Welcome Back; VOTE for Student Initiative
January 6, 2011 — Message from Brian Murphy
Welcome to winter quarter. I hope everyone had an opportunity to relax, spend time with family and friends, and get some breathing room between quarters.
As always, we owe a huge debt to our colleagues in Admissions and Records, who worked tirelessly over the holidays -- including New Year's weekend -- to facilitate student enrollment. There have been more than a few challenges as we navigate the new Banner system and try to meet the needs of thousands of individual students, but we have weathered these first few days quite well. So, if you find yourself in the Student and Community Services Building, stop by to thank the staff there for their dedication and professionalism. The Bookstore staff and custodial and grounds crews also deserve a special shout-out for their work in getting the campus ready for the beginning of the quarter.
VOTE for the Student Initiative: Peer mentoring through the Pepsi Refresh Project
Once again, our students have stepped up. In the face of budget restrictions, DASB leaders have found a new opportunity: to win $250,000 through the national Pepsi Refresh Project. Their goal is to fund a peer mentoring program for advanced math and science classes at De Anza. In order to win, our students need you to take very specific action: Vote every day, online and by text message, through the month of January.
Next week brings us the new governor's proposed budget for the 2011-2012 fiscal year. Rumors suggest that he will not impose a mid-year budget cut but will roll the entire deficit of more than $26 billion into next fiscal year. Gov. Brown has made clear that he will not bring forward a budget marked by smoke and mirrors and fiscal tricks, but will provide an honest accounting of how huge budget cuts must be if we do not raise revenues.
The result, we fear, may be a deep cut to community colleges, accompanied by a proposed fee increase of some magnitude. We will not be alone; every element of state operations will be cut. Word out of Sacramento is that the governor intends to shock Californians with the consequences of a "no new taxes" budget solution, and then propose a tax package to be voted by referendum in June.
In short, there will be two budget games going on: inside the capital, where the minority party holds the ability to block any budget resolution that includes tax increases, and outside the capital, where the governor and his allies will try to persuade voters that savage reductions in education, health, welfare, public safety and all other elements of the state require everyone to give a little more.
District and Campus Budget Planning
As you know, the Foothill-De Anza district has adequate reserves to weather budget reductions in the coming year, although it is harder to model the effects of combining a deep budget cut with fee increases. The magnitude of the cut in 2011-2012 will help determine how we approach 2012-2013, and we will begin campus and district planning this spring. We will plan for multiple scenarios using the same broad-based consultative process as last year, with the Planning and Budget Teams seeking input and analysis from all quarters.
In this context, we will have to do two things: plan as if there will be no relief from Sacramento, and fight like crazy in defense of ourselves and other state services. Our students will provide statewide leadership in the advocacy around community college budgets, but they cannot do it alone. We will have, and must take, multiple opportunities to have our voices heard.
Preparation for reaccreditation is a clear priority. The four standards teams (Institutional Mission & Effectiveness; Student Learning Programs & Services; Resources; and Leadership & Governance) are this week submitting first drafts to be compiled for the Self-Study report, with several of the team leaders having worked on their sections throughout the holidays. The drafts will be provided to shared governance groups and the larger campus community and revised through winter and spring. I urge everyone to participate in reviewing the drafts of the Self-Study, the final version of which will be submitted to the Accrediting Commission this summer prior to the team visit in October.
For results of the fall Accreditation Survey in which many of you and our students participated, please see http://www.research.fhda.edu/researcharticles1.htm
Visit http://deanza.edu/accreditation for comprehensive information.
Final Note: Mission and Community
A centerpiece of accreditation is the affirmation of our mission (see below). The college is a large and complex social institution, one with multiple constituencies and interests. But De Anza is also a remarkably coherent community, animated by a shared vision of the world our students can build if they have the tools, and a shared sense of our professional obligation to our students' success. I am often reminded of how special this commitment is, in the deep affection of our students for the faculty and staff with whom they work, and in their pride at being part of this community. It's a pride we share with them, and it makes us feel profoundly good about working here.
Happy New Year.
De Anza College provides an academically rich, multicultural learning environment that challenges students of every background to develop their intellect, character and abilities; to realize their goals; and to be socially responsible leaders in their communities, the nation and the world.
De Anza College fulfills its mission by engaging students in creative work that demonstrates the knowledge, skills and attitudes contained within the college's Institutional Core Competencies:
- Communication and expression
- Information literacy
- Physical/mental wellness and personal responsibility
- Global, cultural, social and environmental awareness
- Critical thinking