State of the College Spring 2014 January 24, 2014 / Dr. Gari Browning - Ohlone College President's Office

Garrett Yee, Ohlone College Board of Trustees Chairman, introduced Dr. Browning.

Text of the speech follows:


Thank you, Mister Chairman. Welcome everyone to the spring 2014 semester and the State of the College presentation.

I would like to welcome members of the Board of Trustees, Board Chair Garrett Yee (who you just saw), Trustee Vivien Larsen, and Student Trustee Prabhjot Kaur. Thank you for supporting us here today and thank you for your dedication to Ohlone.

Ohlone College Board of Trustees members.

I would also like to welcome members of the Ohlone College Foundation Board. I have a long list, so please hold your applause to the end. Please stand as I say your name--Roxanne Cruz, Brad Hatton, Al Huezo, Wing Lam, Anita Pirrone, Ron Sha, David Sheen, Tim Tran, Jennifer Toy Harrison, Maria Vera-Yee, and Jan Vincent. We also welcome our newly elected Chairman Dr. Rakesh Sharma and Julie Zhu, Vice Chair. This is a great turnout of Foundation Board members. They will all have an opportunity to meet the new director, Paul Iannaccone, after the presentation. So thank you for coming today and for your many contributions. Ohlone truly appreciates having a Foundation that makes continuous efforts to help the College and our students. Thank you.

Ohlone College Foundation members.

I'm pleased that Dr. Dave Marken, Superintendent of the Newark Unified School District, is with us today. Thanks for coming.

We appreciate the strong relationship we have with our K-12 districts. Our newest joint effort is to determine how to address adult education in our district. We are working collaboratively with our three K-12 districts to serve this population of students well.

New hires

New Faces at OhloneNow I'd like introduce you to the newest members of the Ohlone family. Again, please hold your applause.

  • Ron Beck--IT Support Technician
  • Elisa Castro--Transfer Center Specialist
  • Mycile Cahambing--Administrative Systems Analyst
  • Paul Iannaccone--Director, Ohlone College Foundation
  • Elaine Lee--Accounting Technician III
  • Shyla Narayanan--Senior Information Systems Engineer
  • David Orias--Manager, Facilities and Grounds
  • Melissa Stewart--Curriculum and Scheduling Assistant
  • Shaun Vetter--Administrative Systems Analyst and
  • Laura Weaver--Dean of Enrollment Services


Changes and Promotions

Staff on the Move: Promotions, Transfers and Status Changes.And we have a number of position changes and promotions:

  • Diana Garza--Executive Assistant to the AVP of Information Technology
  • Emily Grantz--Learning Resource Technician II
  • Kate Harrison--Director, Community Education & Workforce Development
  • Ai-Nu Huynh--Accounting Technician IV
  • James Keogh--Senior Safety Officer
  • Cheryl Lambert--Web Designer, IT Department and
  • Barbara Richardson--Executive Assistant to the Dean of Counseling

Hiring this Spring

And we are in hiring mode this spring:

Hiring Mode for Spring.We will begin a search for a new Associate Dean of Deaf Studies this semester. Tom Holcomb and Nancy Pauliukonis have been doing just a great job, and we thank them very much.

We will also advertise again for a Dean of Counseling. Thanks to Wayne Takakuwa for doing such a professional job, and continuing to do it beyond the original timeline. Thank you, Wayne.

Although we conducted a search for Dean of International Programs and Services, we didn't hire. In the next few weeks we will be re-examining how we can best address our priorities in this important area. I'll give you an update on that program shortly.

And very exciting, we will be hiring 5 faculty positions-1 from last year and 4 more to increase our total to 118. We are actually beginning to restore our full time faculty contingency rather than simply halting the decline! We will hire in the areas of Accounting, Anatomy and Physiology, Sociology, Speech and Communications, and Theater.


And on to the budget--

California State Budget for Community Colleges - summary slide 1.Of an approximate 11 billion dollars of additional funding for education in the Governor's proposed 2014-15 budget, California Community Colleges are slated to receive 1.2 billion, half of which will be used to pay down current deferrals.

More specifically, the proposed budget for community colleges would fund:

  • a 0.86% cost-of-living adjustment
  • 3% enrollment restoration with priority to districts identified as having the greatest unmet need. All districts will receive some additional enrollment funding, and over time will be fully restored to pre-recession apportionment levels.
  • $200 million to support student success programs and strengthen support for underrepresented students.
  • $175 million to be split evenly between deferred Maintenance and Instructional Equipment
  • $592.4 million to pay down deferrals, completely eliminating the system's inter-year deferrals and stabilizing funding going forward.
  • California State Budget for Community Colleges - summary slide 2.$74 million for smoothing Redevelopment Agency monies, allowing community colleges more stability in projecting current year revenues from RDA sources.
  • $3.6 million to enhance the Chancellor's Office staffing levels and provide resources to better support underperforming districts
  • $50 million in one-time funding for innovative models to increase the number of students earning bachelor's degrees and ease transfer and
  • $39 million in funds to address energy efficiency projects

The Governor reiterated his commitment to provide funding in the 2015-16 budget to implement plans being developed by regional adult education consortia.

