Ohlone College President's Office

State of the College Address - Fall 2006

[View video of State of the College Address - Fall 2006 (MOV format; 93 MB). Download State of the College Address - Fall 2006 (PDF 83 KB).]

Douglas M. Treadway
President/Superintendent
Ohlone Community College District

Presented August 25, 2006.

As we came into the theater we were viewing a webcam for minute by minute views of construction progress at the Newark campus. You can view it live from the college web site. It is really exciting to see the structure taking shape and it is exciting for me to share with you our many accomplishments of the past year as well as what we look forward to in this new academic year. I am grateful to Sarah Zentner for assisting me with this presentation and preparing the media. I also invite you to comment on this presentation using the president’s speeches blog. Instructions for access to the blog have been e-mailed via college announcements.

I am pleased to report that the state of the Ohlone Community College District is one of sound institutional health and well-being. We have been very intentional about our strategic plan and goals. The progress we are making to achieve the goals is resulting in a sustained and coordinated effort toward improving student success and institutional responsiveness to the needs of the communities we serve.

Goal 1 Promote appreciation for and understanding of diverse races and culture by expanding the diversity of college personnel, international education offerings and exchanges, cross-cultural curricula, and ethnic/cultural events.

In 2005-06, two exchange groups went from Ohlone to China. The spring delegation was comprised of four staff and eight students and was led by Rene Gonzales. They benefited from 21 days of education and cultural immersion arranged by Xisheng Fang. They stayed in the dormitories of our sister college in Taizhou, visited Chinese students in their classes and homes, and toured cultural sites arranged by local hosts. I met with the students before and after their exchange and can tell you that the experience made a very strong impact on each of them.

Delegations from China that visited Ohlone included representatives from the Taizhou Radio and T.V. University, Shanghai Academy of Theatre and Dance and the Shanghai College of Arts and Crafts. The leader of the delegation from Taizhou told us that the Chinese written characters for beautiful and America are the same. Sharing his impression of his first visit to the U.S. he said: “You have a beautiful country and a very beautiful college. We now know first hand why our language says it is so.” This fall a dance troupe of 26 students will come to Ohlone from the Shanghai Theatre and Dance Academy. Walter Birkedahl, Xisheng Fang and Josephine Ong Hawkins are making the exchange arrangements. Spring semester, 20 Ohlone student dancers led by Janel Tomblin-Brown will reciprocate and perform in Shanghai.

Pilar Lewis and Gary Kauf visited Shanghai for the purpose of working on a contract education program to offer certificate programs in multi-media and television as a cooperative program with the Chinese vocational college. Mark Brosamer spent part of his sabbatical semester in Taizhou. Would the staff and faculty who have been involved in all of the China exchange projects please stand.

Reinstatement of the Study Abroad Program features a new program this fall in Sydney Australia, led by Cynthia Katona.

Our World Forum series continues to be well received. Last year’s topics were the global environment, and developments in Africa, Israel and Palestine. This year we will have world forums on:

  • U.S./Mexico Relations and Immigration
  • Darfur Region of Sudan
  • Human Rights, Freedom of Speech and Global Terrorism
  • Ohlone Indian Perspective and Experience

I want to thank those who submitted over 50 suggestions for world forum topics and for the support of faculty who bring their students and integrate the world forums into your class discussions and assignments.

The high school Raza Day event with the Fremont Schools was very successful. The 2006 nursing class included 13% Latino students, a significant increase for that program and an important milestone in health careers advancement through Ohlone College. The new Puente program, where students took courses in English and personal development with a focus on the Mexican American/Latino experience, also received strong support from the Latino community. The National Science Foundation Biotechnology LAB Project has made inroads to three high schools in the area: Newark Memorial, James Logan and Kennedy. The program supports outreach to underrepresented youth and involves them in sciences before they complete high school.

The Center for Deaf Studies continues to attract students from across the world because of its emphasis upon the cultural aspects of the deaf experience. Ohlone is a site for the Japanese ASL Signers Society Deaf Scholar Program. Dean Joe McLaughlin is an international scholar and presenter in his own right and provides that perspective in his leadership of the department.

I am pleased to announce that October 5-7, Ohlone will host the annual conference of California Community Colleges for International Education. I continue to serve as CCIE’s vice president.

A measurable objective for this goal is increased diversity amongst our college personnel. District recruitment and hiring actions have resulted in more employees from underrepresented groups in administration, faculty and staff. Of 25 new hires in 2005-06, 64% were African American, Asian American or Hispanic American.

