishing this goal is the establishment of a new Institute for Teaching and Learning, under the leadership of Jim Wright. The Institute will have its own budget based on both college and grant funds. The current Faculty/Staff Technology Center will be part of the nucleus of the new Institute which will organize and support expansion of learning communities, use of technology in learning, mentoring in new approaches to teaching, research on new practices, staff training and various conferences and forums stemming from the Learning College model. The new Institute will be our primary vehicle for widespread involvement of all members of our college community in acquiring the knowledge and skills required to deal effectively with different technology advances, different cultures, different learning styles and backgrounds, and different possible futures.

Goal 3 Develop strategies to increase the proportion of full-time students including:

  • learning communities,
  • cohort groups,
  • enhanced facilities
  • and improved course availability

Lisa Waits will lead this student development goal. While the work of the task force in this goal area will cover all student enrollment opportunities, the focus is on attracting more new students who enroll full-time and converting more current students to full-time status. Only 25% of our students attend full-time. Increasing the proportion of students attending full-time will not only lead to more student success, it will also enhance our college budget since it is based on full-time student equivalents. There are several well-tested community college programs upon which we can model our local efforts. For example, cohort groups have proven to be supportive of student retention and success.

Learning Communities involve interdisciplinary learning and are offered to full-time students who enroll with a cohort group in a common set of courses following

a general learning theme. Faculty members at Ohlone who have taught with this model are enthusiastic about the results and I believe that we should make a concerted effort this year to expand the number of learning communities. The data on increased student retention is impressive both here and elsewhere.

Cohort groups also include programs such as nursing or an evening program for adult learners where you join a group and go through your degree program with that group.

In close collaboration with Fremont and Newark schools, a new Transfer Express Program will be piloted in order to move more students through full time study in two years and in conjunction with dual admission opportunities at UC and CSU campuses.

Facilities enhancements are part of this goal because the current layout of the Fremont campus supports a commuter environment and not one where people are encouraged to stay on campus. Once you leave the classrooms and offices, you do not find many places to sit outside or inside around campus. The new campus architecture will create a Main Street with outdoor cafes, sitting and resting places, indoor and outdoor conversation areas. LRC remodeling, more places for entertainment, art displays, information kiosks, and other amenities will also support students staying around to be part of the action on campus.

The other major strategy for building more student full-time enrollment is based on student surveys wherein they tell us they cannot get the courses they want when they need them. New scheduling software integrated with student educational plans and class availability based on students' preferred times of attendance will go a long way to increase full time enrollments.

Goal 4 Provide continuous learning for all personnel associated with the District and promote an organizational structure that is adaptable, collegial and supportive of the Learning College Model.

Under the leadership of Deanna Walston and with support from the Institute for Teaching and Learning, this goal will involve a two-pronged strategy. The first is staff training. By using the knowledge of every employee, we can respond far more effectively to students, partners and even competitors. A book on learning organizations states that “A network of numerous individuals and groups forms what is, in effect, the organization's brain…the structure and order emerges as a result of everyone's voluntary connections and more democratically determined directions.” We need to learn about new forms of organization that are not top down, new forms of communication, and new patterns of doing important work activity whether in the classroom, lab, playing field, on the grounds or in the office. All of our staff needs time to receive training in new systems and methods, not just the faculty or administration. All of our staff needs opportunity to participate in task forces and work groups that are managing the goals of the college.

Students will benefit from our staff development program and organizational re-engineering because they will experience more timely service, more highly trained staff and systems attuned to their needs, and more of a partnership service network among students, faculty, administration and staff.

Goal 5 Promote the health, environmental, cultural and economic vitality of the communities served by the District through programs of outreach, community service and partnership ventures.

