Ohlone College President's Office

Report to College Community - Spring 2005

[Printable PDF file - 133 KB.]

Douglas M. Treadway
President/Superintendent
Ohlone Community College District

Presented January 14, 2005.

Opening Comments

Welcome to the start of the 2005 Spring Semester and I hope the break time was beneficial and you all enjoyed family and community events over the holiday. The still mounting tragedy of the tsunami has been very much on all of our minds and hearts these past two weeks as has the continuing human toll of the controversial warfare in Iraq and Afghanistan.

I spent Wednesday afternoon visiting with an Ohlone staff member currently serving as a soldier in Iraq. The two weeks he had to be with his personal family as well as his friends at Ohlone is very important to how he will deal with the return to combat for another six to twelve months. We now have his email address at his duty station if any of you want to make contact. It would be appreciated.

This morning's session will be presented in two parts. First, I will give the accustomed update on budget, enrollment and recent developments at the college. My report will be followed by a panel presentation on the work of the College Council and its task forces. A question and answer session will be included.

Budget Update

Starting with the budget update, politics surrounding our state budget are leaving a lot of people trying to second-guess or otherwise figure out what is really going on and this is no easy task! The Governor's Preliminary Budget for 2005-06 has been released. Because last year's budget crisis was resolved with temporary measures, including borrowing to cover the shortfall, this year's budget is out of balance by $9 billion. Estimates for next year's deficit range from two to three times that amount unless something is done to curb expenses and/or raise more tax revenues.

Governor's Budget Proposal.
Type Amount
General Fund 7.5% increase
Property Taxes 3.1% increase
Student Fees 1.0% increase
Lottery 2.4% decrease
Net change 05-06 5.4% increase
COLA 3.93% increase
Enrollment Growth 3.00% increase
Economic Dev. $20 million one-time funds
Local Accountability $31.4 million
STRS payment $40 million

California Community Colleges are generally pleased with what the Governor proposes, especially the 3.9% COLA. Growth funds of 3% more than current system enrollments are positive, but for many districts like Ohlone that are allocated very little growth opportunity, this is not really positive. We very much prefer that the state fund the equalization proposal to get colleges like us at least to the state average before funding larger enrollments in the state. This will be our system's major lobbying point with the legislature and the governor going forward. The $31.4 million cut last year from Partnership for Excellence (PFE) remains on suspended status, pending the governor's agreement with the Board of Governors on new measures of performance accountability at the district level. This needs to be closely watched lest we enter into an agreement for tagging our entire budget to some so-called success measures like the public schools are faced with. $30 million out of a $5.6 billion budget for the community college system is not worth selling out for if it involves imposing unworkable measures of college performance.

The Governor's budget message makes it clear that $40 million would be taken back, if he has his way, in the form of requiring districts to pay the State Teachers Retirement System contributions that STRS currently makes on our behalf. It is not listed as a budget reduction because the Governor claims we could collectively bargain with faculty for you to pay this out of your own pockets.

The $1.1 billion the state borrowed from K-14 to balance last year's budget will not be paid back, and another $1.1 billion would be taken away from K-14 in the form of this year's Prop. 98 funds in order to fill in the budgets of other agencies. Finally, the Governor is asking for authority to make as many as three mid-year cuts without legislative approval in K-14 budgets, no matter what is initially approved by the legislature and governor.

In summary we are pleased with the proposed increases in funding, especially given the continuing problems with state revenues. By the same token we remain wary because the Governor is behaving so confrontationally with legislators, nurses and teachers unions in particular and every group that does not go along with his plans for reform. A lot can come unraveled in the coming months.

Enrollment Forecast

While enrollments for Spring semester are running ahead of last year's, the drop we experienced in the past summer session and fall semester gives us continuing concern about reaching any measure of growth for this fiscal year. As of this date, we have not budgeted any funds in anticipation of growth, so at least if we don't realize an increase by the end of the cycle, we will not have to give anything back to the state. According to the Chancellor's office, we will only be allowed to grow about 1.5% in 2005-06 over our enrollment at the end of this year.