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.

Professional development activities included 86 workshops that were offered during the year and 275 conference and workshop registrations were supported by the college. There were several day-long workshops for faculty including Learning Outcomes and Learning communities as major topics. Ohlone is partnering with Stanford University regarding learning space design and IT classroom applications and there have been several consultations held on both campuses.

Martha Brown serves as project director and Deb Parziale is Activity Coordinator for the Title III project that focuses us on the adoption of more active and collaborative as well as technology aided learning methods. Vicki Curtis is coordinating the learning communities of which there are ten offered this fall semester. Mikelyn Stacey took the leadership role in organizing the University Express [link deleted] program into a learning communities model.

39 English, Math and Deaf Studies faculty comprise the new Basic Skills Faculty Learning Community which is co-chaired by Vicki Curtis and Sam Katz. Marilena Tamburello facilitated the E-portfolio Faculty Learning Community.

Lesley Buehler is leading a team of Ohlone faculty who will be serving as in-house consultants for skill development opportunities ranging from how to create Ipod supported curriculum, to kinesthetic-based learning to learning communities strategies and organization. Throughout the year we can contact Lesley who will do the matching of the mentors with our individual development needs. The website is mentors@ohlone.edu. At this time will the Title III team, including the mentors, please stand and be recognized.

The Nursing Department at Ohlone has made strides in advancing the Learning College model. Seven of the nine required nursing courses use computerized testing and three of the nine use web-enhanced teaching styles. Plans are in place to extend online testing and web enhancement to all nursing courses. All nursing syllabi, including the student handbook and faculty handbook are now online. Carrie Dameron led a grant program that piloted use of lap tops in her courses to enhance theory and clinical learning for nursing students. Laptops will be standard for all students in nursing beginning 2008 at the Newark campus. In April the nursing department conducted its first human simulation scenario, Anaphylactic Blood Transfusion Reaction. Plans are in place to train nursing faculty in simulation applications for all courses in the program. Janet Corcoran and Rosemary O’Neill established a weekly nursing student support group to ease students into the program and to provide opportunities to problem-solve strategies for success.

Five College Preparatory English courses are being taught as web-enhanced/ “hybrid” courses. Two new tutoring courses that meet requirements of the College Reading and Learning Association were developed. A DVD is being developed to assist ASL students and deaf students who are new to the deaf community to become more comfortable about attending deaf events and interacting with members of the deaf community.

Ralph Kindred and a faculty work group wrote a successful proposal for Ohlone to join the new iTunes University-- a pilot program sponsored by Apple Computers-- to create downloadable course materials for Ipods. iTunes U will be supporting learning mobility by providing an easy to use system to transfer audio/video content to the iPod.

I am pleased to announce that through our partnership with Apple Computer our labs have been updated with the latest Apple systems. An apple spokesperson has stated:

“These systems incorporate rich digital media content creation tools to help both students and faculty take learning in new directions. Over time you will regularly see Ohlone and Apple delivering resources to the campus to infuse new professional development and digital expertise to our staff, making Ohlone’s program a leader in the highly competitive Silicon Valley marketplace.”

One of the people we have to thank for the new partnership, in addition to our own Ralph Kindred, is Peter Hoffman from Apple’s corporate offices. Some will recall that Peter was a former Ohlone College foundation director. Peter is with us this morning. Please stand.

While deploying the new Apple platform, the IT Department has also been very involved in the conversion to the 16 week semester, along with scheduling, admissions financial aids, and payroll departments. I would like to thank the IT department that even though short-handed and pressed on many fronts, including power outages, has come together and performed yeomen’s work to prepare for this new school year! IT folks please stand.

Goal 3: Develop strategies to increase the proportion of full-time students including learning communities, cohort groups, enhanced facilities, and improved course availability.

Deb Parziale was notified that Ohlone will be a part of the Assessing Learning in Learning Communities’ National Project.

Rob Smedfjeld served on an interim basis as the institutional research coordinator. He re-engineered the research function to better mesh with Title III and learning out-comes measures and has worked closely with Michael Bowman who is now responsible for the research office.

