Ohlone College President's Office

State of the College Spring 2009
January 23, 2009 / Dr. Gari Browning

Good morning!

As we gather here today, this country has reason to celebrate. On Tuesday the United States inaugurated its first African American President, Barak Obama! This historic event is cause for all people to come together with new hope--hope despite the many challenges our country faces.

Ohlone too has challenges. We're addressing an accreditation warning and the State budget crisis looms. Like the country in which we live, in our community, we will have to consider each other and the good of Ohlone's students to see us through these tough times. Over the next few years, we will need to lock arms, be united, think together, and move forward. Much of what I will say today is about plans and planning for the college. I'll be focusing on what we've already accomplished, and I'll be sharing my view on how we will move forward in these uncertain times.

Introductions

Ohlone College Board of Trustees.Before I begin, would like to acknowledge the members of the Board of Trustees who are with us today.

I would like to welcome several new members of the Ohlone family. Most of you know we've had a change on our board.

Our new trustees are:

  • Greg Bonaccorsi
  • Teresa Cox

New Staff Members are:

  • Diane Cheney
    Learning Disabilities Specialist in Counseling
  • Kristina Alvig
    Special Programs Assistant
  • Margaret Moe
    Capital Projects Coordinator
  • Santío Martinez
    Student Services Assistant

In addition, we have a few Status Changes:

  • Allison Bly
    Interim Director, Transition and Learning Communities
  • Josefina Sette
    Director, Applied Biotechnology Center
  • Kara Cattivera
    Staff Interpreter II (Full Time)

I have one more member of the Ohlone College team I would like to mention. This is my first grandchild, Léon, born December 9th. I had the pleasure of spending the winter break getting to know him.

China Delegation

Now I would like to introduce some very special visitors, delegates of the Zhejiang Academy of Fine Arts from Hangzhou, headed by President He Shi Yun. Would President He and his group please stand?

Zhejiang Academy of Fine Arts is a partner institution to Ohlone College. It has hosted our music faculty Dennis Keller and Tim Roberts and has sent a group of performers to us. The delegation's presence today represents another step in our cooperative relations. It is an honor and a pleasure to have them visit Ohlone College. We hope for a long and productive relationship with our friends in China. Welcome.

Thank you to Xisheng Fang for organizing the delegation's activities.

Report on my first six months

During my six months at Ohlone, I've walked around both campuses, talked to students, attended various college and community events, and chatted with many of you. A lot has occurred in that short time. Let's look at what's happened.

Accreditation

At noon on July 1, my first day at Ohlone, a letter from the accrediting commission arrived putting Ohlone College on warning. The recommendation covered two areas of concern. The most urgent issues pertained to the Board of Trustees. Ohlone was required to give a report to the Commission in October discussing our response to the recommendations and on our progress in effecting change.

Given the short timeline, I immediately assessed the structure of the board in light of the recommendations and began implementing important changes to the board meetings and agendas. We used an outside consultant to explain the needed changes and provide the board with specific training. The board members and the College are better informed and better equipped now to comply with the Accrediting Commission standards. Over the past several months, through continual efforts from the board members, I believe we have succeeded in

  • Clarifying the board's role in determining policy, not operations
  • Organizing meetings to focus discussion and action at the policy level
  • Increasing effectiveness and regulation of board meetings
  • Improving communication between the president and the board

The first report given to the Commission contained the improvements we have made in response to the recommendations. It was followed by a visit from Commission representatives in November. We will hear news of our status shortly (unfortunately, not in time for today's speech). A second accreditation report, focused primarily on planning and program review, is in preparation, due to the commission on March 1st.

College Governance

Prior to my arrival, College Council served an informational function for the District with representatives from each of the key areas reporting important news and events in their areas. The Council also reviewed board agendas and gave recommendations on various initiatives being presented at the board meetings. The changes to Board structure I just described led to changes in the role of the College Council. I wanted the Council to serve the as the college's shared governance body, the planning and budgeting committee, and as the primary advisory body for the president.