He did not propose to raise student fees, base funding on course completion, or to require all students seeking fee waivers to complete a financial aid application. Further, the Governor promised to devise a plan in the 2015-16 fiscal year to resolve the CalSTRS fund shortfall within 30 years.

General reaction to the Budget Proposal is that it is as good as we could expect--a prudent, reasonable, fiscally conservative budget that strives to smooth out the "boom and bust" cycles we are used to. Paying down deferrals and creating a reserve are smart long-term decisions for the state.

That's the proposed budget from the community college perspective. It's just January. The one thing we can be sure of about the Governor's proposal is that by May it will change.

State Budget Impace on Ohlone - summary.But the proposal is good news for Ohlone. The greatest unknown for our budget was the discontinuation of the Redevelopment Agency money, since we had no way to backfill it. Now, like K-12, the State will cover that difference at least in next year's budget. The proposed COLA in my view is quite modest, but still in the right direction and better than furloughs. The biggest impact is the opportunity to restore the enormous reductions we made in the number of class sections we offered. In fall 2009 we had close to 27,000 enrollments at census, but by spring 2012 that number had fallen to just under 24,000-an 11% decline. Last year we were able to add back 2.3%, and now the Governor is proposing a 3% increase for 2014-15. The Chancellor's Office is analyzing the system's ability to increase enrollment that much that quickly.

As I have said to you before, community college enrollment goes up when the economy is in trouble and down when the economy is good. When the economy is down, fewer people have jobs and they want to enroll in college for a variety of reasons. However, at that point the state has no money to support our classes and is inclined to reduce our funding and hence the number of students we can serve. When the economy is healthy, the state has money and asks us to add classes and enrollment. At that point the demand goes down because more people are employed.

And here we are again. We are being given the opportunity to restore our enrollment to previous levels and maybe even beyond, but the students are working. At this moment colleges across the state are reporting a decline in demand for classes. Our enrollment is just slightly off-down by 3.3% compared to last year. I believe the opportunity to increase enrollment and apportionment will continue for the next several years. For Ohlone, that means we will be able to offer some of the opportunities we have had to limit because of our reduced state funding, like a healthy summer school and dual enrollment for high school students. Keep in mind that our enrollment dictates the amount of state money we receive, and state money is far and away our largest source of funding.

Student Success Act

Student Success Act - summary.It is reassuring that the many mandates associated with the Student Success Act are beginning to be funded since we are required to start implementing them already. Future funding will depend on how many students we can show we are reaching with the newly expanded services.

We are ahead of the curve with implementing the Student Success Act requirements. We have started by requiring Orientation for all of our new and many of our continuing students. This has been a huge undertaking for our Counseling Department-thank you!-but being a semester ahead of the required implementation will give us time to work out the bugs.

Other pieces of the SSA are also being put in place. They include:

  • Re-engineered academic standing rules and improved Early Alert to be in place by the end of February;
  • Preparation for electronic education plans for every student in place by March to support fall 2014 registration; and
  • Improved document imaging, which should streamline the student petition process, on deck for spring term.


Campus Safety.Ohlone continues to make safety a top priority. This semester the management team will have another Table Top Emergency Drill and other training including the use of new emergency phones. Partnering with the Fremont Police Department & local emergency responders, the entire District will participate in a live emergency exercise this semester. Also this spring our Campus Police team will host a brown bag training series, providing training in the use of emergency procedures and equipment for saving lives.

Safety Hotline, Hazard Reporting Hotline (510) 979-4756Please remember to sign up for AlertU, if you haven't already, to receive District text messages and Emergency Notifications on your Smart Phones or other devices. The college is currently using AlertU as one means of mass communication to students, faculty, and staff. Signing up is simple. You can find the link and information about AlertU on the Ohlone website under Campus Police.

I'd also like to remind you of our Ohlone Safety Hotline [(510) 979-7456] and encourage you to call with any safety concerns. It's anonymous.

International Programs

Our International Programs and Services continue to thrive. Spring enrollment will be about 400 students, an increase of about 20 over last spring. The positive change we see is that international students and organizations are now seeking us out. We are getting students from a wider range of countries and organizations coming to us wanting their students accepted. It appears news of our reputation for quality programs and student success is getting out.

International Student Enrollment 2002-2014 graph.We continue to be strong in China and have seen a good uptick in our population from Viet Nam. This semester we have added students from Mexico and Venezuela. We have more students from Africa and one from Serbia.

We have recently started polling our new students to determine how they found out about Ohlone. The list includes agent referrals, community referrals, student organizations, transfer students, and recruiting. In particular, we are seeing an increase in students who transfer to Ohlone from other institutions in the area. Good reputation again!

Ohlone is now on the approved list to enroll Saudi scholarship students who are sponsored in full by the Saudi government. We are seeing an incremental increase from this source each semester; they start off in the English Language Institute.

We continue to provide opportunities for cultural enrichment to our students and faculty. Earlier this month a group of 15 Ohlone students and two faculty went to Paris and Barcelona on a Travel Abroad Program.

International Student Global Distribution 2014 - map of world.