The measurable objectives for this goal show that---

  • The persistence rates for students taking more than 6.5 credits improved 2.4%
  • Persistence rates of ESL were 9.2% over 2004-05 baseline
  • Persistence rates of basic skills math were 5.3% over baseline
  • Persistence rates for English basic skills were 7.1% over baseline
  • Overall student success rates are averaging 84% retention with 73% succeeding with C grade or higher

Comparing Ohlone success rates with the other community colleges we find that our retention rate is 39th out of 108 or 1% above state average and student success rate is 14th out of 108 campuses or 5% above state average. These rankings are a year old and we should see improvement in forthcoming reports.

One of the most effective means of making courses more available to our diverse student body is the totally on-line classes. Ohlone’s distance education program courses enrolled 4,443 students in 179 sections. In spring 2006, the first totally online learning community was successfully completed. In 2005-06, all new first-year RT students completed the majority of their first year didactic work via online education utilizing “learning community” cohort groups outside of the “web classroom.” A survey of on-line students showed 73% would like Ohlone College to offer an AA degree fully online.

Anu Ganguly’s organic chemistry class in spring 2006 was a model of student success. Every one of the students was accepted to a California UC, including the 2006 class valedictorian, Ayesha Moghul. The students worked with their professor on two research projects that focused on a team based, interdisciplinary approach tied to assessment of student learning outcomes. These students will co-present the two research poster presentations with professor Ganguly at the national conference of the American Chemical Society meeting in San Francisco next month.

In 2005-06 Ohlone coaches, along with counselor Ken Waters, increased to over 90% the number of student athletes receiving educational plans leading to an Associate Degree or transfer for a baccalaureate degree. The number of student athletes meeting with a counselor for general counseling increased from an estimated 60% to 100% this past year.

Ron Travenick and the student services division made numerous advances in fostering student success. Our counselors hosted 31 area high school counselors for what has become an annual Ohlone-High School Partnership conference. Registrar Kimberly Robbie reported that a new Automated Waiting Listing was added to the registration process and 6646 students used this new feature with 2149 successfully adding classes through this new option. Led by Deborah Griffin, the Financial Aids office instituted improvements that streamlined eligibility and accelerated delivery of awards to students. There was an 11% increase in BOG; 6% Pell Grant and 21% Cal Grant awards.

In the past three years the number of deaf students enrolled annually has increased 46% from 306 students in 2002-03 to 449 students in 2005-06. Deaf students (enrolled in OCDS courses) demonstrated a level of success that met or exceeded college-wide retention rates.

The Respiratory Therapist Program reported 100% of 2004-05 graduates passing licensure board exams immediately upon program graduation. Applications to the Program have doubled in the last year and the student retention rate has increased.

The 2005-06 Transfer Day brought 42 universities and colleges to campus to meet with prospective transfer students. The Transfer Center has been relocated to the first floor of building one, with a library and access to student resources readily available. Wayne Takakuwa facilitated installation of new computerized placement exams for math and English.

Under Debbie Triggs’ leadership, Education Opportunity Programs and Services has an outstanding track record at Ohlone. This past year 50 EOPS students received awards at the annual award ceremony. 22 transferred to a four year university with their Ohlone AA degree, 10 graduated with Honors and 11 with highest honors.

Ohlone Athletics continues to excel: Erin Morgan, a five-time state swimming champion, finished an amazing career at Ohlone and heads off to UC Santa Cruz.

Men’s Basketball reached the State Playoffs again this year, and four players received scholarships to four-year universities. Women’s Softball ended the 2006 season as Coast Conference Champions for the 4th year and went undefeated in the league to play in the Regional Tournament. Ohlone’s Melissa Cross received MVP in the league.

Men’s baseball signed two players with major universities this past season. Five baseball players transferred to schools out of state and four members of the team transferred to state universities.

Enrollment for fall semester is slightly ahead of last year and the year before, which is good news given that most Bay Area campuses are down in enrollment. Many elements of our enrollment management strategy are bearing good fruit—but we must keep up all of our efforts at both recruitment and retention of Ohlone students this year to strengthen our enrollment base which is still not fully restored. This spring semester fees will drop from $26 to $20 per unit which may give us a needed boost in enrollment.

New for this academic year is a program we are calling “College Connection.” Newark Memorial High School will send a faculty member and 26 students who will spend their senior year full-time on the Ohlone campus. They will take high school subjects in the morning and college subjects in the afternoons. Jackie Lucero and the Newark students are here with us this morning. Please stand and thank you for joining us today and best wishes in your college connection experience.

