There is an old saying that time is the most valuable thing that a person can spend. The time that our faculty and staff spend on fostering the success of our students is greatly appreciated by our Board of Trustees and by me. Our organization exists to change people's lives and that is exactly what we are doing!
Employee Open Forums
Since you are all kept very busy serving our students, we want to ensure that you have access to as much information as we can provide about how the district works.
To that end, we have scheduled Employee Open Forums to be held at the District Office, SAC, and SCC from October 4 to 6. An email announcement which included the dates, times and locations for the five forums went out last week. Each forum is open to any employee anywhere in the district and we invite you to attend whichever works best for you.
At these events, representatives from district functions including Business Operations and Fiscal Services; Educational Planning; Facility Planning, District Construction and Support Services; Human Resources; and Safety and Security will be on hand to share information of relevance about their area.
Of equal importance is the time that will be set aside for your questions at each session. We hope you will feel free to ask anything about RSCCD and its operations, but if you prefer to submit questions anonymously, there is a link on the email announcement to do so.
Our plan is to hold these sessions once in the spring and once in the fall to ensure that a steady stream of information is available to you. Since it is our goal to include subjects of interest to you, please feel free to reach out to Judy Iannaccone in Public Affairs and Publications with topics you would like included.
RSCCD/Santiago Canyon College Win
Board of Governors Energy and Sustainability Award
I'm proud to share with you that once again our district was recognized by the California Community Colleges Chancellor's Office as a winner of the annual Excellence in Energy and Sustainability competition. Last week Assistant Vice Chancellor Carri Matsumoto and SCC Vice President Arleen Satele accepted the award at the Board of Governors (BOG) meeting for Best Overall District - Large.
Since 2012, the BOG Energy and Sustainability Awards have honored colleges that have implemented energy projects that excelled in meeting the goals of Prop 39, including annual energy cost savings, project cost effectiveness and job creation. You might recall that Prop 39 funded public schools and created jobs in the state, especially construction jobs in the clean energy sector. The California Community Colleges Chancellor's Office has offered millions of dollars to community colleges through Proposition 39 Clean Energy Workforce Program Grants.
The project we submitted for this award was the SCC interior lighting LED retrofit project. Several buildings were included in this project and over 3,000 outdated fluorescent bulbs were replaced with LED lights. The total project cost of $680,000 was funded with Prop 39 funds ($550,000) and utility rebates ($130,000) resulting in no out of pocket costs by the district. SCC saw a reduction of more than 550,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) and 203 kilowatts (kW) with a subsequent energy bill reduction of over $115,000 annually. Additionally, it is estimated that this project created over 2,300 hours of employment in the community.
Congratulations to Carri Matsumoto and her team in Facility Planning, District Construction and Support Services and to Arleen Satele and all the folks at SCC. This is a great example of what we can do when we pool our talents.
Last week, the Sustainable RSCCD Committee met for the first time this academic year. I have been very proud of the work accomplished by this shared governance committee since its formation in 2013. If you haven't already reviewed our district's Sustainability Plan, you can find it on the district website under the "Discover RSCCD" tab by visiting the Sustainable RSCCD Committee page.
At the meeting we reviewed the progress against our goals over the past few years. As evidenced with the BOG award, we have heavily focused on energy conservation and this will continue over the next two years. Coming soon will be the installation of new energy management systems in the Digital Media Center, the SAC Orange County Regional Sheriff's Training Academy, and the 15 buildings at SAC that won't be connected to the new Central Plant.
Other areas that the plan focuses on includes: sustainable building projects, facilities operation, transportation, water conservation, sustainable landscaping, solid waste reduction, green purchasing, curriculum development, campus and community outreach, and more. The committee is hard at work finalizing its annual report which will be available soon. Thanks to all committee members from SAC, SCC, and the District Office, including administrators, faculty, classified staff, and students for their due diligence on this important initiative.
National Community College Hispanic Council Conference
Last Thursday through Saturday, RSCCD served as a co-host of the 21st Annual NCCHC "A New Day for Latinos in Community Colleges" Leadership Symposium which was held at The Westin South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa. As a longtime NCCHC board member, I was pleased to host this great event in Orange County and want to thank all of the staff who provided support and volunteered at the conference. We couldn't have done it without you.
Among the many opportunities for engagement at the conference, was an Elected Leaders Panel moderated by Assistant Vice Chancellor Enrique Perez. RSCCD Board President Claudia Alvarez, OCDE Superintendent Dr. Al Mijares and Cerritos College Trustee Carmen Avalos shared their path to leadership and discussed how elected officials can partner with community colleges to take on the myriad of challenges preventing many Latino students from reaching their goals.
Of course, as you may know, some of the most valuable take-aways from conferences come through networking with colleagues from near and far. The Symposium attracted community college colleagues from 17 different states. It was a pleasure to welcome these visitors to our great county.
As always, I welcome your feedback, have a great week.
All the best,