There are several challenges to be faced in enrollment management including increased competition from neighboring colleges and universities who are actively marketing themselves in our district. I believe we can respond to this competition. Last month I reviewed a report showing the successes of the Ohlone class of 2001 in university transfer, not only in California, but also to very selective schools across the nation including Dartmouth, Harvard, Smith, MIT and many others. And last week I received a letter from a parent of a concurrently enrolled high school student who was just notified that she was accepted for next fall into Princeton University. The parents gave credit to Ohlone College, in particular our music department, for giving their daughter the skills and confidence to reach her goal. I wrote back to share how glad I was that their daughter had been a part of our college community.

As we struggle with enrollment challenges, we all need to be ambassadors and tell the Ohlone story to as many people as we can. We have a wonderful college-- a very supportive as well as quality-learning environment to promote. But we need to have a higher profile in the Bay Area and Silicon Valley than we do at present. We need a broader awareness that: “you just cannot do any better than Ohlone for university transfer preparation!”

In business terms, we have a strong product but are lacking in a strong packaging and marketing program. We have the talent to produce the needed results, we just have not made an investment nor have we seen this need as a high priority as long as our enrollments were growing.

The task force on student development will report to you today some strategies for recruitment and retention. Areas where I see the most return for our investment of time and resources to build enrollment include the following:

  • Reach out to students already enrolled at Ohlone, especially those attending less than full-time, and show them a path whereby they can take more units and move more expeditiously toward their goal of transfer.
  • E-learning courses need not be offered only at the beginning of a semester. They can be offered on an open entry- open exit format year-round.
  • Early success is occurring with the 15-week semester at our Newark Campus and for other community colleges as well. The compressed calendar should be developed for the Fremont campus for introduction by Fall 2006.
  • Aggressively build-up the transitional enrollments at Newark before the new campus is occupied. With three weeks yet to go in open registration, we already have more students there than at the end of last semester. The evening high school classrooms at Newark Memorial are better than what we had in the junior high. The daytime classrooms we rent on the new University of Phoenix campus in Newark are outstanding.
  • Expansion of our advertising and marketing program is essential. With Patrice Birkedahl's able coordination, and with the financial help of our Foundation, we will mount a more aggressive and systematic approach to getting our Ohlone story told throughout the region.

Last semester I unveiled our new tag line: Ohlone College a World of Cultures United in Learning. Today we are unveiling the new college logo that accompanies that tag line. The logo includes symbols from the Ohlone, Native American traditions of feathers, the sun, arrowheads, unity, and the circle of life.

Hiring list for faculty, Fall 2005

The District is now recruiting for the following positions for faculty for 2005-06:

  • Physical Therapy
  • Respiratory Therapy
  • Nursing
  • Philosophy
  • Psychology
  • Microbiology
  • Chicano Studies
  • History
  • English
  • Chemistry
  • Counseling

We advertised earlier this year and I believe we will have another successful faculty recruitment process.

Administrative Reorganization and hiring, Fall 2005

We will also be filling some administrative positions for next year. As you may know, there are several management position vacancies at this time or that will occur due to retirements and resignations by end of this college year. As I have stated, we face significant enrollment and financial challenges. With the cut backs we experienced the last three years has come the inevitable reversal in enrollment gains. This is the classic “Catch 22” scenario that compounds financial uncertainties. It is imperative that we look for every possible reduction—short term or longer term—in the process of achieving financial stability under such challenging circumstances.