To become the shared governance body, the Council needed to clarify its function and document operational processes. We are still working on this, but during the fall semester the Council evaluated and revised its by-laws. Council activity broadened. In our meetings, now we

  • review board actions and upcoming agenda topics far enough ahead of the meeting to ensure appropriate input;
  • discuss progress on accreditation;
  • keep abreast of the state and college budget proposals; and
  • work to shape the college planning process

A critical change to the Council is its responsibility to give everyone a voice in the business of the College. This is the Council's primary activity in fulfilling its shared governance purpose. The Council has discussed how to function as a two-way communication link, so input can be gathered and information can be shared. Council Co-Chair, Tim Roberts, has sent several announcements urging your involvement. We know email does not reach everyone who works at Ohlone, so we have brainstormed ways we can reach all members of the college community. An important avenue for discussion is in-person contact with Council members. To be sure you know who they are and to give you a chance to acknowledge their great work, I would like to introduce them now.

Appointed by Faculty Senate:

  • Bob Bradshaw
  • Peggy Kauffman
  • Bill Parks
  • Stephanie Ramos
  • Tim Roberts
  • Kim Stiles

Please stand.

Appointed by Associated Students of Ohlone:

  • Zuhal Bahaduri
  • Kevin Feliciano

Appointed by CSEA:

  • Linda Evers
  • Bill Duke

Appointed by SEIU:

  • Kurt Nordquist
  • David Schurtz

Appointed by the President/Superintendent representing administration:

  • Academic / Mikelyn Stacey
  • Student Services / Tina Dodson
  • Administrative Services / Joanne Schultz

Ex-officio members:

  • Jim Wright, Vice President for Academic Affairs
  • Mike Calegari, Vice President for Administrative Services
  • Ron Travenick, Vice President, Student Development
  • College President

Improving planning

Ohlone has a strong foundation for strategic planning. The college community participated in creating the current college goals and is aware of our progress towards accomplishing them. We currently have a facilities plan, an information technology plan, and a plan for our educational programs.

Our next steps are to make planning into a cyclical process. The cycle goes like this:

  • Scan the community to determine its educational needs
  • Assess our performance in meeting those needs
  • Review and revise our college mission and vision as necessary
  • Create new goals that allow us to respond to the needs we have identified, and
  • Carry forward incomplete goals.

Then we will:

  • Implement and assess and
  • Scan the community again to keep the cycle going

Implementing and codifying this process will help us meet accreditation standards regarding planning. However, more importantly to the college, these steps will assure that planning and improvement are constantly occurring. The three area plans I mentioned will be integrated into one and folded into the strategic planning process. We will have a single, coherent strategic plan for all areas of the college, which is focused on student learning and achievement. As a foundation, we have established principles to guide us, definitions so we all use the same terminology, and processes for how we will implement strategic planning.

Principles:

  • Student Centered
  • Community Responsive
  • Rational and Fair
  • Open and Transparent
  • Collegial
  • Inclusive of All Stakeholders
  • Cyclical for Continuous Improvement
  • Doable

A main issue in our accreditation recommendations on planning is having clear connection between program review and resource allocation. Ohlone has performed program review for quite a long time. However, program review has not been central to college planning. We need to engage all departments in improving the college through planning, and we need a way to distribute our resources fairly and transparently. By connecting needed improvements identified in program review to resource decisions, we are making program review more meaningful and meeting accreditation standards.

I want to thank the President's Planning Task Force, comprised of faculty and administrators, who worked throughout the fall semester to develop improvements to college planning. They have made excellent recommendations to the College Council in the following areas:

  • Glossary of planning terms
  • Design of strategic planning cycle
  • Proposal for annual planning cycle
  • Development of the Program Review module in CurricUNET
  • A process to prioritize Program Improvement Objectives, action plans, and associated resource needs for all college departments

Over the course of the coming year we will be trying out these new processes and refining them. You all have been asked to use your most recent program review to identify one Program Improvement Objective by February 6. Jon Degallier and his students have made it as easy as possible to do this. If all programs participate, the College Council will have 88 Program Improvement Objectives to prioritize for this year. Although we may not have many resources to distribute this year, applying our planning principles and our new tools will allow us to approximate a collegial annual planning process we will refine for the future. I ask for your assistance in this important college project.

