Welcome to Fall Quarter
Sept. 24, 2014
Welcome to fall quarter 2014. The campus is alive with students again, the walkways are jammed between classes and we’re settling into the first week. Thanks to our always-excellent custodial and grounds staff who worked so hard to prepare the campus for the start of the term, and to those in the Bookstore, Financial Aid, Admissions & Records, Counseling, the division offices and elsewhere on campus who ensured students were enrolled and ready to go.
Our enrollment is up by 2 percent, a welcome change from recent years, and a testimony to the work of Outreach Director Rob Mieso, our student ambassadors, instructional deans and the growing word of mouth among students themselves. My thanks to all of our faculty members who are accepting additional students into their courses in an effort to accommodate the press of students on waitlists.
Three quick notes:
- The main Library is closed for the 2014-15 academic year for Measure C-funded upgrades and repairs, but a range of services are available on the second floor of Learning Center West (behind the main Library building). All reserved books are there, as well as reference services and the entire literature collection. My great appreciation to the Library staff for working so hard to get Library Services up and running in LCW.
- Thanks to Bookstore, Financial Aid and Budget staff who collaborated to provide a new book loan program for students dependent on Pell Grants. By the time you read this, most federal grants will have been disbursed, but because of dedicated staff work, we were able to help students who needed an interim solution before their funds arrived.
- We are in a uniquely intense period of finalizing multiple state and federal reports due in October: plans for both Student Success and Support Programs (3SP) and Title IX, and the Midterm Report to the accrediting commission. The college Equity Plan is due a few months later. Thanks to those who have been working intently on each of the reports and to those who will soon review plans, as appropriate, in shared governance committees. Both the 3SP plan and the dovetailing Equity Plan will detail our approach to new state mandates in those areas, and also provide the basis for allocating state dollars devoted to these agendas.
All of these projects and programs aim at one end: the success of our students, and the provision of the most equitable opportunities for all our students to reach their fondest dreams. Every project and program depends on the same things: the will and intelligence and imagination of our faculty and staff, working with an ever more engaged student body. It is wonderful to see the results in ways both large and small, institutional and deeply personal.
Many of our colleagues have commented on the energetic “vibe” of the campus this week, the sense of enthusiasm we find among the students, and the excitement of getting back to classes. I share in this excitement and optimism, and look forward to the year with all of you.