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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.


First Wednesday Reports

October 2013

Is it fall already? Even if we don’t have a federal government this week, multi-hued pumpkins of various shapes and sizes are appearing at the grocery store. 

Congratulations to newly elected 2013-2014 Planning, Review, and Budget Committee (PRBC) co-chairs Sandra Genera and Ken Grace, who follow in the (metaphorically) giant footsteps of last year’s chair, Jan Novak. This hard-working group is undertaking a number of key initiatives this academic year, including a review and updating of the College’s Mission Statement and a continuation of our strategic planning process as we review Unit Plans through the Program Review Process with reference to our strategic goals and objectives. Our sage Accreditation Liaison Jim Matthews is in attendance at each PRBC meeting, a significant fact as we move into this next accreditation cycle. One important theme emerging from last year’s PRBC work is resonating this semester through the convening of the Presidential Taskforce on Learning Communities, chaired by Dr. Jeanne Wilson and Deonne Kunkel. Someone asked me if the Taskforce was “by invitation only”! ALL College shared governance committees are open to all. Come on by.

Another theme across the Colleges and District is, of course, the set of legislative mandates rolled out across the State by the Student Success Agenda. Dean Matt Kritscher and Interim VPs Wagoner and Shimada attended last week’s Student Success Summit in the Capitol and debriefed with administrative staff and classified and faculty reps about updates on new and forthcoming legislation. At the October 1st Board Study Session meeting Vice Chancellor Kingston, our own Articulation Officer Jane Church along with LPC Interim President Jan Noble gave an update to the Trustees on Student Success developments, with a focus on the new Transfer Degrees (per SB 1440) at both campuses. Jane did us proud, and kudos again, to Jane and the many faculty leads who worked on our new transfer degrees. A number of Trustees raised important questions about the larger State agenda, and to what degree it alters the community colleges’ missions under the Master Plan. It was a good discussion. 

Second Level interviews take place this week for our permanent VP of Academic Services, and the committee to screen the Foundation/Development Director position is in place and getting started with their process. As we emerge from a period of deep austerity across the State (into what I’ll characterize as a period of “lesser austerity”), we badly need to restore functionality to any number of areas starved by recent years of drought.  Among many other important roles, we need a web master and we need to provide faculty support in the process of aggregating SLO and related “accountability” data. At this month’s College Forum (yes, we are still looking for a date that works!!!), VP Connie Willis and I will be presenting the College’s Adoption Budget for scrutiny and review by the College community. It should be interesting. I’ll soon be presenting recommendations for administrative organization recommended by admin staff over the summer, as well as the recommendations of the Classified Senate regarding classified hiring at PRBC, the Senates, and College Council. 

Our annual Law and Democracy Lecture was well-attended and continues a tradition of civic engagement that is deeply meaningful to the College and community. Ditto our ongoing Faculty Lecture Series which highlights some of our home-grown brilliance. On October 15th the Board of Trustees will meet in regular session here at Chabot with a special presentation by Dean Vo-Kumamoto on recent developments in the MESA Program. Before the Board meets, there will be a ribbon-cutting ceremony for our newly updated Automotive facility, with a number of old friends and luminaries in attendance, including, it is rumored, some of the BMW brass themselves (who I hear are pretty thrilled about the program.) Onward and upward into autumn!



October, 2013 (PDF format)

First Wednesday Report:  September, 2013 (PDF format)

Spring 2013 Message from the President


We begin Spring Semester 2013 on firmer budgetary ground than we have stood as a college  and community college system  in some time.  A number of us attended a  budget debriefing in Sacramento last Friday (an observation here:  Chancellor Walters seems to know every mover and shaker in the State) and heard much good news related to the apparent  stability expected to be achieved  system-wide through Prop 30 and a slow-but-steady recovery of the California Economy.

 I will be sending out a more detailed report on Prop 30 projections and new legislative mandates later this week as we start to assess and plan for their potential impacts on Chabot.

Some other current events:

Dr. King's birthday was celebrated  Monday  January 21  in our PAC at an inspiring event sponsored by the City of Hayward (and orchestrated with her usual elan by our own Kari McAllister).  Mayor Mike Sweeny presided over the event, which was attended by many community luminaries. Some highlights included the Mt. Eden School Concert Choir and orchestra, Griot and fabulous story-teller Diane Ferlatte (who took us back to the voting booth with Fanny Lou Hamer), the Hayward Senior Line Dancers (wow!), and a moving rendition of Dr. King's "I have a Dream" speech by Reverend Tommy E. Smith, Jr.  I gave a shout out to Chabot's programs which support Dr. King's vision of the "beloved community" including Daraja/Umoja, Puente, EOPS/TRIO, Striving Black Brothers, the Child Development Center, and our Law and Democracy Program.