Environmental Scan

Through the work of the Dean of Research, Mike Bowman and his staff, we now have data and information about our state, our community, nearby community colleges, and about our programs and services. The result of this work is an environmental scan that will enable us to create informed goals and make informed decisions. Some interesting highlights from the environmental scan include:

  • The California Community Colleges are by far the fastest growing segment of higher education.
  • Public high school graduates in Alameda County are projected to decline by 16.28% between 2007 and 2016.

  • 68.9% of Ohlone students come from within the district; 11.6% come from other areas within Alameda County; and 10.9% are from Santa Clara County. Most others come from nearby counties.

  • 19.4% of the district population is Hispanic, while 11.4% of Ohlone students are.
  • In 56.3% of district households, English is not the first language.

  • Ohlone is mid-level in the Bay 10 districts for percentage of transfers to CSU, but in the top third for UC.

  • Ohlone ranks in the bottom third of the Bay 10 for students earning associate degrees.

  • 78.3% of all course enrollments in fall 2007 were in transfer courses.
  • Enrollment in vocational courses has declined 3% since fall 2006.

College Budget

You have undoubtedly been keeping up on the developments (or lack thereof) regarding the state budget. The picture for us has improved from very bleak to gloomy. At the outset, the governor and legislative analyst proposed significant cuts to community college budgets for this year and next, and proposed significant increases to student tuition. It appears now that some of our lobbying in Sacramento has been successful. It looks as though the community colleges are recognized as major contributors to the economic health of the state. At the current time, the cut that consistently appears in budget proposals is the elimination of the Cost of Living Adjustment.

The governor's latest proposed budget for this year includes:

  • A midyear cut which is limited to removing the 0.68 percent COLA for community colleges, a total savings of $39.8 million for the state.
  • A delay in releasing community college funds, holding the January and February apportionment payments until the following July and another moving $200 million from July to October. The $230 million deferral is proposed as an ongoing change.

Cash flow will be at issue for us.

Next year's budget proposal, which is the kindest to community colleges of the many proposals we have seen includes,

  • An increase of $185.2 million to support 3 percent enrollment growth;
  • No COLA--the state administration estimates that would save them $322.9 million; and
  • Suspension of all mandate payments. These are payments that reimburse districts for the cost of things we are required by law to perform, such as negotiation expenses.

Taken together, this proposal will require us to serve more students but will not provide the money to pay for regular increases in operational costs.

So far the legislature seems far from accepting the governor's proposal. The Democrats want tax increases; the Republicans insist on cuts to programs. Until we have agreement within the legislature, we cannot be sure of our financial circumstance, especially for next year. In many ways not knowing about our funding level is harder to deal with than being able to plan for cuts.

There are a few principles I am using to approach our budget situation.

  • First, we must ensure Ohlone's fiscal stability over the next few years.
  • To the greatest extent possible, we seek to protect programs and services that directly impact students and to avoid layoffs of staff, faculty and administrators.
  • Budget decisions will be transparent and collegial.  I want your ideas.

In the meantime, I am closely tracking our fiscal situation; controlling expenditures; supporting opportunities for fund-raising, increasing international student enrollment, and seeking grants; and determining the feasibility of a new bond. We have developed scenarios for potential cuts to this year's budget to ensure our fiscal health.

To keep you informed, I have established a link on my webpage to budget information. As updates from the State come in, we are posting them. There is also a blog for you to comment or offer your creative ideas to help us weather the storm.