Our partnership with Newark Memorial High School will also be strengthened as we develop this academic year not just the building but the schedule, staffing, new curriculum and teaching strategies for our Newark Campus. Together with the Newark School District we will apply for a State grant to be a charter skills training collaborative.

Under Leta Stagnaro’s leadership, five planning retreats were held that focused on developing and implementing the learning college model for the new Campus for Health Science and Technology at Newark. These planning retreats included participation of over 75 faculty, staff and administrative personnel.

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.

Speaking of collaboration, I appreciate the effort involving representatives from CSEA and Lyle Engeldinger, resulting in the development of a Classified Flex Plan. The plan creates job knowledge and skill building opportunities. Staff can pursue individual learning plans, be provided release time for qualified education endeavors, and will earn additional time off credit for special educational achievements. Final approval is needed by the CSEA membership before implementation.

In my Spring semester address I cited many faculty members achievements in learning innovations. A few other notable faculty achievements include:

  • Nancy Pauliukonis receiving training through the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory to improve her students’ ability to access course content through multimedia presentations and via a course website.
  • Jim McManus has been certified to teach Pro Tools and also premiered in Berkeley his new composition “So Much More to Say” for flute, clarinet and cello.
  • William Wong gave a keynote presentation in Rochester at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf.
  • Cynthia Katona coauthored a book Modern Ivory Netsuke: A Collectors Book on Miniature Japanese Carvings.
  • Piano instructor Priscilla Carter-Granger performed a chamber music concert in New York with members of the San Francisco Symphony, and Walt Birkedahl performed with the Monterey Symphony and as principal bass with the Santa Cruz Symphony.
  • Kenny Mencher’s “Apperceptions and Allegories” is currently on display at the Elliot Fouts Gallery in Sacramento. There was a good article about his art recently in the Tri-City Voice newspaper.

In the governance arena, leaders of campus organizations met with me monthly. They assisted the Board of Trustees with their self-evaluation—something that had never before happened at Ohlone College. The Board has set in motion its own goal of more engagement with the campus including a new precedent of holding two meetings a year in the afternoon, the next of which will be October 11 at 3:00 p.m.

The vice presidents, deans, and directors met with me in three one-half day sessions and one full day retreat to better understand their respective roles in a Learning College shared leadership model. Joanne Schultz rendered important state-wide service on the Fiscal Standards and Accountability Committee that developed an early warning system for colleges at financial risk.

The College Council, under the leadership of Dennis Keller, made further progress in its third year of operation. The College Council took positions regarding campus security, board policies, facilities development, budget and measurement of college goals. They assisted with strategic planning and implementation throughout the year. I want to thank Dennis for his dedication to shared governance at Ohlone. Dennis please stand and be recognized for your good work.

For this coming year the College Council, under the co-leadership of Elizabeth Silva and myself, will be making a major effort to more fully engage staff and students in governance and communications regarding ongoing issues and developments within our District. Under the guidance of Jim Wright, the Council will coordinate the process under which all of the college staff will also be engaged in the forthcoming accreditation self-study.

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.

Led by Yvonka Headley, the One-Stop Career Center in Newark has served over 3,510 clients by offering free job search and career services to both the general public and Ohlone students. Through community partnerships, a new focus on outreaching to youth is progressing. Since April a youth advocate and peer support intern have been available to assist youth in the One Stop. The One-Stop provided assistance to 50 community members filing income tax forms for benefits of $48,000.

Ohlone has been helping the City of Fremont with its 50th anniversary celebration. Gary Kauf and broadcasting students created the “Faces of Fremont” video, describing Fremont’s history decade by decade. Bob Dochterman and KOHL Radio volunteered their services, creating a soundtrack for Celebrate Fremont’s float at the 4th of July parade. Patrice Birkedahl helped a committee conduct a survey of Fremont residents about their goals for the future of the city. Congratulations to Patrice as the Office of College Advancement received two first-place state awards and three gold national awards this past year for college marketing materials.

Sharon Quintana is a member of the Olive Hyde Art Guild and has volunteered for the East Bay Park District at Ardenwood for over 16 years, serving 4 years as president of the Historic Patterson House Foundation.

Pilar Lewis and Neil Strudwick volunteered for the “Keep Abreast Walk” organized by the HERS Breast Cancer Foundation in Fremont. Pilar also collaborated with CSU East Bay art professors in designing an altar for the 10th annual “Dia de Los Muertos” Fruitvale Festival. Over 90,000 people attended the event.