 We'll be doing more to publicize this event around the campus next year. You don't want to miss it. 

Last Thursday Chabot administrative staff hosted a well-attended luncheon in honor of classified professionals. A number of speakers, including  classified and faculty leaders and admins, reflected on the crucial work of classified staff, as well as the burdens they have faced  over the years of the  recession. Naomi Parke served up a fabulous buffet (as always), supplemented by various admins "signature dishes", and DJ "Doc" Shultz spun the vinyl (metaphorically speaking).  It was pretty cool.

Our Promise Neighborhood Collaborative grant work proceeds with the selection from a number of finalists of a Promise Neighborhood Coordinator this week funded through the grant. The Law and Democracy Program received grant support for classes through a collaboration with the venerable Street Law Project (which educates about civil rights and the constitution.) Congratulations to Profs William Hanson and Sara Parker on their expanding political and social justice program!

Two meetings of note will occur this week: On Friday, January 25 at 8 AM the Chabot Planning, Review, and Budget Committee (PRBC) is having a half-day planning retreat. This group of classified, faculty, administrators, and students has really rolled up their collective sleeves during fall semester, meeting for over 40 hours of "real talk" guided by their intrepid chair, the amazing Jan Novak. At 12:30 on Friday the District Budget Study Group will meet to consider a new allocation model for the District. This should be a very important discussion.

The Faculty Senate is sponsoring a series of community presentations this semester by Chabot faculty on areas of their expertise.  Check out the line-up on posters around the campus, which includes Kathy Kelly and Michelle Sherry on parenting, our own bones and stones expert Mireille Giovanola;  Don Plondke on Global Warming, Mark Stephens on the development of the Interstate Highway System, and the cosmic guru Tim Dave on understanding the cosmos.

Finally, if you haven't seen it yet, check out the newly refurbished Building 1800; it will knock you out. The design elements that have gone into this renovation are exemplary.  Kudos to Dean Tram Vo Kumamoto and faculty for thinking through a beautiful marriage here of form and function.

See you around the campus.  Have a great first week!


November 2012 Message from the President

I finally got on the road for a few days to attend the annual Community College League of California (CCLC) annual conference in LA last week. And (dare I say it?) it was inspiring---even for an old cynic such as myself who has too often seen conferences as less about information and more about self-promotion. This was different.

It was good to meet so many people devoted to the community college mission, to learn what's happening around the State, and to see halls full of people who represent California's rich diversity.

New State Chancellor Bryce Harris and League Director, the intrepid Scott Lay, each made some compelling points that I'll try to summarize below. With the passage of Prop 30 and the steady, if slow, State economic recover, the Legislative Analysts office (LAO) is predicting "growth" for public systems from kindergarten through grade 14 these next years. Good news, for sure!

But are we really talking "growth"?

Put into context, a better term would be "partial restoration"!

Some facts:

1. There are about 2.4 million community college students in California. Prop 30 will allow the statewide Community College system to add about 20,000 students (great!)

2. But over the last decade we have TURNED AWAY 1/2 MILLION STUDENTS, while the average class size has increased by 17%---largely due to the compassion and commitment of faculty and staff who have been willing to educate students for whom we are not funded.

3. During this period, the State has undergone a great demographic shift. In 1980, 60% of California Community College students were white; in 2008, 68% were students of color. So at the same time that the system has been forced by chronic underfunding to "ration" education---we are failing to serve many students who have been historically the most under-served.

3. On a world scale, we have declined as a country over the last decades from 3rd in the world in college graduates to 10th.

Our collective challenge---across the system--- is to reverse these trends.

Finally, State Chancellor Harris also allowed in his wry way (he grew up in Oklahoma and sounds a bit like Will Rogers), that he is a little tired of hearing how "we ought to be more like a business". General Electric converts lumps of steel into either toasters or freezers, but we've been "converting" living, aspiring human beings with child-care issues, work schedules, healthcare needs, etc. into graduates, skilled workers, teachers, and entrepreneurs for over 50 years---too often in a resource-starved environment. Given the new Chancellor's record of accomplishment over decades in the Los Rios District, and his decision to come out of a brief retirement to lead the system, I think we are lucky to have him.

Last but not least: kudos to Matt Kritscher and ValJean Dale for an excellent and interactive presentation on the SHIFT program and job-focused service programs in general.






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    Phone: (510) 723-6600 | Last updated on 10/7/2013