A huge THANK YOU for your support to the Clark College Surveying & Geomatics program. We have a lot of work ahead of us but I am confident we can meet President Knights decision.
I will be in touch as we move forward and look forward to continue the Surveying & Geomatics program for years to come.
What a great way to start the new year!
From: Knight, Robert
Sent: Thursday, January 7, 2016 11:01 AM
To: College Master List
Subject: Message from President Knight
Dear college community,
Happy New Year! As we start winter quarter, I want to update you on four of the topics I will be discussing at the annual State of the College address on Thursday, January 21 at 11 a.m. in Gaiser Student Center: Instructional Budget Recommendations, overall college budget, hiring leadership for our key administrative positions in HR and the Office of Diversity and Equity, and the timeline for and current discussions on food service and culinary programs.
Instructional Budget Recommendations
The instructional budget reduction process is moving forward in accordance with the faculty contract. I have received and accepted the recommendations of the Reduction in Force (RIF) committee. The final recommendations can be found on ClarkNet<http://www.clark.edu/clark-and-community/about/strategic_plan/academic-planning/index.php>. The RIF committee recommendations include a financial incentive for affected faculty members. This part of the proposal must be approved by the state’s Office of Financial Management (OFM) so my acceptance is pending that approval by OFM.
I have also confirmed the other parts of the proposal and support Instructional Council as they work with the formal Instructional Planning Team (IPT) process to eliminate the Fitness Training, Medical Radiography, Nursing Assistant Certified and Paralegal programs. Based on a commitment from community members to temporarily cover costs needed to sustain the Surveying & Geomatics program, I have decided to continue the Surveying & Geomatics program for up to three years. If enrollment and completions are not improved within those three years to a sustainable number, we will move forward with the elimination.
I also support the other recommendations to reduce programs and departments as found in the final Instructional Council Report<http://www.clark.edu/clark-and-community/about/strategic_plan/academic-planning/index.php>. The final stages regarding program and department elimination will take place with IPT or Curriculum Committee in January and February.
While this has been, and will continue to be, a challenging process for us all, I am extremely proud of our faculty and the staff—particularly those in instruction—as they have thoughtfully compiled and reviewed the data, kept students and student success at the forefront of conversations, and worked through difficult decisions thoughtfully and professionally.
The new academic plan is nearly complete and will provide strategic direction for our programs and offerings as the college moves forward. Opportunities for developing structured pathways, additional teaching modalities, and increased integrative learning will help address ongoing enrollment and retention concerns.
Overall College Budget
Currently, we are not meeting our budgeted enrollment target for state-supported FTES. However, Running Start is coming in stronger than expected. By late January or February, we should know if the additional Running Start revenue is enough to avoid mid-year reductions. Because our revenue picture remains unclear, we are continuing to watch spending very carefully, particularly in the areas of IT equipment, operating supplies, and out-of-state travel.
The state’s new funding allocation model, which goes into effect July 1, 2016, is still being fine-tuned. Until we see the final version of the model, we can't safely say whether it will provide enough new state funding to help address our operating budget shortfall. Additionally, the Planning and Effectiveness Office is projecting that we will continue to see enrollment declines next year. While there are some parts of the state that have started to see slight improvements in enrollment, a decline in enrollment is consistent with the overall picture across Washington and Oregon.
With the efforts of the Strategic Enrollment Management team, the Retention Committee, and ongoing efforts across the college—including new program growth and retention initiatives—we are aggressively seeking ways to reverse this enrollment trend. I will be in touch as the budget process continues to share some of these strategies and how they will affect next year’s budget.
Key administrative positions
This fall quarter the college was without a Special Advisor for Diversity and Equity, and it is a priority for me to fill this position. To do this, it is important to work with the constituent groups and hear feedback from across the college about what was needed in this role. Conversations with the Office of Diversity and Equity staff, the Cultural Pluralism Committee, and others helped us move this conversation forward.
I want to thank Vice President Bill Belden, Felis Peralta and the staff in the Office of Diversity and Equity for their continued good work this fall as we were short staffed in that office. The ODE staff have accomplished a great deal including leading the process of drafting the Social Equity Plan, which is one of the core themes in the Strategic Plan and will be released to the campus shortly before the State of the College.
In January, the college will be conducting searches for both the Special Advisor for Diversity and Equity and Vice President of Human Resources and Compliance. I want to thank Vice President Bob Williamson for filling in and moving key projects forward including standardizing training for hiring committees and several other initiatives while short staffed. The HR position will include new responsibilities for ensuring College compliance with Title IX and state and federal laws on sexual misconduct and violence. On that subject, I want to thank all of you who have completed the mandatory, online Title IX training. We’re not at 100% yet and encourage those who haven’t finished the training yet to do so as soon as possible. Please contact HR if you have any questions
Culinary and Food Service
The college and the Clark College Foundation are both fully committed to restarting the culinary program in the fall of 2016 and remodeling the space previously occupied by the program. Some tremendous progress has taken place lately with new faculty being hired, community partnerships formed, and more. We have some exciting news to unveil about a recent donation commitment we received over the holidays. An announcement will be coming out at a later date.
This is an expensive and complex project. There will be continued disruptions both to food service on the main campus and on some events. We anticipate the new culinary space will open in early 2017, and will provide new dining options and much better space for students, faculty, and staff. The current plans include bringing back the dining room, as well as providing space for food vendors. We hope to unveil final plans later this spring.
In the meantime, we are reviewing the food options on campus and exploring new ways to attract vendors. We also will need to make final determinations about the food carts as our agreement with the city states they will need to move at the end of this academic year.
The start of a new year is always a good time to reflect on the past and prepare for the future. We certainly faced challenges in 2015, particularly the impact of declining enrollment on our budget. However, this past year we also saw the fortitude and commitment of our faculty and staff in meeting these challenges. As I look ahead, I am excited for what 2016 has in store for us as we continue to implement our strategic plan, prepare for the opening of our new STEM facility, and strengthen our local community.