Strategic Plan

Shifting now to the strategic plan, College Council has assessed our strategic goals again as part of its annual process. We have made good progress in all eight. Of the 45 objectives we identified, 29 have been met and another 7 are partially met or are in progress. Some require ongoing effort. We can now narrow our focus to the few remaining that we need to accomplish within the next year.

Goal 1 summary.Goal 1: Through innovative programs and services, improve student learning and achievement.

Seven of the twelve objectives for Goal 1 have been met. Focus areas for the coming year include

  • Objective 1.2, which is bringing our retention rate to the state average. The College Council is looking closely at how underrepresented students are doing in this area in particular. Next steps will be to identify best practices in achieving better retention and finding a way to implement those practices.
  • 1.4 is reviewing our ESL program structure to see if we can improve student progress to college level courses. Currently our ESL students must complete Basic Skills English courses after completing the ESL sequence. We are reviewing the ESL curriculum related to this objective.
  • 1.7--Our target is to award 300 certificates per year. While last year we made a huge leap in numbers of certificates awarded, we are still a few shy of the target. With the work of the Completions Committee, we should meet this target easily this year.
  • 1.10 is expanding Student Services to all students by 2015. With the Student Success Act just being implemented and funded, we anticipate that services will be expanded to all students.
  • 1.11 is developing a system for declaring academic goals. Again, the Student Success Act will have an impact on our ability to achieve this objective.

Goal 2 summary.Goal 2: Support the economic vitality of the community through educational programs and services that respond to identified employment needs.

Objective 2.2, the only one for this goal yet to be completed, addresses ongoing identification of the needs of local employers. While the college has made a tremendous amount of progress on this objective, employer needs are ever changing and assessment of them must be ongoing.

Goal 3.Goal 3: Promote continuous, needs-based, learning and professional development opportunities for all district personnel.

Three of four objectives have been met here; remaining is Objective 3.2, to provide systematic access to a leadership development program for employees by 2015. While we do make some leadership development opportunities available, we need to develop a plan and an application process to help all employees be aware of the opportunities.

Goal 4.Goal 4: Use human, fiscal, technological, and physical resources responsibly, effectively, and efficiently to maximize student learning and achievement.

Three of the four objectives remaining unfinished for this goal are dependent upon the completion of Measure G, so we will have to carry these objectives over to our next strategic plan. They are upgrading the Fremont campus, developing the frontage property, and implementing long-term maintenance and capital improvements. The other objective, to increase non-apportionment income, is in the planning stages. We also intend to adjust other objectives for this goal to include classified staff in our count of employees who understand the budget process and add total cost of ownership to the Technology Plan objective.

Goal 5.Goal 5: Lead and educate the community in environmental sustainability.

Three of the four objectives for this goal have been met. The final one is to employ sustainability principles in purchasing and other areas, another objective that is best implemented as we develop sustainability principles for construction.

Goal 6.Goal 6: Enhance college-wide interaction with, and acceptance of, diverse peoples, cultures, arts, and perspectives.

Two of the three objectives for Goal 6 have been accomplished. The other is to increase, by specific numbers, extracurricular opportunities for intercultural learning. In addition to travel opportunities for faculty and students, we have increased the number of courses that address intercultural topics and refined other courses.

Goal 7.Goal 7: Increase access to higher education of under-served and under-represented demographic groups in the District and local communities.

There are two really important objectives associated with this goal that we are focusing on as a college. One is increasing the retention and success of underrepresented students and the other is to submit and operationalize our Equal Employment Opportunity plan, which is in draft form. These two topics are interrelated and are being discussed broadly.

Goal 8.Goal 8: Engage all members of the college community in active, continual institutional improvement.

All objectives for Goal 8 have been met with the exception of developing benchmarks for institutional practices, which is part of one objective. These need to be identified by department and integrated into our Program and Services criteria.

Decision-Making Process

Screenshot of AP 2510 and cover page for handbook.Related to this goal, two important documents were approved since my last presentation. They are Administrative Procedure 2510-Participation in Local Decision Making and the Planning and Decision-Making Handbook. The first document describes the processes we have been using to ensure that all groups have the opportunity they are entitled to, according to regulation and accreditation standards, for input into decisions, and, for the faculty, the role of Faculty Senate in decisions with academic implications. The mandated roles of all groups are also described in this procedure. The Handbook describes the policies and procedures for planning and making decisions and includes college committees and the guidelines for Program and Services Review. Neither of these documents changed how we plan or reach decisions, but they codify how we interact as a college.

Upcoming strategic planning

I think we are in good shape to complete the goals and objectives we set for ourselves in 2009. Next year begins another strategic planning cycle. As before we will start by performing an environmental scan to determine local industry needs, population changes, other demographic trends, and our college outcomes in terms of addressing those needs. We will assess our community needs by connecting with community groups, including the Board of Trustees and the Foundation Board, to see how they think we are doing. We will look at our plans for accreditation, assess Program & Services Review results and Program Improvement Objectives (PIOs), and do one final check on the 2010-15 strategic goals. We will review the status of the goals of our various plans-especially the Educational Master Plan, the District Facilities Master Plan, and the Technology Plan. And we will conduct our semi-annual student, faculty, and staff surveys.