Deaf Studies maintains partnerships with the Department of Rehabilitation, the California School for the Deaf, and other community agencies serving the deaf student population. Sandra Klopping authored the first ASL credential exam for K -12 ASL teachers in California.

Entrepreneurial Ventures delivered workshops on Sustainability Enhancement to NUMMI staff and participants identified projects that could be implemented --two of which projects will result in estimated annual corporate saving of $150,000. Entrepreneurial Ventures also partnered with De Anza College and Workplace Learning to deliver a customized Tool & Dye training program for NUMMI apprentices. A series of Business Management Workshops were delivered in collaboration with Fremont and Newark Chambers of Commerce to assist over 150 participants from local businesses in achieving commercial success.

In its 17th year Ohlone for Kids provided a summer enrichment program to over 1,000 4th –10th grade students. The 2006 program expanded with over 50 classes scheduled at Newark Memorial high school and increased its offerings in Fremont to hold more appeal for high school students.

The Early Childhood Education Department presented a conference in their new facility. Topics covered the practical sides of running a business in childhood education and developmentally appropriate curriculum development. Congressman Pete Stark joined me in introductory remarks at the conference on the importance of early education for children and its impact on society.

Serving our country in military service, James Keogh returned from Afghanistan and attended the California Police Academy prior to resuming his Ohlone security duties. Trustee Garrett Yee is now on 6 month military assignment to Baghdad, Iraq and sends his best wishes to the staff and students of Ohlone at the start of this year. Instructor Sean Mclain Brown in the English Department is an author in a new anthology titled Veterans of War, Veterans of Peace. As part of the world community we all hope that a peaceful end can come to the hostilities in the middle East and elsewhere our military are deployed.

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, universal design, and environmental sustainability.

Ohlone continues to move forward as a model non-smoking campus. There were also emergency preparedness drills, workshops and a table-top disaster simulation. The Fitness Center is now revitalized and we hired a coordinator for the center, developed new workout classes and programs, replaced outdated equipment, added new equipment, and created an innovative instructor-directed activity for 20 minutes each hour.

A presentation on “Environmental Sustainability: The Natural Step Approach” by George Basile launched the year’s lineup of World Forums. Natural Step has shown us ways to alter our practices to improve resource efficiency while generating low environmental impacts. This summer Ohlone staff participated in a major sustainability conference held at UC Santa Barbara and I am serving on the planning committee for next year’s conference.

Architect and designer Dr. Susan Frey came to the Ohlone campus for three days of facilities evaluation and seminars with faculty, staff and architects. Dr. Frey provided suggestions for improvement in color schemes, lighting and climate control, and using technology to increase functionality in classrooms. She told us Ohlone room colors look pretty tired and Raul Ocho has done excellent work in painting the new prototype classrooms with colors that will enliven and enrich learning.

As part of ongoing environmental improvement efforts Larry Ferea, lead groundskeeper, takes a lot of pride in his work and for the second year in a row received much support as the college united for Earth Day activities. Students and staff combed the campus, dug through ivy for trash and gathered up recyclable items. Will Larry and all who participated in making Earth Day a success please stand.

In March, I spoke at a conference of the Society for College and University Planners. My speech dealt with sustainability and Ohlone College’s leadership by showing the way in constructing the first green-built college campus in the country.

A contract has been signed for solar energy at the Newark Campus. Ohlone College will install the largest solar power collection system in the Silicon Valley. The 569 Kilowatt-peak solar collection system will use flat panels covering 38,000 square feet of the roof and will allow us to generate at least 30% of campus electrical power from the sun.

Goal number six is especially important because the evidence for global warming is overwhelming and political attempts to deny it are unconscionable. Glaciers are melting and disappearing, plants and animals are forced from their habitat, severe storms and drought are dramatically increasing. Human suffering knows no borders as disease and starvation continue to take massive tolls on world populations in large measure due to sustainability issues. The book and movie “An Inconvenient Truth” document that if concerted action is not taken now around the world, catastrophic consequences await us:

  • deaths directly from global warming will double in 25 years—one-quarter to half million per year
  • global sea levels will rise up to 20 feet devastating coastal areas and islands
  • heat waves will be more frequent and more intense each year
  • droughts and wildfires will occur more often and be more destructive
  • the Artic Ocean could have no ice at all just 40 years from now
  • More than a million species would be extinct during that same next 40 years. These species make major contributions to the quality of the soils, air and water we depend upon for life