We also have a new set of district goals and it is important that our administrative organization be responsive to those priorities. Yesterday I presented to the College Council a proposed reorganization plan that will reduce the cost of administrative salaries to the General Fund by at least $300,000 per year of ongoing savings. The proposal leaves some positions vacant, combines some positions or revises responsibilities and titles, and identifies other sources of revenue to fund some administrative operations. Those savings will initially cushion us from enrollment shortfalls. Once our new measures of enrollment management bear fruit, the $300,000 becomes available to replenish instructional and support area budgets. By way of overview, the proposed plan is as follows:

Reorganization Plan

  1. Appoint Associate Vice President Student Services
    Do not fill V.P. Student Services
    Appoint Dean of Counseling
  2. Do not fill Director of Career & Transfer Center
    Assign Transfer to Dir. Curriculum and Enrollment Management
  3. Do not fill Dean of Learning Resources
    Assign Library to Dean Language Arts & Social Sciences
    Assign non-library services to other administrators
  4. Hire Associate Vice President Information Technology
    Do not fill Assistant Director Information Services--Academic
    Upgrade Assistant Director Information Services-Administration to Director Information Services
  5. Hire Director of Grants Development
  6. Hire Director of Institutional Research
  7. Expand Public Information Officer duties to Director of College Relations
  8. Upgrade Assistant to President
  9. Appoint Dean of Newark Center
    Hire Director of One-Stop


  1. Combine the positions of Vice President for Student Services and Dean of Student Services into one position. Appoint Ron Travenick to Associate Vice President for Student Services. Martha Brown has been doing a fine job as interim Dean of Counseling. Because of the fiscal problems of the state and the need to reorganize our district, the Education Code gives the board latitude to appoint administrators without external searches. Martha applied and was selected as interim dean in consultation with the counselors. I am proposing to appoint her on a contract as the Dean of Counseling starting July 1.

  2. Do not fill the vacancy that will occur in June of the director of career and transfer center. Divide the functions of the career and transfer center and reassign responsibilities to two existing management positions. Transfer would go to Michael Bowman, the director of curriculum and scheduling. His new title would be Director of Curriculum and Enrollment Management.

  3. Do not fill the vacancy of Dean of Learning Resources. Transfer non-library functions to the offices of Instruction, Information Technology, and College Relations. Assign the library administrative responsibility to the Dean of Language Arts and Social Sciences. Set aside a portion of the savings for improving library operations funding in anticipation of opening the Newark campus and release time for a librarian to assist the Dean with coordinating functions.

    Under the new organization chart, the Associate Vice President for Student Services will report to the Vice President of Instruction, whose title and responsibilities will now include student services and deputy superintendent.

  4. Upgrade the vacant position of Director of Information Services to Associate Vice President for Information Technology and hire this person through an external search. The senior position level is necessary to reflect the pervasive role of information technologies in all aspects of college programs and services. The vacant position of Assistant Director for academic computing will not be filled. The position of Assistant Director for Administrative Computing, Jeff Villano, will be upgraded to Director of Information Services. A portion of the savings is set aside for improving system functions and release time for faculty to assist the administrator with coordinating functions.

  5. Transition the grants program from a consultant arrangement to a regular administrative position and fund the salary with grants and other non-General fund dollars. Hire a Director of Grants Development through an external search.

  6. Bring back a revised job description for the vacated position of Director of Research. This position is required to fulfill institutional responsibilities for accreditation, program reviews, quality assurance, strategic planning and institutional effectiveness in the new learning outcomes environment.

  7. The responsibilities of Patrice Birkedahl, Public Information Officer, were expanded when the college hired a foundation director instead of a dean of advancement. Advertising, marketing, publications coordination, web master supervision and related duties added to this position will result in a new designation as Director of College Relations.

  8. Sarah Zentner's position, Executive Assistant to the President, has evolved into a set of new responsibilities and some change of role from the previous position under the previous CEO. I am proposing to upgrade the position and change the title to Assistant to the President.