Student Services Building

Rotunda of the new Student Support Services Building.Perhaps a little hard to deal with in the same breath as budget woes is our new and exciting Student Services building. Remember, however, that the Newark Center and the Student Services Building are funded out of our local bond. If you haven't noticed yet, progress on the building is impressive. The target date for the completion of the building is June 10th. The building features one-stop services to students including Counseling, Student Health, DSPS, Financial Aid, Clubs, and an array of meeting rooms and offices. Students can enter and exit from any floor of the building. There are great views, lots of light, outdoor seating spaces, and many environmentally-friendly features. Because of its co-location with the other buildings, we anticipate this new addition will transform the quad into the main street of the campus. Tours will be available shortly.

Overview of accomplishments from 2005-10 Strategic Plan

Over the last four years, Ohlone's Strategic Plan has provided a framework for many improvements. Next year at this time, we will complete our efforts on the 2005-10 College Goals, and I will issue a final report. Our accomplishments so far are impressive. I would like to share some with you.

Goal I

Promote appreciation for and understanding of diverse races and cultures.

We have great accomplishments with this goal. We:

  • Appointed an International Programs Director, Eddie West
  • Re-instituted the Study Abroad Program
  • Conducted several faculty exchanges to China and provided at least 15 faculty with opportunities to teach abroad
  • Developed English Language Institute curriculum
  • Hosted college dancers from China twice and sent Ohlone students to China
  • Signed exchange agreements with the Japanese Sign Language Institute and with Sweden's Interpreter Preparation Program
World Forums

We instituted a World Forum and conducted 14 forums representing over 10 countries and cultures and a variety of global issues ranging from immigration and US/Mexico relations to the Israeli/Palestinian Conflict.

Our next World Forum, on Thursday, March 5th, addresses the Global Economic Crisis. Our speaker is from McKinsey & Company and comes highly recommended to us by the Silicon Valley Leadership Group.

Sister Cities

We have developed strong sister-city relationships with four cities in China:

  • Taizhou
  • Hangzhou
  • Suzhou
  • Dalian

In addition, we are developing relationships with other cities in China and with various cities in India.

Cultural activities

We have increased the number of cultural activities available on campus, including

  • Raza Day
  • ASOC Unity Week
  • Disability Awareness Week
  • Formation of Asian Pacific Student Club
  • Variety of musical programs with multi-cultural themes
Staff Diversity

There has been some increase in full-time college personnel for all underrepresented populations since 2004. Asian employees are up 3.85%, African Americans are up 1.59%, and Hispanics are up 1.31%. We still have work to do here.

Other efforts to support this goal include

  • Implementation of the Puente Program
  • Addition of a Latino counselor to EOPS
  • An NSF grant for the LAB program which is successfully recruiting Latino/Hispanic students at a significantly higher rate than the college as a whole. We anticipate the program will increase Latino/Hispanic students pursuing biotechnology certificates, and also Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math degrees.
  • Starting a program similar to Puente for African American students called Umoja, which means village is Swahili

We have truly come a long way to increase our understanding and appreciation of diversity.

Goal II

Develop the Learning College Model across the curriculum to improve student course success and program completion.

I am impressed with our dedication to the Learning College Model and all of the efforts we have made to improve teaching and learning. So far, a large portion of Ohlone faculty has been trained in and is using new learning methods.

  • 146 (virtually all) fulltime-faculty have taken workshops in active, collaborative learning.
  • Nearly all of full time and part time faculty incorporate collaborative learning in classroom instruction.
  • Our faculty incorporate technology in classroom instruction.

Our Fixed Flex activities, which you have been enjoying this week, are well planned, well attended, and continually assessed to ensure high quality. Thank you, Deb Parziale.

In addition, students report --

  • Ohlone is a positive and supportive environment to pursue an education.
  • Instructors are highly skilled and prepared for classes.
  • They are available to talk to students outside of class.
  • The quality of instruction at Ohlone is excellent.

Goal III

Develop strategies, enhance facilities, and improve course availability to increase full-time student enrollment.