In the book The Sustainability Revolution, Andres Edwards writes that there is today an overwhelming agreement that we all must have:

  • concern for the environment, economy and social equity
  • understanding of our dependence on healthy natural systems for our well-being and survival
  • knowledge of the limits of the Earths’ ecosystems and detrimental impact of unchecked human activities
  • and a long-term, intergenerational perspective for needed goals and actions

This summer I heard Tom Friedman speak. He is the author of the best selling book The World is Flat. He talked persuasively of how sustainability is the overarching global issue because wars are being waged over oil. Most of the oil rich countries are under totalitarian rule, supporting a few very wealthy people while keeping millions of other people poor, uneducated and in ill health and starvation. The greatest thing we could do to take away the roots of terrorism, Friedman says, is to develop alternatives to petroleum based economies. You will recall our World Forum speaker last fall made a similar point: He was asked “how can we help Africa?” The answer was if we Americans would consume less-- that is what is most needed to stabilize their economy.

Colleges and universities in the United States have not by in large adopted sustainability practices for our campuses. Perry Chapman wrote a book this past year titled American Places: In Search of the 21st Century Campus. Chapman said:

If U.S. higher education institutions were to collectively exercise the most advanced practices in the use of alternative energy, alternative transportation, conservation of energy and resources, pollution control, ecosystem protection, and growth management, the impact on this country would be staggering.

Not only can 4,000 campuses change our collective behavior, we have the potential to influence millions of individuals, businesses and organizations in changing their consumption habits and non-sustainable practices.

I am very pleased to report to you that our new campus will be highly sustainable. By going solar and limiting conventional electrical use, we will contribute a reduction of 7,000 pounds of smog producing Nitrous Oxide, 6,000 pounds of Sulphur Dioxide producing Acid Rain, and 9 million pounds of Carbon Dioxide producing global warming. Conservation of 41,000 barrels of oil or 236 million cubic feet of natural gas is also accomplished by the solar system equivalent to removing 900 cars each day from the highways. The next step is to plan for solar power for the Fremont campus. Ohlone is leading the way—a better, greener way-- for California community colleges!

Simon Barros and staff in physical plant services have been working on energy conservation measures as well as reduction of solid waste sent to the landfill. Rod Schurtz has worked diligently in restoration of the water features leading up to building One. Marion Castenada in purchasing buys recycled supplies and the vendors for our new furniture and equipment must adhere to sustainable practices in manufacturing of the products we buy.

But we need to do more, much more and every one of us needs to be engaged. This year’s budget has $1.4 million for Fremont campus utilities expense. A considerable portion of that budget can be reduced so we would do less environmental harm and redirect resources to other needs. We are consuming too much energy, using too much paper, and creating too much garbage on this campus. Every day needs to be earth day at Ohlone!

For my part as president I will appoint from among current staff and faculty a Sustainability Coordinator on special assignment. Second, the Coordinator will work with a new Sustainability Institute that will be responsible for environmental projects, services and grants. Third, the Institute will get its priorities established in October when we will hold an afternoon college symposium in the gym as was done in 2004 to create the college goals. All staff and many students will come together to set in motion an all-out engagement in learning about and doing the work of Ohlone College sustainability practices. This is an issue that affects every one of us, staff and students alike. As we unite in learning-- specifically learning about how to foster healthy and sustainable communities-- we are achieving as a college true and lasting relevancy to our society!

Goal 7 Increase public and private funds for educational programs, equipment, and facilities through entrepreneurial activities, grants, and the College Foundation.

Deanna Walston is reporting that the state budget for community colleges is one of the best ones in recent memory. Our District will have some one-time discretionary funds we can allocate through a shared governance process guided by College Council.

While we are glad for a temporary budget improvement, we all know that California expects much more from the community colleges than it financially supports. We must all be more entrepreneurial and resourceful and I am pleased to share with you a number of Ohlone accomplishments to that very end:

Ron Quinta’s proposal was funded for a NSF Quick Start Biotechnology Grant; one of only three federal grants awarded in the state of California! Entitled the "Bay-LAB" project, this $250,000 grant will enhance the LAB project and increase collaboration with the ROP, our high school partners, and Chabot College. This week we received notice of an additional $600,000 in State workforce development funds to support our Biotech program.

