This is the first issue of Chancellor's Update for 2014-15. This e-newsletter offers news from the Chancellor's Office with a districtwide viewpoint. If there are topics that you would like to know more about, please let me or Judy Iannaccone, director of public affairs and publications, know.
Employee Communications Research Outcomes
Thanks to everyone who participated in a focus group or responded to the employee communications survey that was sent out last semester. The information gleaned from this research will be used to implement some new practices and to improve existing ones with the goal of enhancing internal communications.
For example, the Public Affairs & Publications Department is assisting me in preparing a new monthly newsletter called Rancho View. This newsletter will contain information about a variety of subjects, including new hires, student success stories, new district grants, construction updates, events, committee actions, budget updates, and many other topics.
We have also begun the practice of sending out news releases to all district employees. This will ensure that everyone has the latest information as it is being released to the news media.
Along those same lines, I intend to do some new activities this year as well. One of these new activities is public forums for employees at each campus and at the District Office. The main focus of the forums will be to answer questions and to engage in dialog about topics of interest. Employees will be invited to anonymously submit questions ahead of time if desired. The plan is to hold one day of forums in the fall semester and a day of forums in the spring semester.
Two more items that are being planned are a series of lunches with the chancellor and a District Office open house. The lunches will be held once a year at each major district location (i.e., SAC, SCC, CEC, and OEC). The attendees at these lunches will be determined by interest in the sense that the first individuals to respond will be included up to the limit (probably no more than fifteen people). The open house is intended to showcase various departments and services that are offered by the District Office. This activity will help people understand with whom they need to interact to obtain particular services.
There are other activities that are in the works as well, but the examples cited above should provide a sense of what we are trying to accomplish. Again, the purpose behind these activities is to increase the level of communication in our district by sharing information and by answering any and all questions you may have.
The Sustainable RSCCD Committee (SRC) has been working with a consulting firm to develop a sustainability plan for the district. The first draft of the plan has been completed and the plan will be circulated for a wider review through the participatory governance process. The plan encompasses a number of key areas, including energy efficiency, sustainable building practices, renewable energy, transportation, water, and curriculum development. We hope to finalize the plan this semester and continue implementing the plan (as we have already begun implementing some of the recommendations) over the next several years.
Last semester, I received a report on security recommendations for our district. I had commissioned former Santa Ana Police Department Chief, Paul M. Walters, to undertake the study. Paul was assisted by the Interim Director of District Safety and Security, Alistair Winter. An ad hoc public safety task force was also selected to work with Paul and Alistair. The report has now been reviewed by the Board of Trustees and they have created an ad hoc board committee to focus on this issue and this report. In a few weeks, when I begin the employee forums that are planned for this semester, the recommendations of this report will be one of the topics that I will focus on in those discussions. The safety of our students and our staff is of paramount importance and given the ever-present potential for violence, we must ensure that our safety personnel are well trained, well equipped, and able to meet any threats in a timely and effective manner. No critical decisions have yet been made on this topic, but we need to explore all of our options and make some decisions about how to provide a higher level of security than what we currently have.
All the best,