Strategic Planning summary.

Some good ideas for our next planning process resulted from the College Council discussion on Wednesday. They include identifying which objectives need sustained effort to meet targets that change each year, refining our metrics, and creating action plans for all objectives at the outset.

The next step is to reaffirm our vision and values and review the mission statement and the degree to which we are fulfilling it. This process has seen an excellent beginning with a discussion of what we would like to include in the statement and an ad hoc committee of the College Council already reviewing the mission statements of other colleges. They also proposed a good start on a statement we will discuss in the fall.

College Council tasks summary.Following this comprehensive assessment, we will work together to determine new direction and goals for the next 5-year period. The 2016-2020 Strategic Plan should be ready for Board approval in June 2015 in time for us to begin to implement it in the fall.


In addition to this year's review of strategic goals and objectives, the College Council has been addressing an important and timely topic. Over the fall semester, the Council reviewed and discussed data showing how we are doing regarding underrepresented students. We compared success and retention rates across ethnicity and asked some critical questions. The Council had a robust discussion of the issues and potential solutions at its retreat this week and determined to make it a standing agenda item. Discussion of the ethnic distribution of employees is scheduled for their next meeting.

Overall, we doing well compared to the Bay 10 in success rates and have retention rates similar to those colleges. Data disaggregated by ethnicity show that we are doing better than the Bay 10 for some groups and not as well for others. And we have several noticeably high-performing groups: international students, ASOC, EOPS, and athletes. The College Council is discussing strategies we use with these groups that might be employed for all students.

Another question centers on staff ethnicity. Changes to staff ethnicity over the past five years have been virtually imperceptible despite stated goals to increase ethnic diversity among staff. Keep in mind that compared to students employees stay at Ohlone, especially tenured faculty. Still, we need to pay attention to this issue.

While the ethnic distribution of our student population mirrors that of our district pretty well, the same does not hold true for our staff. Nearly 36% of our district is Asian, but just 21% of our employees are. For Hispanics those percentages are much closer with 18.5% of the district and 15% of the staff. But drilling down into distribution by job category-faculty, staff, and administrator-suggests we need to work on this.

College Council will be discussing what our strategic goal should be. Expect this to be a topic of ongoing interest as we discuss goals for the 2016-2020 Strategic Plan.

Accreditation update

Our accreditation report is complete and has been submitted. What a lot of work that was!

The College Council served as the Steering Committee for the report. Learning and Assessment Teams consisting of faculty, administrators, classified staff, and even a few students, were formed, and they assessed the college using the accreditation standards and questions from the team handbook. They wrote up the report describing how the college addresses each standard and how well we are doing. They created action plans based on the analyses and areas where improvement is needed. And they gathered all the relevant evidence documents for each standard. Gosia Asher, Patrice Birkedahl, Thomas Hsu, Kimberly Robbie, Leta Stagnaro, Connie Teshara, Jackie Vetter, and Jackie Whitehouse made the report beautiful, published and posted it, and sent it to the Commission on time. And special thanks to our former Accreditation Liaison Officer, Dr. Jim Wright, for designing and setting the process in motion, and carrying it all the way to assembling and reviewing a draft report before he retired.

I tell you honestly that I read the report several times, and each time I was impressed, not just with the report, but with Ohlone.

In preparation for the accreditation visit, the College Council experienced a mock visit at its retreat this week. And the Board of Trustees has a similar exercise planned.

Now with all that preparation, I thought you might like to know what to expect from here forward.

We have been assigned a team chair, Dr. Kim Perry, Superintendent/President at Butte College in Oroville, northeast of here. She has been president there since 2011 and has experience as a vocational dean and vice president of academic affairs. There's likely to be eight to ten members assigned to our team. We have received a partial team roster already.

Our pre-visit is scheduled for January 31, at which time Dr. Perry and her team assistant will spend the day at the college to determine logistics for the visit, share any requirements the team may have, pick a team room and a hotel, and ask us to update them on changes since the report was published.

Their team training will occur on February 7, and the members will meet to discuss our report and receive assignments to assess the report as a whole and our responses to previous recommendations.

The team will arrive at Ohlone on Monday, March 10, and be welcomed to the college Tuesday morning. We will supply you with their pictures and bios and make sure they have name tags so you can recognize them. They will spend Tuesday and Wednesday meeting with committees, groups, and individuals to better understand and validate what we claim in our report. They will cross check any contradicting information they gather in their interviews by asking other members of the college community or referencing documents. They will visit Newark, check out evening and online offerings, visit classes, and talk to students. For those of you who teach online classes, the team will be given administrative access to look at the online courses they select.

On Thursday morning the team will gather to agree on areas of commendations and recommendations and a confidential recommendation to the Commission on Ohlone's accredited status. Then the team chair will meet with me to go over major findings. About noon the Chair will make a presentation to the college community. All members of the college community are encouraged to attend. The Chair will identify commendations and recommendations and explain what will happen next.