In March, the Biotechnology department and Foundation sponsored a dinner to support the Learning Alliance in Bioscience Project. There was generous participation from the community in providing sponsorship, food, entertainment, and the use of the Newark Pavilion for the celebration. Several scholarships were given at the event.

The Early Childhood Studies Department was awarded a second grant of $100,000 from First Five-- Every Child Counts, to hire a second Professional Development Coordinator. A TANF grant was also awarded to ECS students to help them attain their educational goals. The ECS Department’s other grants such as the Child Development Training Consortium help students with college fees and book purchases. For the fiscal year 2005-2006, the Ohlone College Foundation distributed scholarships of over $28,000 and Program Support fund totaling $156,000. The President’s Circle representing donors at $1,000 per year now includes 44 members, a number of whom are in our audience today. President’ s Circle Please stand and be recognized.

A sold-out Golf Tournament at Castlewood Country Club in September netted over $30,000 in funds to help provide scholarships and equipment for the Ohlone Athletics Program. Mike Cowan has been awarded a $25,000 grant from the PGA entitled “Golf: For Business and Life Program Structure”.

At the Citizen of the Year fund raiser luncheon in October 400 attendees came dressed in Island attire and honored pillar of the community, Rick Geha. Rick has served for several years as president of the Ohlone College Foundation. The luau highlight was a video about Rick filmed by the national TV show, Extra!

Ohlone College received three grants in international education this past year. One was for developing a study program in India, another for student scholarships to study in Korea, and the third for Deaf Scholars in Japan.

Sharlene Limon was instrumental in getting a grant with the Moore Foundation. They announced their intention to fund a human patient training simulator for southern Alameda County in which Washington Hospital and Ohlone College are co-recipients.

Out of a pool of 1,000 applicants nationwide Ohlone College was one of only 28 institutions awarded a Title III Strengthening Institutions Grant. Title III got underway in October and will bring in $1,750,000 over the next 5 years.

Dave Smith, Executive Director of Asset Management, was hired to help develop corporate sponsorships for the District. He has many contacts in the Bay Area corporate community. His political expertise has already proven to be helpful in developing possible new sources of funding. Dave is heading the $5 million capital campaign funds drive and was instrumental in Ohlone making the list of congressional appropriations expected this fall for the Newark Campus solar project. Dave has done considerable research to develop prospects for major gifts. If you know an individual or have contact with a company capable of donating a significant amount, please pass that information on to Dave or myself as we are now on the capital fund raising trail.

On the September 13 Board agenda is a Letter of Intent with the Sobrato Corporation for private development of the Fremont campus frontage property. The actual lease of property will be consummated through a competitive bid. Preliminary figures show that the district would receive an estimated $25 million in cash up front as pre-paid rents once the frontage project is finally approved by the college and the City. Much needed improvements in IT, classrooms, athletic fields, parking and deferred maintenance will be funded by the lease.

A major in-kind gift was received from Broadsite Wireless who this summer equipped the Fremont campus with infrastructure for wireless access. General Manager Ahmed Hashmi arranged for the donated installation. His daughter is an Ohlone graduate and Mr. Hashmi is in our audience this morning. Please stand and be recognized.

Goal 8 Develop an implement a District-wide facilities plan which encompasses the design, construction (including furnishings and equipment), renovation and major scheduled maintenance of College facilities that support programs and enhance student and employee success.

The Newark Center for Health Sciences and Technology is becoming a reality. The steel framing Topping Out ceremony (putting the final beam in place) occurred August 16th. The geothermal coils have been laid in the ground and covered with approximately eight feet of earth. The coils are in 90-foot trenches that cover 4 ¼ acres along Cherry Street. Geo-thermal technology for cooling and heating is unique to public buildings in the Bay Area and the Ohlone installation is drawing considerable attention in the construction industry

Plans are now ready for bids to build the new student services center.

Also through Bond Measure A the wooden steps are being replaced with cement steps and wooden handrails have also been replaced with steel rails. New steel doors have been installed across campus and tennis courts have been resurfaced this summer. Through fall and into spring semester, there will be lots of scaffolds and some fenced detours as building One will have stucco cleaned and repaired and new sealant paint applied. The board has also allocated $ 1million for upgrading our IT system and $1 million for selected classroom renovations.

ASOC is doing its part on enhancing the campus environment by purchasing 16 outdoor umbrella, table and seats combination units for the upper and lower quad areas.