We have made the following efforts to increase full-time enrollment:

Seven learning communities have been created including University Express and the Puente Program, and others that focus on English and Basic Skills.

We have improved the accuracy of our student placement processes; 90% of all math students were judged by the instructors as being properly placed, 82% in English.

We have increased semester-to-semester persistence rates for basic skills students, albeit unevenly. We surpassed the target we set for ESL.

In addition, we implemented the High School College Connection program and have increased the number of courses we offer on high school campuses.

Our result: in fall 2007, 27% of students were enrolled in 12 units or more--fairly high compared to other Bay Area colleges according to our environmental scan.

Goal IV

Provide continuous learning for all District personnel and promote an organizational structure that supports the Learning College model.

The College has spent significant time preparing to establish a staff development program. We have developed a method to improve job skills and compensation for our employees which will also improve efficiency. The model promises to fulfill current and future work needs, increase job satisfaction, and extend life-long learning to all members of the college community.

We have improved some of our structures, especially in IT. Through the work of the Technology Committee, we have taken strides to improve technology support for the college. The committee has updated the Technology Master Plan and an assessment is underway.

IT is currently reviewing tools to allow users to self-diagnose and troubleshoot their own basic IT problems, and we have improved faculty ability to use Web CT for course management and student retention.

Goal V

Promote the health, environmental, cultural, and economic vitality of the community through outreach programs, community services, and partnerships.

Perhaps the most significant progress on this goal has been Ohlone's One Stop Center, which provides services to job seekers and employers in the TriCities area.

For employers, One Stop assists with recruitment, applicant screening, and interviewing. Currently, the One-Stop is busy helping companies prepare for large layoffs and working with the employees who will lose their jobs. From September to December 1644 employees were laid off by just a few of the companies we work with.

In this fiscal year, One Stop has already provided services to 98 new employers and 127 return employers.

One Stop also collaborates with Ohlone programs in health sciences, biotech, and our new solar tech program. Customer satisfaction with One Stop is always very high.

Goal VI

Promote and maintain an accessible, clean, healthy and environmentally sustainable college environment.

At the top of the list of accomplishments for this goal is the achievement of LEED Platinum certification for the Newark campus, a designation that has brought many opportunities for awards, donations, grants, and recognition to the college. More importantly, Newark provides an enhanced learning environment for our students.

We are counting on a Silver LEED certification for the new Student Services Building, with the possibility of Gold.

Other accomplishments of this goal include the implementation of a Sustainability Committee that enjoys active student involvement.

And thanks to the leadership of Steve Osawa, Campus Police Chief, we have completed and revised our Emergency Preparedness Plan and are conducting practice sessions, adding to the safety of our college environment.

Goal VII

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

Ohlone has secured a number of grants. This past year, six new grants totaling slightly over $1 million were approved and funded to support programs in international business, biotechnology, wellness and information technology. Additional support from the Chancellor's office augmented the Nursing Education grant for an additional $192,000. These grants not only fund new programs or support existing programs, they develop corporate partnerships and enhance relationships with many of our educational partners.

We also secured and implemented a $1,750,000-Title 3 grant over five years to support teaching and learning technology and basic skills instruction.

The Ohlone Foundation is very productive. We are enjoying record levels of fund raising activity and event participation, including

  • $2.8 million raised for Newark capital campaign
  • Green Tie Gala that netted $51,000 held this past February
  • Athletics Golf Tournament (in September 2008) netted $41,000

A record number of scholarships and awards were given. With a new “student friendly” online scholarship system called “STARS” to be implemented this spring, we expect an increase in the number of applications and easier management of scholarship funds.

Ohlone College Foundation Board members.The Foundation is about to launch a new approach to employee giving that includes a large variety of giving opportunities, including several new options.

New community members (7) have joined the Foundation Board of Directors:

  • New Board Chair is Bob Douglass
  • New Board Vice Chair is Melrose Forde
  • Eight working committees have been established to develop new fundraising opportunities.