  9. As part of our strategies for enrollment growth and resource development, as well as to recognize the need for leadership in the community of Newark and the current and future operations of our campus there, I am proposing to appoint a full-time Dean for the Newark Center. Leta Stagnaro would be assigned this responsibility in addition to her duties as Dean of Entrepreneurial Programs. Her responsibilities for wellness, athletics and exercise science would be re-assigned to Sharlene Limon, Dean of Health Sciences, whose title would change to Dean of Health and Exercise Sciences. Funds would also be allocated for faculty leadership in athletics to assist the dean.

    Dean Limon would share leadership with Dean Stagnaro in the development of the Newark campus, especially in the areas of new program development in health sciences and of course, direct leadership over the faculty in her division. Leta and Sharlene would jointly head up a team of other administrators for the orderly construction and transition to occupancy of the new campus. The vacant position of Director of the One-Stop Center would report to Dean Stagnaro and we would undertake an external search for this new hire. The position is grant-funded.

Vice Presidents Walston, Wright and myself have consulted with administrators, faculty and staff directly impacted by the proposed changes. Additional consultation will take place as requested. Our approach to this reorganization has been to reduce administrative costs through attrition. I fully recognize that the departments and divisions that have been impacted by resignations and retirements feel that they are bearing the brunt of the reductions, and to a great extent this is the case. If vacancies had occurred in some other pattern across the college, there likely would have been different scenarios.

That having been said, I prefer to look on the positive side of this issue. The vacancies have come at a time when we very much need to reduce the cost of administrative overhead. We need these funds just to keep stable or in the more optimistic fiscal picture, to reinvest in the services and supplies budget lines where so much has been taken out. In other words, putting what dollars we can reallocate into direct services to students versus management. In this regard, it is a fortunate circumstance that administrative personnel changes are giving us some room to breathe and some opportunity for reallocation.

In the larger, longer term picture, as I have repeatedly stated, we are moving toward a greater degree of local revenue development and less complete dependence upon state or federal funding.

It is critical that we go forward as soon as possible in our shared governance process so that we can receive authorization to advertise for the positions of Associate Vice President for Information Technology, Director of Grants, Director of Research and Director of the One Stop Center. Also those units impacted by internal assignments want very much to move forward with plans and services in a timely manner. I urge you to consider the broad institutional priorities and first and foremost the needs of students when evaluating this proposal. Also, that we take the long view and not just our immediate concerns into account. No organizational plan can bring guaranteed results. We will evaluate whatever is put into place and make future adjustments as required.

Finally, this proposal calls upon the staff and faculty to work more closely with the administration in a teamwork approach as compared with the hard and fast lines that have tended to separate us in our work. Faculty serving as coordinators or department leaders is a time-honored approach to sharing this work that we would like to bring back to our college community. Classified staff serving as para-professionals or team leaders is a more recent development in colleges and is both cost effective and a sound investment in direct services to students.

However much we reallocate to classrooms from the $300,000 savings, will also help with our requirement that a minimum of 50% of all general fund dollars go to the instructional budgets.

The complete reorganization rationale and list of new positions, positions to remain vacant, and positions proposed for revised responsibilities and titles can be found on the College Council website. The proposed administrative organization chart for 2005-06 is also included. This matter will be on the January 26 Board meeting for preliminary discussion and February 9 for board action. The College Council and Faculty Senate will make their recommendations at the February 9 board meeting. Questions, suggestions and comments are welcomed on my email or emails of College Council and Faculty Senate members.

Board approves RFP for Frontage Development

The Board has approved starting the process for soliciting proposals to develop the frontage property by declaring that property as surplus and directing staff to prepare the RFP that will be sent to private developers. In addition to the 12 acres of frontage property, we are proposing that up to 20 acres of land on the hillside under and beyond the power lines be declared surplus and available for sale of lease income generation.

Once the land is surplused and developers give us proposals, there will be an open process for evaluating the proposals and deciding which one best meets our needs, is compatible with the community, and holds most promise for income generation to the district.