In late April or May I will receive a confidential draft of the report to correct any errors of fact, like dates and titles. The report is then submitted to the Commission and distributed to its members prior to the June meeting. The Commission will take action on our status and we will receive notification in early July.

You may be asking yourselves what you should be doing to get ready for the visit. First, take a little time to become familiar with the self evaluation report. There is a link to it on our website. Please plan to be on campus March 10-13; a member of the team may wish to speak with you, you may want to attend one of the open forums, or one of your classes may be visited. Finally, attend the exit presentation on March 13.

Here are the possible outcomes:

The Commission has several actions on our accredited status that it may take:

  • Reaffirmation with mid term report-This is the one we want. It means we are doing a great job and we have only to prepare the required mid term report in three years.
  • Reaffirmation with progress report on particular recommendations-This is also a good result but means we would have to address some recommendations promptly and submit a report on them.
  • Reaffirmation with progress report and visit-Also good, but in addition to the report we would undergo a visit to validate how we have resolved the recommendations in question. This could also happen at the mid term.
  • Warning with progress report and visit-This is the one we received last time. We do not want it! It usually entails a couple of rounds of reports and visits, really shakes up the community, and affects enrollment.
  • Probation with progress report and visit-This one means the college is seriously out of compliance with multiple standards. We're not.
  • Show Cause with report, visit, and closure plan-Finally, this one means that the college has extremely serious issues in every or nearly every area.

ACCJC allows colleges a maximum of two years to come into compliance with all accreditation standards, so recommendations and sanctions must be resolved in that time frame.

I thought it might be informative to review the recommendations and actions taken on other colleges over the past year. It will give us a good idea of what recommendations we might anticipate and maybe the Commission's action.

Much depends on individual team members. They will read our report in its entirety and draw conclusions about how we are doing as a whole. Individual team members (usually 2) will be assigned to each major part of the Standards. The lead person on each will typically have expertise in that area; for example, a VP of Academic Affairs will be assigned to the Standard on Instructional Programs and a VP of Student Services will be assigned to the one on Student Support Services. These individuals will each bring their own institutional experiences as context for our report.

In looking over the colleges that were recently reviewed, you get an idea of what it takes in terms of recommendations to be reaffirmed or to be sanctioned. The number and gravity of the recommendations to colleges that were put on probation or show cause in no way compares to other colleges. The particular, recommendations that result in sanctions can be picked out pretty easily as well. To get this information, I did an analysis of the past year's recommendations for other colleges--31 total. Here are some of my findings.

Recommendations in Standard IA, Mission, are usually about conducting a regular review of the mission statement. We had a recommendation on this last time, and the Commission determined that we had satisfied it as of June 2009. We use the mission statement effectively as the foundation for decisions, program review, and planning. And our statement includes all of the elements required by the Standard.

Recommendations in Standard IB, Improving Institutional Effectiveness, are usually about improving the Program Review process, using data to make decisions and plans, linking planning and resource allocation, strengthening the planning process, and using Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) as the basis of planning.

We have a strong and integrated planning process, we assess how we are doing to achieve our goals every year, and I report to you how we are doing in my speech! We rely heavily on data for our decisions. Our planning processes, our plans, and how we actually use and assess the plans compare favorably with at least one institution's that has been found to have a robust and integrated planning process. This, however, is a common area for problems and recommendations. Again, we responded to the Commission's satisfaction on a recommendation in this area in 2009, and we have only gotten better since then. Still, I expect close questioning on this one.

IIA. Instructional Programs--Our academic programs are probably our strongest area, and one where we had no recommendations last time. Student Learning Outcomes are covered by new requirements, however. Recommendations in this standard are almost exclusively about SLOs-developing them, assessing them, having them for online courses, and including them in course syllabi. We have used the Commission rubric for evaluating how we are doing, and I think we are in good shape here. But one never knows.

For Standard IIB, Student Support Services, there is a pervasive concern in the recommendations about having comparable services for all students. For most colleges, that means providing services like those for students in traditional, in-person classes. So you see recommendations about services for distance education students, students studying at centers, and evening students. There is also some concern that services offered are based on research on student need-and a student satisfaction survey does not appear to do it. Something to consider.

Our strategic objective to increase services to students shows that we have been concerned about this issue for some time and are working to address it.

IIC. Library and Learning Support Services--Again, the main concern here is whether students in non-traditional classes have access to the library. Ours do, and I do not have great concerns on this one.

IIIA. Human Resources--Several remotely located colleges received recommendations to work on employee diversity. Although we are looking at this issue ourselves, our processes are designed to treat diverse candidates fairly, and our efforts to attract diverse candidate pools are extensive. Other recommendations in this standard concern staff planning and systematic evaluation of all personnel, which we have already addressed. A common recommendation is to include SLOs in faculty evaluations. We have identified an improvement plan regarding this last item.

Standard IIIB, Physical Resources, is about facilities and equipment. The biggest area of concern for the Commission in the Facilities standard is systematically considering the total cost of ownership when constructing new facilities or buying new equipment rather than relying on purchase price as the determining factor. Although our report describes what we are doing to address total cost of ownership, we need to devise and incorporate a means to consider it in all college purchases.