Finally, extensive effort has been put into management of many existing funds to create more opportunities to assist students, staff, and faculty.

Goal VIII

Develop and implement a District-wide facilities plan which supports programs and enhances student and employee success.

To address this goal, the Facilities Master Planning Committee has been re-established and is working to update our plan by end of academic year. As we approach completion of the projects funded by the last bond, we are developing a foundation for possibly seeking a new bond.

There has been much progress in facilities improvement. In addition to completing the Newark Campus and the near completion of the Student Services Building, the exterior of Building 1 has been completely resurfaced. We are waiting for promised state funding for two new infrastructure projects, underground water intrusion abatement and fire suppression systems.

Proposed Goals for 2010-2015

I'm sure you will agree that we have accomplished a great deal, using the 2005-10 strategic plan as a foundation.

To have a new Strategic Plan in place in fall 2010 when this plan ends, we are now engaged in comprehensive assessment. In addition to reviewing our current goals, we are compiling the data from the environmental scan--you have heard some highlights--and gathering input from our accreditation self study, and the results of program reviews. Some of our current objectives will be carried over and added to the new plan, based on our progress.

I am working with the Vice Presidents and the College Council to revise and write proposed goals and objectives. These will provide a starting point for discussion as we create the new plan. The Council met this week to begin and I have included some of their response today. An all-campus summit will occur in early March to gather college-wide input on the plan.

Also this semester, we will conduct Community Forums and meetings with various groups to ensure that their perspectives and ideas are considered in our plan. We anticipate that the Board of Trustees will review the newly revised strategic plan in the early summer.

Overall, we want our future goals to

  • Focus the whole college on teaching and learning
  • Respond to community educational needs
  • Be based on good information
  • Use college resources responsibly
  • Improve college operations

The proposed goals are more clearly aligned with our values. You will recognize some of the goals as a continuation of our current ones; several are new. For each I offer my perspective.

VALUES:
We provide life long learning opportunities for students, college personnel and the community.

Proposed Goal 1

Develop and implement innovative teaching and learning strategies and services across the college which utilize methods and technologies demonstrated to improve student learning and achievement.

This goal expresses the purpose of student learning outcomes, which is more than simply articulating the outcomes we expect from our students. The idea behind this goal is for faculty to use their expertise to professionally analyze what they teach, how they teach it, and the results produced, using the results for continual improvement.

This goal also encompasses improved achievement for all students as a product of their learning, as measured by increases in students

  • moving from one course level to the next (through-put),
  • staying in class (retention),
  • coming back to Ohlone semester after to semester until goal is completed (persistence),
  • successfully completing courses,
  • transferring,
  • completing degrees and certificate, and
  • getting jobs

Proposed Goal 2

Consistent with the Learning College concept, provide effective, continuous, needs-based learning and professional development opportunities for all District personnel.

This goal expresses the priority we have placed on elevating employee skills and increasing college efficiency. New leadership in Human Resources will focus on implementing classified and administrative staff development.

Proposed Goal 3

Support the economic vitality of the community through educational programs and services that respond to identified needs.

This goal encompasses Ohlone's responsiveness to our role in the economic health of the TriCities area. Renewed expectations and opportunities from the state government, the Obama economic stimulus plan, and from members of our community will be met through our continual planning and improvement cycle. We intend to expand efforts such as those of Dr. Ron Quinta in developing the biotechnology program. Program development should be based on identified needs using current data. The environmental scan will be a terrific tool for making needs-based decisions.

VALUES:
We demonstrate stewardship for our human, financial, physical and environmental resources.

Proposed Goal 4

Manage human, fiscal, technological, and physical resources effectively and efficiently to maximize student learning and achievement.

With this goal I am underscoring all types of college resources as a means for achieving goals. Resource allocation will be integrated into the college planning processes. Needs and priorities will determine our direction. We will use available resources or find new resources to get us there.

