College Update - September 24, 2013

Posted on: September 24, 2013
Office of the President

Dear Colleagues,

Nothing is better for the soul than to go to the North Rim for a few days!  That’s where Ron and I escaped to last weekend.  We are so fortunate to have such a natural wonder in our backyard!  If you haven’t been there, please do yourself a BIG favor and plan to go up next spring.  (They’re all booked for fall and as the NR is 1,000’ higher than the South Rim, they will close this part of the park by October 15.)

Last week the President’s Leadership Team (PLT) had their fall retreat.  The topic was ‘Student Success’.   What a rich discussion we had as we reviewed the literature of ‘best practices’, our own CCSSE results, and began to map concrete steps that we can take as a college to enhance our students’ academic success.  One of the key outcomes of the retreat was the appointment of a Presidential Workgroup who will continue to focus our efforts on this very important topic.  The members of the group are Scott Farnsworth, Joan Fisher, James Perey, Dennis Garvey, Rose Hurley, Stacey Hilton, and Sandy Garber.  Scott and Sandy will be chairing the group and will give the PLT updates of their work.  Also, all members are committed to continue this conversation with the various groups that they represent on the PLT.  I understand the discussion has already begun with the Faculty Senate and that is key.

I also have been in touch with our new VP for Instruction and Student Services, Dr. Stuart Blacklaw.  We are all very excited (including his entire family!) about his arrival on Nov. 1.  He hopes to have time to visit us before his start date, as he and his wife search for a home.  Watch for Mike Lange’s press release about Dr. Blacklaw.  I was very touched to read Stuart’s quote that he readily shared with Mike.  Makes you proud of YC!

Speaking of student success, I asking permission to visit your classes, if you are comfortable with me attending.  Although I am often in meetings, please do not get the impression that I live for meetings!  I sincerely thrive on what happens in your classrooms.  So, please let Karen, my assistant, know if I may visit your class.  (Just call 2307).    Thank you!

Finally, two personal things…1) I just finished a great book given to me by a dear friend in NM.  It’s entitled “The Book Thief”.  I believe the author’s last name is something like Zacus.  It is about Nazi Germany but it is from the perspective of a nine year old, poor German girl who is not Jewish and is very observant.  She wrestles with what is happening in her town which is located near Dachau.  Very moving.  Highly recommend.

2)  Many have asked how Burrito is doing.  He’s crazy as ever and enjoying his intermittent days at Run-a-muck Kennel.  We have to give in to his desires to go, as there are many late night college commitments and he could do some not so good things in the house when we’re away too long.  BTW, saw my first bobcat right in our neighborhood!  Exciting.

Thanks again for all that each of you is doing for our students.  Each finalist for the vp position mentioned how apparent it is that we are committed to our students.  Please continue!

Take care.

Penny


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