Rooms 2207 and 8207 have been remodeled and rooms 1402 and 1406 on the fourth floor of Building One have been renovated to serve as model Learning College environments. These prototype classrooms feature 3 presentation screens, 2 of which are mobile, 50 inch plasma multi-media stations with collaboration software, allowing students to share the contents of their laptop to the presentation screens. Each room has 40 wireless laptop computers, Macbooks, with dual platform processing. They also feature mobile ergonomic furniture that allows easy reconfiguration to support small group interaction and a variety of classroom layouts. For her doctoral dissertation, Leta Stagnaro will be conducting research on impacts of the renovated environments on student and faculty perceptions of learning enhancement.

Closing Remarks:

In my closing remarks I want to emphasize our engagement with environmental concerns and opportunities. We need to be clear as educators that it is not earth that needs saving. This planet will exist for many more billions of years no matter what we do or don’t do. It is civilization, the very capacity of earth to sustain human life, that is now threatened. Of what use, really, are all of our lessons we will teach in the arts, history, literature and sciences if our students come away from their college education unchanged in their views regarding this global human and ecological crisis. As Juliet Shorr has said:

“Neither life, nor liberty nor the pursuit of happiness are possible on a diseased and dying planet.”

“Just 200 years ago herds of elk and antelopes dotted the hills above Fremont, San Jose and Monterey. Grizzly bears lumbered down to the creeks to fish for salmon and trout. From vast marshlands geese, ducks and other birds rose in thick clouds with a sound like that of a hurricane. This land of inexpressible fertility supported the densest Indian population in all of North America—over 10,000 people, Ohlones, between Point Sur and San Francisco Bay. Life in the ocean and in the unspoiled bays was likewise plentiful beyond modern conception. “ (Margolis, Ohlone Way)

The environment of our home place has changed drastically in the last 200 years. Many plants and animals are gone from here and those that survived have altered their habits and characters. Before European settlement all animal life was relatively unafraid of people because the Ohlones lived among the animals as an extension of animal and plant life—neither as distinct nor dominant over such life. A large part of an Ohlone Indians’ life was spent learning the ways of animals and all of nature.

In her book, Biomimicry-Innovation Inspired by Nature, Janine Benyus describes how nature can serve as a mentor to humans in our modern time. Nature has been learning how to adapt for 3.8 billion years of evolution. As a mentor, nature can teach us humans to treat ecosystems not as a commodity but as a source of knowledge and inspiration.

Benuys writes:

“…Nature’s optimization stands in sharp contrast to humans’ inefficient use of nonrenewable energy sources, tremendous waste and disposal habits …Nature runs on sunlight, uses only the energy it needs, recycles everything and curbs excesses from within. From an ecosystem perspective, nature rewards cooperation, banks on diversity and inspires vast displays of innovations without depleting any of its basic capital.”

In reality we humans are beholden to ecological laws, the same as any other life-form. The most irrevocable of these laws says that a species cannot occupy a niche that appropriates all resources—there has to be sharing. Any species that ignores this law winds up destroying its community to support its own expansion. But reaching our limits as human species-- and we must admit to ourselves that indeed there are limits-- may be an opportunity for us to go to a new phase of coping, in which we adapt to the Earth rather than the other way around.

We need to look into the faces of our children and grandchildren from whom we are borrowing precious natural resources that will rob them of healthy and productive lives. We need to see that our lives are interconnected with the lives of all living entities on earth, past, present and future--from microorganisms to all people to the ecosystem of the planet as a whole. Such a humble awareness will cause us to know that the small choices we make, day by day-- what to consume, how to handle our waste, how to conduct our work, and how to spend our time-- do indeed have effects on the larger systems around us. Our security officer Stewart Dawson captured these photos of campus wildlife living amongst us—nature’s faculty if you will. Humans today can learn from nature as did the native peoples. The changes we make now, no matter how incremental they seem, may be the nucleus for a new sustainable society.

Native American elder Luther Standing Bear reflected on these matters when he wrote

I am going to venture that the man who sat on the ground in his tipi meditating on life and its meaning, accepting the kinship of all creatures, and acknowledging unity with the universe of things, was infusing with his being the true essence of civilization.

This speaks of my hope for us at Ohlone--- This is my dream for our World!

Ohlone College: A world of cultures united in learning.

Skip plugin info.

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

Apple Quicktime (free) is required to play the videos and/or audio on this page.