In Standard IIIC, most recommendations are about technology planning and training. We have a comprehensive technology plan that has been developed and kept up to date by the Tech Committee with lots of broad-based input. And I think we offer good opportunity for technology training.

IIID. Financial Resources: This Standard has been an area of serious concern over the past few years of economic difficulty and the reason some colleges have been sanctioned. Fiscal health, especially addressing audit findings and considering the long-term fiscal impact when negotiating contracts, are common topics for recommendations and sanctions. We are fiscally healthy and have not had any negative audit findings. We have handled our long-term financial obligations prudently and considered impacts when we take on long-term financial obligations. We have lots of good things to say here.

IVA. Decision-Making Roles and Processes: Recommendations in this standard center on having a functioning governance model and decision process, and on treating each other civilly. Every college that received a recommendation on this standard also received a very serious sanction like probation or show cause. Ohlone has a highly collegial process that meets all legal and accreditation requirements and one that we have just documented. And we treat each other with respect. It seems to me that this is an area of emerging strength for us.

Standard IVB, Board and Administrative Organization, is the area where colleges receive the most recommendations--about a third of the total for the colleges considered in 2013. Areas of concern include the Board micromanaging the operation of the college (48% of the colleges received this one); not reviewing policies (35%); problems with Board self evaluation (29%); inadequate Board training (19%); and other areas--Board behavior; improving communication within the Board and with the president; and the issue of enforcing and adhering to a code of ethics. I believe our report reflects the good state we are in with these issues. However, because we received several recommendations and were sanctioned during our last comprehensive review as a result, Standard IVB is a touchy area for us and very likely to receive close scrutiny.

Overall, I believe we will not receive a sanction and will instead be reaffirmed. July will tell.


One last topic before I stop talking about accreditation-You've all been reading about City College of San Francisco. The latest is that the City of San Francisco (not the college) has filed a law suit against the Accrediting Commission, mainly for advocating for the Student Success Act, which the City claims limits student access primarily for non-credit students, and for moving too fast to allow the college time to improve. I have very serious concerns if the Commission's action is subject to this court action and for its implications for all of regional accreditation. Currently, regional Accrediting Commissions are independent of the government, and we are the only country with non-governmental accreditation. The Chancellor of City College has said that he wishes to resolve the college's issues within the accreditation process. To quote him, "I believe in the peer process, because the last thing I want to see is a government regulated system." I agree there are sweeping implications for all of higher education accreditation.

Accomplishments and honors

Now I would like to take a moment to acknowledge some of your accomplishments since my last State of the College speech in August.

Accomplishments - Success.

For Faculty

David Topham, Instructor of Computer Science, was selected to participate in a fellowship through the Industry Initiatives for Science and Math Education.

Deborah Lemon, Associate Professor of Spanish, was one of 35 recognized for integrating innovation into pedagogy and selected to participate in the 2013 Radical Innovation Summit sponsored by the National Science Foundation, in Washington, D.C.

Rick Arellano, Professor of Computer Applications and Occupational Technology, was honored by Assembly member Bob Wieckowski at the Latino Heritage Leadership Awards Ceremony. Rick was recognized for his active membership in Avanzando, an organization that helps to bring educational resources to Latino families and students and for his active involvement in STEM education in elementary schools.


Because of its conscientious efforts to prepare for the Student Success Act, Ohlone received a $10,000 grant from the Chancellor's Office to support electronic transcript processing.

Ohlone has also been awarded the $300,000 Biotechnology Deputy Sector Navigator Grant to help fund Ohlone's and other Bay Area biotechnology programs.

The Deaf Studies Division was awarded a $200,000 grant as part of Rochester Institute of Technology's 4.5 million dollar grant to increase the number of deaf and hard of hearing students in the STEM fields.

Awards for Ohlone Programs

Our Community Education and Computer Networking and Emerging Technology (CNET) programs received an Exceptional Support Service award from the industry-wide CISCO Network Academy.

The Ohlone College Northern California Bay Area Biotechnology Center has been selected by the East Bay Economic Development Alliance, the San Francisco Business Times, and their partners as a finalist for an East Bay Innovation Award in Education.

Internal Improvements

And we are working to improve internally:

Ninety-nine percent of our annual performance evaluations for managers, confidentials, and classified employees have been completed.

In 2012-13, Ohlone awarded more degrees and certificates to its students than in any of the past ten years.

In reviewing data about their program, the English Department noted two things. First, since adding a reading prerequisite requirement to ENGL-101A (Freshman Composition) in fall 2007, the success rate in that course has increased 8.6% over the past 12 semesters and was up 10.9% for fall 2012.

Some Student Successes

We have identified 273 Ohlone radio broadcasting students employed in nearly 1000 unique positions in the broadcast industry.

Two of our accounting students participated in the American Institute of Accountant's prestigious Accounting Scholars Development Program held in Denver, Colorado.

Our Speech and Debate team had a successful semester with students winning individual awards in a variety of speaking events and the team frequently winning one of the top three college awards.

Ohlone College's production of Jesus Christ Superstar received seven meritorious achievement awards from the American College Theatre Festival.