Board approves EIR and Master Plan for Newark

The Board approved the EIR and Master Plan for Newark in December. Architectural drawings for construction are well in progress and ground breaking for site development is scheduled for May of this year.

The project is on target for LEED certification at the Silver or Gold levels. An analysis will be made as to whether or not the district will finance a complete solar power generation project, in addition to the $1 million in bond funds and PGE matching funds currently committed. If there is a reasonable investment recovery period, so that the money we would pay out anyway for electricity bills would be paid to the solar project for our own power generation, and thereafter we would not have the cost obligation, then we will recommend that the District go 100% solar at Newark rather than the 50% project now approved. Matching funds are available, which is a major incentive to make this investment.

Environmental mitigation on the Newark site has also been approved by the board and an agreement reached with the Department of Fish and Game for habitat protection of burrowing owls. The $390,000 cost for this mitigation comes out of $4 million in contingency funds in the bond measure for Newark construction.

Arming of Campus Police Officers

In February the College Council will make a recommendation on whether or not college police officers should carry firearms. The proposal is for the chief of our police department and the one sworn officer currently in the department to be authorized to carry weapons. There would be a plan to train and deputize a second officer so that an officer is always available, day and evening.

There are compelling facts supporting this request:

  • Other bay area colleges have armed police departments,
  • Our police and security officers feel at risk under the present circumstances,
  • Fremont has a severe shortage of officers now, making response time uncertain,
  • Crime rates in Fremont have been rising. Violent crimes are averaging 20 per month,
  • People dealing with campus discipline and student report changes in student body attitudes toward authority, and
  • Concerns over outsiders committing crimes on campus are on the rise.

There are also arguments against the request:

  • Violence is escalating not only in Fremont, but also in the nation and the world.
  • There is an argument that arming our officers supports violence as a means of resolving conflicts,
  • There have been past abuses of weapons by police, including the new trend of using taser guns. Guidelines and ongoing training need to be assured.

I am glad Steve Fajardo, our Chief of Campus Security and Safety, has brought this recommendation forward because the issues are real and we want to support our staff and their needs to have the necessary tools to provide needed campus protection. Our student leaders conducted an opinion survey and met several times with Steve. The student council passed a recommendation to support the proposal. Two campus-wide forums were held, but the combined attendance was only about two dozen people. I have myself received only one email on this subject. What this lack of staff participation means, I am not sure. I am asking that the Faculty Senate and Classified Senate give me a recommendation early this semester. Once I know your considered views on the proposal, or ways to amend it that would make it more acceptable, I will decide whether or not to endorse the recommendation and carry it to the board of trustees for the policy change.

World Forum in February

In the face of the many developments of Fall Semester, I was not able to organize the World Forum as announced. However, I am very pleased to report that we have now scheduled two forums for Spring Semester. The first will be held at 12:00 noon in the college gym on Thursday, February 24.

Two excellent speakers will share perspectives on Afghanistan, Iraq and the United States in the context of trends and issues of global governance. Dr. Jamil Hanifi, Professor of Anthropology at the University of Michigan comes from Afghanistan and has done extensive cultural-anthropological research on the region. He is a past president of the US Afghanistan Studies Association. He will share the eastern perspective. Dr. Stephen Zunes, professor of Middle East studies at the University of San Francisco and author of Tinderbox: US Middle East Policy and the Roots of Terrorism, will share the western perspective.

In late April the second Forum will be held on the topic of the United States, China and the changing global economy. Dates and speakers will be announced in a few weeks.

College Council Task Force reports on Goals

The College Council has been hard at work this past semester and has established task forces around each of the major goals of the district in order to assure that there is a coordinated and sustained effort at meeting the goals. The balance of this session today will be given over to the Council and the co-chairs of the task forces. I want to thank those that are presenting this morning as well as everyone else who is serving on the council and the task forces for your dedication to shared governance and your willingness to step forward and provide leadership in this still evolving process.

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