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Chancellor's Update

Raul RodriguezDear Colleagues,

This is the first issue of the Chancellor's Update for 2016-2017. I plan to communicate with you weekly to share important district initiatives as well as programs, proposals, accomplishments, and issues that are relevant and timely. My goal is to keep these communications regular, informative, and to the point. If there are topics that you would like to see us cover or learn more about, please let me know. Feel free to contact me at (714) 480-7450 or at rodriguez_raul@rsccd.edu.

New District Leadership

Ben Franklin said, "When you're finished changing, you're finished." We start the 2016-2017 academic year with a number of new people in leadership positions districtwide. With these leadership changes RSCCD is becoming reinvigorated on every level and it's great to see.

As SAC begins its second century of service, we are pleased to welcome Dr. Linda Rose as the college's new president. Dr. Rose is a seasoned educator with over 23 years of leadership experience in higher education and a demonstrated passion for helping and engaging with community college students in their pursuit of academic achievement. For the past two years, she was president of Los Angeles Southwest College, and prior to that served as SAC's vice president of academic affairs. It's great to have her back!

I'd like to thank Dr. John Hernandez for agreeing to step in as the interim president at SCC. With over 32 years of experience in higher education, Dr. Hernandez has served as the vice president of student affairs at SCC since 2005. Previously, he served as associate vice president and dean of students at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, and as SAC's associate dean of student development. He will provide sound leadership during this academic year.

At the district level, I am happy to welcome two new vice chancellors. Enrique Perez has been named interim vice chancellor of educational services and Judy Chitlik interim vice chancellor of human resources. In addition, Alistair Winter was selected as assistant vice chancellor of human resources. With this change, Manny Pacheco will serve as interim chief of district safety and security until September 11 and on September 12, Dr. Antoinette (Toni) Bland will assume that role. Since 1989, Dr. Bland has served with the Orange County Sheriff's Department where she will be retiring as an assistant sheriff.

We welcome them all to their new roles in district leadership

Welcoming New Faculty Members

During Flex Week, I was honored to meet 49 new faculty members. Never in the district's history have this many new faculty been hired in one year. I know I speak for everyone when I say that we're so happy they are here!

I am very grateful for the countless hours our HR staff expended recruiting and vetting these new hires. The quality of these hires in no small way depended on numerous members of college-based search committees. Thank you all for your diligence and scrutiny that got us to this very positive moment.

Last Monday was a memorable day for these new faculty. They started their day bright and early at the New Faculty Institute facilitated by Judy Chitlik and her HR team. Thanks to Judy for helping to provide a well-orchestrated RSCCD introduction to these newcomers. As these instructors will impact students' learning outcomes for years to come, the importance of providing a setting designed to facilitate their professional and personal integration into the RSCCD community cannot be understated. And this is just the beginning! Sixteen workshops are planned for the remainder of the year.

Our new faculty hires finished their first day at RSCCD with a visit to the Board of Trustees meeting. Before the meeting, there was a meet and greet reception where we got better acquainted. During the board meeting, each college president introduced their new faculty and commemorative group photos were taken with the trustees, the presidents and me. Look for those photos coming soon.

Beginning of Fall Semester

As I write to you today, everyone is feeling a tremendous sense of anticipation as we welcome back students to our campuses for the new academic year. During last week, Flex Week, faculty and staff came together to focus on staff, student, and instructional improvement. From the feedback I have received, I know that this was time well spent and that faculty and staff emerged feeling energized and ready for whatever challenges will arise in the coming year. Thank you for your dedication to continued learning, openness to change, and commitment to students' academic success.

Last Friday, it was a pleasure attending both colleges' convocations. At each campus, the sense of excitement was palpable.

At SAC, Dr. Linda Rose was warmly welcomed by all. She shared positive news about the state of the college and shared her priorities for the year which include a focus on the fiscal stability of Santa Ana College, workforce development to insure the college remains relevant to the changing needs of business and industry, innovative program development that provides students with clear pathways of study and providing access to classes in adult education. And this week, you can look for college staff and administrators posted around campus to help students ease their way to classes despite construction. This effort is part of the "Pardon Our Dust" campaign. Of course, good humor was shared by all as Elliott Jones shared his comic vision of the zombie apocalypse.

At SCC, Dr. John Hernandez shared news of the acceptance of SCC's follow-up report in response to the 2014 accreditation visit and thus meeting all accreditation standards, as well as being named for the second year in a row by the Chronicle of Higher Education as a "Great College to Work For." Dr. Hernandez also commented on the importance of proactively managing enrollment, the importance of continued fiscal restraint and everyone's contribution to SCC's collective college spirit. And back by popular demand was the black bag made famous by retired Vice President Steve Kawa. This time it was Michael DeCarbo presenting the goodies in the bag including glue that was needed to glue people down because so many people are shifting roles at SCC. Insights into the launch of the college's new brand revolving around the tagline "What Happens Here Matters" definitely got a buzz going. And Jeremy Tucker, from the brand consulting firm Innovation Protocol that partnered with SCC in its brand development, got us thinking about the micro moments that make up a brand and a college.

I look forward to learning more about the activities at both colleges as we move ahead. I wish you luck with your endeavors as we launch yet another academic year. As always, my door is open to you and I welcome your feedback.

All the best,

Raul Rodriguez signature


The Chancellor's Update is an e-newsletter distributed by the Rancho Santiago Community College District Chancellor's Office to inform district employees. If you have a question, comment or would like to provide feedback, please send us an email.