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President Susan Sperling
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At the President's Corner, you will find news postings by the Chabot College President.


"My Word" piece in Sunday's (March 3, 2013) Bay Area News Group papers

New - Monthly Message from President Sperling

Convocation 2012-2013: some notes from President Sperling

"Now is the accepted time, not tomorrow, not some more convenient season. It is today that our best work can be done and not some future day or future year. It is today that we fit ourselves for the greater usefulness of tomorrow. Today is the seed time, now are the hours of work, and tomorrow comes the harvest and the playtime."
W.E.B. Du Bois

California is of the wealthiest economies in the world, and we haven't yet figured out how to tax ourselves to provide quality public education. It is when you travel outside of the golden state to other places (New Jersey and a number of other states, for example, which have public schools that put ours to shame) that you really feel the impact of this question. We keep hearing about why the California Master Plan for Higher Education is defunct in the face of our current fiscal crisis; as others have pointed out, there is nothing wrong with the Master Plan, except that we need to fund it. We will strive to enhance our private sector partnerships, but let us not fool ourselves; we are funded by tax dollars.   As individuals we have a chance to educate our students and communities over these next months about the vital role of the community college in forwarding social and economic justice, and creating an educated and employable workforce. Let's put our shoulders to this wheel as we head into the November election. If you didn't catch it at College Day, take a few moments to view Mark Schaeffer's wonderful little "Education" video.  Click here to view the video now.  It will resonate.

I had the honor to lunch with one of our local heroines last week, NAACP activist Freddye Davis, and we had a good exchange about the college and its role in supporting diversity in our teaching and staffing. Having grown up in a family active in housing desegregation struggles in the 1950s and 1960s, we shared some history and mutual aspirations for the college and community. We talked about some of Chabot's exemplary programs supporting  social and racial justice at the college (Daraja, Puente, Striving Black Brothers, Women's Studies, American Cultures.) We looked at our staffing patterns, which, particularly in administrative and classified areas, reflect and in some cases surpass our diverse community demographics. Does this mean we have done all we need to?  Absolutely not.  Given the reality of injustice's lasting, pervasive impacts, we are still working to achieve the goals of W.E.B. Du Bois, Dr. King, Rosa Parks, and Cesar Chavez.

  • On the home front, over the last months we have achieved an important shift in the relationship between the District and the college---a return to the precept that the centralized functions served by a district office are there to support college initiatives not "direct" them. This is a big change. It is at the colleges, the teaching and revenue producing institutions, that decisions about how to best allocate resources and serve our unique communities need to be made.  We can already see some early evidence of this shift in the changes in how we do business.

  • Our strategic planning process has modeled a new direction that focuses on a single, unified goal: to increase the number of students that achieve their educational goal within a reasonable and appropriate length of time by clarifying pathways and providing students more information and support. Rather than an inspired list of ideals and goals, we are developing and implementing a plan, and a schedule of implementation, that will provide a roadmap for a new way of working together that supports our students in more effective ways to meet their goals. 

  • We are identifying a space for a new Veteran's Center as well as for a Center for Civic Engagement, to better serve our returned and returning veterans, and to commit to a proactive teaching, mentoring, and nourishing of our outreach and work within the community.  We will be undertaking a process early this semester for reviewing the best use of remaining bond measure funds. We must evaluate our plans for the remaining 20% or so of funds from Prop 10 in order to meet pressing needs that will not be met by a new bond in near future. We are buttressing our grants development and foundation functions, and supporting their advancement work with funds leveraged through new district support for this endeavor and our Promise Neighborhood Partnership Grant. We will be requesting more from our private sector partners large and small.

  • We must and will do more to bring the community here to the campus and to bring the campus to the community, with our Civic Engagement initiatives (this September 13 our keynote Democracy Day speaker will be Alameda County Supervisor and local environmental and political activist Richard Valle). We will be piloting an "open classroom" policy in some designated areas this semester, in order to allow students to once again use classrooms during passing times, rather than to line up in the hallway. For many of our students, the open classroom signals not only a welcome to them, but also a crucial opportunity to gather and begin to prepare for class.

One of my new revelations over these last months is the degree to which "politics" on every level abound in the community college arena. We've watched bemused as the last act of a former regime's distracting melodrama is played out, in Shakespeare's words, "full of sound and fury and signifying nothing." We have so much good work to do supporting students and programs that we cannot afford to become distracted by personal agendas unrelated to our highest goals.  I have confidence that the intentions and accomplishments of our district and colleges in forwarding social justice are manifest in our record and in the work we do every day.

I commend the 2012-2013 academic year to you as one of great promise and hope.

Chabot College President - Dr. Susan Sperling

At its Feb. 21 meeting, the Chabot-Las Positas Community College District (CLPCCD) Board of Trustees appointed Susan Sperling, Ph.D., President of Chabot College. Sperling, dean of social sciences and 25-year veteran administrator and educator at the college, becomes the ninth president in the college’s 50-year history and was selected after a national search. Sperling’s appointment was effective Feb. 22.

“Dr. Sperling has devoted her career to supporting student success and access,” said CLPCCD Chancellor Joel L. Kinnamon, Ed.D. “She is deeply committed to our community, our students and our college.”

During her 25-year career at Chabot College, Sperling has served in a variety of capacities including faculty member, faculty leader, administrator and community liaison. Her many positions with the college and district include district-wide Faculty Association President and Chabot College’s first grants developer under the College’s Title III grant.

Sperling has negotiated college funding partnerships with both the private and public sector and has developed projects involving the range of diversity in the college’s service area. Working with stakeholders, Sperling has developed programs focusing on cultural diversity, social justice, civic engagement and environmental justice.

She is the recipient of numerous awards and grants including the Reed L. Buffington Award for Excellence in Teaching and major research grants from the National Institutes of Health and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Sperling is an anthropologist, as well, who has researched, published widely and presented nationally on topics including animal rights, the history of evolutionary science, and gender and race issues.
Sperling earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree and her Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley. She succeeds Celia Barberena, Ph.D., who retired in December after serving as the college president for nearly four years.


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    Phone: (510) 723-6600 | Last updated on 4/25/2013