At the start of the spring semester I announced a special outreach effort would be made to enroll more Latino students, since they are fairly dramatically under represented at Ohlone College compared to the community-at-large. A successful Para mí Raza program launched this new initiative and has been followed by programs in the schools and a class at Newark in Chicano studies. Through the community forum held in March, additional avenues of community service have been identified that will be pursued this year. Meetings with leadership of the Fremont and Newark public schools, as well as California State University Hayward and UC Extension identified activities for 2004-05 for increased educational partnerships on our campuses and in the community. We have also met with officials from private universities including DeVry University, University of Phoenix and Alliant International University, exploring joint associate and bachelors degree programs as well as graduate study that could be conducted on the Ohlone campuses. It will on my priority list to formalize one or more such agreements this year.

Goal 6 Promote and maintain an accessible, clean, safe and healthy college environment through continuous engagement of students and college personnel in campus preparedness, wellness, beautification and environmental sustainability.

Through a president's administrative regulation, Ohlone College is now the fourth California Community College and the only Bay Area college to be “smoke free.” 100 of you have joined me as volunteers, starting today for 100 days, to assist students, staff and visitors understand and comply with this new health regulation. Last year many of us participated in Tango to Durango and the employee wellness program. I would like to see these activities and employee participation in wellness expanded this year. I would like to see a health insurance rebate program also pursued.

Heating the swimming pool with solar panels represents the first major Ohlone College investment in alternate energy. The Newark Center design calls for the complete roof area to have solar electric generation panels installed. We have filed letters of intent with PG&E for major rebates and incentives for solar installations at both the Newark and Fremont campuses.

I have already reported on plans for campus beautification as well as enhanced public safety services. Beyond the excellent work of these departments, safety and cleanliness of the campus is all of our responsibility. I would like to see an increased emphasis in this regard, including more recycling and reuse, less waste, and improved habits of cleanliness among all campus constituencies.

Goal 7 Increase public and private funds for educational programs, equipment and facilities through entrepreneurial activities, grants and the college foundation

The District has obtained the services Vicki Shipman, an environmental resources consultant, to work with us throughout 2004-05 to obtain grants for recycling, waste reduction, curriculum development in environmental and natural sciences and matching funds for a complete solar campus at Newark. I will be working with the vice presidents and deans on other grants opportunities, including a special services grant now ready for submission by Lisa Waits.

Through the college foundation, as already reported, we are well on the way to generating funds to supplement college budgets as well as increase student scholarships. The property we own above the campus, to the sides and at the frontage will be either sold or dedicated to private sector partnerships. Following trustee approval, we will release the request for proposals for these partnerships that are forecasted to raise in excess of $1.5 million new college revenues per year by 2006-07.


In order to implement these goals and their targeted programs and projects, the first step is to acknowledge that in deed these are the major priorities of our district. Funds will be allocated to these priorities in the new 2004-05 budget. Specific personnel will have their assignments directly related to the goals. As we attract new grants, foundation and other support, we can supplement existing resources and we have four years to carry out the goals, not all at once, but in a sequential fashion.

Next, we are going to establish seven task forces, one for each major goal. Many of the former committees of the college will be folded into the task force structure. This will ensure integration of ongoing operations with new developmental directions for the district. Consideration of the implementation strategies I am recommending will be the first priority this semester for the task forces and College Council.

In addition, every department will be asked to come up with commitments this fall semester for how you can contribute to the attainment of the seven district goals through existing as well as proposed new efforts. For example an inventory will be taken of how many of you traveled abroad this summer or otherwise have international experience that could in some way contribute to goal number 1. The task forces will develop a district-wide matrix of outcomes for each goal.

Finally, there will be a monitoring function assigned to the Strategic Planning Committee. They will be like an implementation and quality assurance council, giving us monthly feedback on our progress and indicating where mid-course corrections of improvements might be suggested to enhance goal attainment. We will make a point to have regular reports, and yes celebrations, as milestones are reached.

Moving from a thick notebook strategic plan that sat on the shelf, we are adopting a very focused, easy to understand and very specific set of plans and priorities that will be summed up in a less than 15 page guide to implementation and successful outcomes.

We will lead, measure and manage to this new strategic plan, day-to-day, month-to-month--this I assure you!