The Monitor brought home a total of 12 awards from the Journalism Association of Community Colleges' Northern California conference, including the coveted Newspaper General Excellence award.

Two Ohlone engineering students gave a poster presentation at the prestigious IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference held in San Jose. Ohlone College was the first and only community college to have ever presented at this international conference, which is attended by participants from all over the world. Ohlone has been invited to return next year.

Parking Structure Award

And our building designs are already beginning to win awards. Steinberg Architects won a Merit Award for its design of the Ohlone College South Parking Structure from the Community College Facilities Coalition.

Student Achievement

We continued to be recognized for student achievement:

In August, the Chancellor's Office daily news included an article featuring Ohlone as one of the top 10 community colleges among California's 112 colleges. The criteria for the selection focused on success rate and transfer rate.

In October, the Silicon Valley Business Journal named Ohlone among the top 10 colleges and universities in the area ranked by headcount of students enrolled for 12 units or more.

In December, with the release of the 2013 IPEDS Data Feedback Report, which compares Ohlone to the other 20 colleges in the Bay 10, some very encouraging numbers were reported. For instance,

  • Although our student headcount was virtually identical to the Bay 10 average, we had 24% more full time students than the Bay 10 average. Generally, the higher the percentage of full time students, the higher one's retention and graduation rates.

    And sure enough---
  • Our full time retention rate was 78% compared to the Bay 10 average of 70%.
  • And we awarded 14% more associate degrees than the Bay 10 average; the average number of degrees awarded was 496, and we awarded 565.

Our overall graduation rate was significantly higher than the Bay 10 average; we're at 35% while the Bay 10 average was 21%. For this one, remember that students come to Ohlone with a variety of educational goals. They are not here necessarily to receive an Associate's Degree.

These accomplishments represent just a sampling of the semester's successes, but they demonstrate the value we place on excellence. They are your accomplishments. Please take a moment to reflect on your efforts and outcomes. Congratulations! And keep up the good work.

Adult Ed

The last few times I have addressed you, I spoke of the state's push to limit our mission to transfer, degrees and certificates, and basic skills. K-12 districts were also forced to reprioritize their use of resources to support their core mission of educating the state's children. As a result, adult education programs and students suffered. Now, with a better economy comes a fresh look at things. The Chancellor's Office is making grants available to county and district consortia to determine how best to serve adult education populations in our regions. Ohlone is working with two groups-one on career education and the other on the more traditional areas of adult education-ESL, GED, high school completion, citizenship, etc. I would like us to help provide paths for these students into our CTE and ESL programs, and thus into higher education. I will keep you posted as this opportunity unfolds.

Baccalaureate degrees

Here's another mission expander--Are we interested in offering baccalaureate degrees? Yes, and here's why. Right now hospitals in our service area are hiring nurses with bachelor's degrees in nursing rather than the Associate Degree we and other community colleges have always offered. The same is true for some of our other health science programs. The quality of our programs is exceptionally good. We have partnered with local CSUs to provide a way to earn bachelors, but in truth, CSUs do not have the capacity to provide enough nurses to meet the demand. I believe we would want to consider offering baccalaureate degrees in health sciences and some specialized programs as well, for instance in Deaf Studies. The California Community Colleges have supported legislation four times previously to be granted the right to offer bachelor's degrees and each time the proposed legislation has failed. Now, with the Governor's focus on increasing the number bachelor degree recipients, the time may be right. I am planning to attend CCLC legislative session this weekend to learn how this issue is moving forward.

Associate Degrees for Transfer

With the recent approval of the Business Administration, English, and Physics Associate Degrees for Transfer, Ohlone now has ten approved ADTs. They are in Communication Studies, Geography, Kinesiology, Mathematics, Psychology, Sociology, Spanish, and the three areas I just mentioned. Currently four more degrees have been submitted and are awaiting Chancellor's Office approval. For spring semester, another eight ADTs are slated for completion and submission, resulting in an ultimate goal of twenty-two associate degrees for transfer approved by June 2014.

Measure G

We are continuing to make great progress on the transformation of the Fremont campus. The new photovoltaic energy system is complete and in operation on both campuses. The design for the Academic Core should be finalized next month, and we are about to break ground on the South Parking Structure.

Academic Core Buildings

Today I want to share with you some of the designs for the exterior of the Academic Core buildings and a little on landscaping.

In summer 2015, we will be demolishing Buildings 1, 2, and 8 to make room for three new buildings that will house science, the arts, the library and learning resources, and general classrooms and lecture halls. The overarching goals for this project are to

  • modernize and replace old, non-functional learning spaces and infrastructure;
  • create a learning environment that will meet student need, create "collisions," and entice students to stay on campus and get involved;
  • construct buildings that fit in with our existing buildings and activate main street;
  • reorient the campus from east-west to north-south and mitigate the stairs; and
  • reflect our values in multiculturalism and sustainability.

The materials we have selected tie existing and new structures together. For instance, we will be reusing the redwood from the buildings we are demolishing in exciting ways. The repurposing of materials is consistent with our commitment to sustainability.