This goal frames our need to improve internal institutional effectiveness and the need develop better ways to get our work done.

Key concepts of this goal are

  • Efficient use of college resources
  • Sustainability as a major consideration in all we do
  • Improving communication across departments

For Human Resources we will

  • Optimize college staffing and skills
  • Recognize staff accomplishments and contributions
  • Celebrate college achievements

For Fiscal Resources we will

  • Assess the fiscal needs of all areas
  • Use funds efficiently
  • Seek new funding sources
  • Improve college-wide understanding of the budget and budget processes

Technology Resources will

  • Improve efficient and effective delivery of services to students through technology
  • Improve internal operations of the college
  • Provide technological access to college data for planning and decision-making

Physical Resources include equipment, buildings, grounds, and property. Improvement will focus on

  • Continuing Ohlone as a leader in sustainability through upgrading the Fremont campus
  • Integrating asset planning with strategic planning
  • Pursuing a new Bond campaign to improve and upgrade facilities at the Fremont campus

VALUES:

  • We open access to higher education and actively reach out to underserved populations
  • We promote diversity and inclusiveness

Proposed Goal 5

Increase college-wide appreciation for and understanding of diverse people and cultures.

Ohlone will continue its attention to multicultural awareness. Among objectives that will achieve this goal are extending opportunities for multi-cultural and international experiences to a wider segment of college and to the community and increasing intercultural focus within the curriculum.

We will continue to embrace international education opportunities in the form of relationships with China, India, and countries in South and Central America. And we will continue to recruit international students.

Proposed Goal 6

Increase access to higher education of underserved demographic groups in the District.

The complement to increasing multicultural awareness is increasing access to higher education for underserved groups. One way to improve access is by working in tandem with cities, community organizations, and other educational segments to make the college a welcoming place for the community. We will increase emphasis on student access and educational success for underserved populations, especially Hispanics, and by continuing our efforts to diversify Ohlone staff.

VALUES:

  • We practice innovation and actively encourage risk-taking and entrepreneurship
  • We maintain high standards in our constant pursuit of excellence
  • We value trust, respect and integrity
  • We promote team work and open communication

Proposed Goal 7

Engage all members of the college community in active, continual institutional improvement.

This goal will focus on

  • Successfully fulfilling our central mission, especially in this time of fiscal constraint
  • Principle-based decision making
  • Evidence-based decision making
  • Adopting a team-building approach for the college and the board of trustees
  • Increase informed participation in college planning
  • Supporting innovation and experimentation for all-college improvement

The College Council recommended an additional goal that reflects Ohlone's leadership role in innovation and sustainability, and there may be others. As we move forward with planning, these proposals will be discussed and refined to make sure they express what we hope to accomplish in the next few years. More specific objectives will be identified. Please join this discussion to help shape our future.

Closing

Since I came to Ohlone six months ago, the things that drew me to the college have been affirmed. This is truly a great place with dedicated faculty, staff, and trustees. We are fortunate to serve a community that is both interested and supportive. Ohlone's innovations and attitudes keep us at the cutting-edge in many areas. It's inspiring that on a daily basis we demonstrate our value of diversity in all its forms. This is a fantastic foundation on which to build. The proposed goals I've shared with you today will improve what we already do well and take us in positive new directions.

In Obama's inauguration speech, he spoke of meeting the real challenges facing our country. We know the problems we face in the State of California and here in our own local community. Despite the difficult times we find ourselves in, I can't help but feel encouraged and uplifted by the achievements of Ohlone's faculty, staff, and students. We are a community that keeps its focus on students, on excellent teaching and learning. I predict we will respond to our community's educational needs and that the decisions we make will be good ones, grounded in evidence and reached collegially. Together, we will work efficiently and continue to use all college resources responsibly. We will continue to model innovation, diversity, and sustainability. Here at Ohlone, we are the risk-takers and the doers! We have the inventive minds. We are ready to meet the challenges!

Thank you for your time today, and have a great spring semester!

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