College Identity

In my first state of the college address, I pointed to the need for Ohlone College to project a more distinct identity within the general marketplace of higher education. I quoted excerpts from the book The Ohlone Way and I spoke of the need for Ohlone College to create a contemporary identity rooted in the Ohlone Indian heritage. The Ohlone song fragment that was cited: “Dancing on the brink of the world” caught on with a number of people, including community members. “Maybe that should be the college theme”, some suggested. Further reading and inquiries I have made puts this song into context:

Other tribes were renown for their hunting prowess, their handicrafts, their agricultural production, or their warfare skills. The Ohlones were best known for their hospitality and their dancing. The picture most often displayed by the current day Ohlones, the one you see in front of the podium (and will be displayed in the new president's office) shows an Ohlone Indian who has invited people from other tribes, dressed in differing regalia, to join him in dancing.

What we have developed here over the years and what we are striving to further evolve is a learning community that evidences those same Ohlone qualities. We are a college that excels in welcoming people, sharing with them from our knowledge and resources, and moving them on to their next destination happy, healthy, and well provisioned.

This summer I read the book by Jim Collins: Good to Great. He documents very clearly that you do not have to be really outstanding in everything you do to be a great organization. He advises that we excel in a few core things that are of major importance to us and our clientele and we can then rise above the ordinary to true distinction. I am convinced that as we connect today and in the future with our Ohlone Way, we are fully capable of moving from a very good college in general to a great college in particular. I am now even more confident that the multi-cultural community of Ohlone, particularly in the context of the changing global society, is our number one asset.

This morning, with the assistance of our student leaders, we are putting forth a new college theme: Ohlone College: A World of Cultures United in Learning. I truly believe that this theme will be a powerful statement with its four key words.

Student ambassadors at a Welcome Day table.

(Students read these 4 statements.)

Speaker # 1:
By using World in our theme, we show our awareness of the challenges and opportunities of our global society. At a time when the world needs to be united in humanitarian, economic and ecological progress, America is viewed by other nations as retreating from our responsibilities on these fronts. Attendance of international students on U.S. colleges campuses has been cut in half and U.S. students studying abroad has similarly suffered major declines. As a college we need to show leadership by bringing to our community a high level of knowledge of a changing global society, including learning different languages, world history, religious, political and cultural belief systems, global economics and environmental impacts.
Speaker # 2:
By using Cultures in our theme, we show that the diversity of our students is our greatest asset. Our faculty members travel widely around the world and also represent many different cultures. Business people in our district are also very culturally diverse, travel widely and have contacts throughout the world. There are 120 different nation states represented in our local population and over 160 languages and dialects spoken here. The challenge is to move beyond just sharing the same cities of residence with people of different backgrounds. We need to learn about different cultures, not only from books, but also from first-hand knowledge and social interaction.
Speaker # 3:
The third key word United points us to core values of Ohlone College in that we promote teamwork, inclusiveness and open communication. We know that the Ohlone Indians spoke different languages and observed different customs from one another and yet lived in harmony for many centuries. We know that the Ohlones did not have governments, warriors, police or jails. Strong families and a strong village society maintained the social order. We believe that is a powerful legacy. We are developing a shared governance approach to decision-making where all members of the college community have a voice and where democracy will be carried out.
Speaker # 4:
The final key word is Learning. It is also an important part of our core values that we provide life long learning opportunities for students, college personnel and the community. We maintain an openness to differing viewpoints. We maintain high standards in our constant pursuit of excellence. We practice innovation and actively encourage risk-taking and entrepreneurship. Continuous improvement and learning for students and staff alike is the hallmark of what we mean when we say Ohlone is a Learning College.


Thank you students for presenting our new theme for Ohlone College. This concludes the 2004 State of the College Address. Thank you all for your kind attention. Have a wonderful day and an enjoyable and rewarding year in 2004-05.

Skip plugin notice.

Adobe Reader (free) or other browser plug-in/add-on for opening PDF documents is required to open files on this page marked "PDF".