  • The main elevator in the Arts Building will create a highly visible icon for the campus. The actual design for the graphic has yet to be determined.
  • This elevator will take students from the palm bosque level all the way up the hill without requiring them to climb stairs, and a bridge along the Arts Building and Learning Commons will carry them from the west end of the Arts Building right to main street.
  • The new buildings will interact to create lots of social, informal learning, and quiet spaces to meet student learning needs.
  • Views will be greatly enhanced, but take into account the heat and glare resulting from west facing windows.
  • Landscaping will provide a variety of outdoor social space and blend in with the natural landscape of the hills.
  • The campus will provide a variety of gathering spaces for everyone.

The process so far has been highly collegial with many, many committee and group meetings and over 50 participants. Thank you for your involvement. I think the outcome is going to be both beautiful and functional.

We have also had tremendous participation in the designing of these buildings and ensuring that the interiors will function well. Again, thank you! As we select the furniture, fixtures, and equipment, I trust you will stay actively involved. The goal will be to connect the new with the existing--Building 7, Newark, and the older interiors--achieving a common feel for the college as a whole.

From here on you will start to see the result of all this input and planning. Work on the South Parking Structure is beginning near Building 7 and will provide over 900 spaces by August 2015. We have cordoned off of lots M, N, and O for this purpose, at the same time adding spaces for staff in Lot D. We are committed to maintaining the same number of staff slots through the construction period, but as classroom and office locations change, your routes will change. We have set up a live website for construction news, and I hope you will make it a habit to check it daily. It's on the left of the front page of the website and is called "Campus Construction and Impacts." We also have a printed newsletter with the latest information available for you today.

You will note other impacts resulting from ramping up construction. The move into temporary or swing space for classes and offices will occur in two phases. The first is to prepare to move classes, so repurposing of existing space for classroom use will occur in summer 2014 to allow for a fall start for some classes. The second phase is for offices and will conclude by the 2014 winter break to allow for soft demolition of buildings to begin in spring 2015. Soft demolition means taking down everything that's removable. Major demolition of buildings will occur in the summer of 2015, and new construction will start soon thereafter. We are going to need every square inch of available space for classes, offices, and parking.

Construction is due to be complete in fall 2017.

Child Development Center Changes

One of several impacts from construction will be on the Child Development Center. We will temporarily repurpose this space for classes, offices, and parking through the construction period. In addition to the need for space to move existing classes during construction, we are already starting to add back classes that were cut, and we must have room to do this. (This is the Governor's 3% enrollment restoration proposal I mentioned earlier.) We are working with the Early Childhood Development faculty to make sure the program will carry on uninterrupted. Both lecture and lab courses will continue during construction, although we will move the two observation lab classes off site to other qualified child care centers.

In addition to the building and parking space needs, the College is concerned about safety issues, especially for small children, and increased traffic around the building Kidango currently occupies. We have already notified Kidango of our decision to discontinue our current lease agreement for the ECS building at the end of May 2014 until the Academic Core is completed and is fully operational.

Remodel Buildings 5 and 9

Other upcoming projects will be to remodel Buildings 5 and 9. I want to remind everyone that we asked voters to support remodeling and replacing existing space. There is not and never has been an intention to increase space significantly. Please keep your expectations in line with that promise. The bond funds may seem huge, but we are redoing nearly the whole campus with that money. So if you expect to add space to your area, it means you would be asking someone else to downsize from what they have currently.

Swing Space

Already we are putting our swing space plan into action. The plan is to add 34 classroom modulars below Hyman Hall totaling 40,000 sq. ft. and 13 more totaling 14,000 sq. ft. on the Newark Campus. Administrative offices will be vacating Building 1 and scattering to Buildings 5, 7, 18, 20, 27, and Hyman Hall. Other campus functions will move into existing space in Hyman Hall or Newark or occupy modular space.

President and other admin moving to Building 27

Ultimately, the President's Office will be in the center of the Academic Core by design. During construction, however, the Office will be located in Building 27, where the Foundation and College Advancement offices have been located. Some of you may recall that that building was the President's Office from the start of the college until 2004 well before I arrived. It has the advantage of parking available for outside visitors and a good vantage point from which to oversee the construction. But I realize that on the downside it is removed from the center of campus and from many of you. My plan is to make an extra effort to stay connected by walking down to the modulars regularly. (I even invested in a pair of flats for that purpose.) The VP of Academic Affairs and Research offices will be moving to Building 27, as well. We will all experience a few years of inconvenience, so I ask you to work together and keep the end in mind.

Contact for Measure G Questions and Concerns

The administration wants to be receptive to your Measure G questions and concerns. Therefore, I have asked Vice President Ron Little to be the contact person for you. Of course I invite you to copy other VPs on your emails, including me, but Ron is closest to the Measure G projects and will be best able to respond.


After years of downsizing and doing more with less, it feels incredible to be talking to you about the new and exciting opportunities that are before us. I also find it amazing that we have been able to do so very well in the face of such challenges. Imagine what we can do in good times! Imagine…

With the exception of thanking Sarah Daniels for her wonderfully illustrative slides, this concludes my presentation. Have a great semester!

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