October 28, 2011
I am writing with the glad news of our just-concluded accreditation site visit, and a brief update on yesterday's incident of alleged violence on campus.
As you know, we were visited by an 11-member Evaluation Team this week for purposes of validating and reviewing the materials submitted through our Self-Study Report in Support of Reaffirmation of Accreditation. The team delivered its exit report yesterday, sharing conclusions about the visit.
I am very proud to tell you that they were unambiguous in their appreciation of De Anza College, and clearly saw the professionalism and deeply-felt commitment to students that animates our work. "We leave the campus with admiration," was the note of the team chair, Chancellor Raúl Rodríguez of Rancho Santiago Community College District.
The team report will include six commendations for exemplary elements of the college. These include our deep commitment to issues of equity and diversity; our commitment to sustainability and environmental education; our professional development opportunities and program; the quality and leadership of our board of trustees; our stewardship of bond funds and the build-out of the campus, and -- most gratifying of all -- the quality of leadership and engagement of our students. We're proud of all of these elements of the college, and many more, but to call out our remarkable student body was a special treat.
They only had three recommendations for action: making sure we assess the planning and budgeting cycle we recently introduced, reaching proficiency with SLO assessment cycles by 2012, and tweaking the college mission in accordance with their commission standards. This last one is truly minor, and the others are actions we intend to take anyway. We were glad they recognized how seriously we have taken both the planning and the SLO work, and they praised the faculty leadership that brought us as far as we have come on learning outcomes and assessment.
We owe an enormous debt of gratitude to the Accreditation Steering Committee members, to Standards chairs and everyone who participated on the Standards teams, and especially to our Accreditation Liaison Officer, Marisa Spatafore. Marisa and her wonderful colleague Lois Jenkins did the incredible editing and management that brought us through the process. And a special note of thanks to the team of executive and administrative assistants who organized the incredibly complex logistics of this week's individual meetings.
Thank you to everyone involved, and a broader thank-you to the entire campus community. The team saw the vibrancy and commitment of our faculty and staff and students, the passion we have for this place and for our common work, and the care for students that is the heart of De Anza College.
Incident of violence reported on campus
As you learned from our multiple messages, there was an alleged incident of assault and battery of a student yesterday near the Flint Center garage. The incident reportedly took place at 8:40 a.m. We are deeply troubled by the incident, as well as the fact that we were not informed about it by police until early afternoon. We could not confirm necessary details about the alleged incident until 3:45 p.m. After receipt of information from the sheriff, we distributed a text message to students, faculty and staff, including a link to further information, as well as a voicemail message to all campus telephones. The college website featured a prominent message, and an announcement was placed on MyPortal. District police stepped up patrols, and we ensured that the campus was illuminated overnight. We also informed the media of these additional safety measures.
This morning, flyers were distributed on campus of a police sketch of the alleged attacker. (You were also e-mailed the link earlier today.) According to the police flyer, he is reported to be a "white male, age 19-21, brown eyes, light blond hair, 5'5", skinny build."
I want to assure everyone that we are in contact with the Sheriff's Department regarding the investigation. We have also insisted on a review of communications protocols so that there is no time lag between an incident and when senior leadership are informed. And for the future, we will be working with the Academic Senate, the Classified Senate, DASB and those in Student Services to provide additional safety training for our students, faculty and staff.
Anyone with information regarding yesterday's incident should contact the Santa Clara Co. Sheriff's Detective Bureau at 408.808.4500 or the anonymous Sheriff's Tip Line at 408.808.4431. Thank you.
Brian Murphy, President