Meeting Notes - April 27, 2010

1) Approval of Notes April 13, 2010

The notes were approved once typographical corrections were made.

2) Grants Office Discussion

Reza opened the discussion by introducing the three guests, Jane Ostrander, Jerry Rosenberg & Mae Lee and giving the team an overview of the previous discussion and explaining that the guests were invited to share their experiences of securing grants and their recommendations for what should be incorporated into a new FHDA grants office.

 Rosenberg commenced by sharing his experiences from his previous college.

  • Smaller college had $40M in grants per year.
  • VP of Workforce Development for college made grant decisions quickly.
  • Much of the VP’s job was politicking and meeting people.
  • Single college district.
  • VP was a well connected personality.
  • Dedicated writer with experience is vital.
  • Need a quick and successful grants writer.
  • Experienced accountant is critical as rules and regulations are different.
  • Make it easy/encourage people to take ideas to grants office.
  • 3 people in grants office turned over $35-40M per year.
  • It takes 3–4 years to set up a successful / sustainable grants office.
  • A new grants office needs seed (start-up) money.
  • Don’t take people and add grants duties to their job – make a commitment and employ experienced people who only work on grants.
  • FHDA has many advantages over other colleges so potential is incredible.
  • Some of the grant writing is ‘boiler plate’.
  • Need people in place to maintain the grant for the full period.

 Mae Lee added to the discussion the following summary of her experience.

  • IMPACT/IPI is a US Department of Education grant worth $1.25M over 2 years with an opportunity to extend for a further 1 year.
  • Networking got Lee to a retreat where she learned about a new grant oportuinity.
  • Very little institutional support at FHDA.
  • Sort assistance from Kubo (ISS Dean), institutional research and DA budget office.
  • Lee & Kubo had no experience in grant writing and had to start from scratch to find out the needs and gather data. Lee wrote the grant with the help of Linda Dowden.
  • De Anza was one of six colleges to get the grant.
  • They found out they were awarded the grant but had no time to prepare.
  • Took one year to hire two counselors for the two year grant.
  • Through more networking, Lee found out that De Anza could apply for a further grant.
  • Grant consultant (Dowden) assisted with finding further grants for De Anza.
  • New grant opportunity will put Lee in the same situation as before with little support from FHDA.
  • Lee cannot write another grant as she is still maintaining the first grant.
  • R. Galope (VP Foothill) has money for a grant writer but does not have a grant writer.
  • New grant writer must be experienced and be dedicated to grant writing only.
  • Adhering to the regulations and compliance is critical.
  • Linda Dowling is being paid equivalent of a full time FHDA writer.

Jane Ostrander added the following comments:

  • Presently no central place for grants people to connect.
  • Paying external consultants does not invest in FHDA grants writing future.
  • Waste of resources for every grant writer to have to learn from scratch each time.
  • Having an office/system/procedure is critical.
  • Decision makers have to be nimble. Decisions for grants can’t go through standard hierarchies as it takes too long. Most grants only give a couple of weeks notice.
  • Data capture is critical for justification.
  • Federal/Dept. of Education/NSF have millions of dollars in grants and an incredible quantity of money goes untouched.
  • Passing by a huge opportunity if FHDA doesn't set up a grants office.
  • If there is no dedicated grants writer, it's important to give the people who are doing the work a reward/return as there is a tremendous amount of work and burnout comes quickly.
  • Show the value of the grant i.e. to students, equipment, etc.
  • Staffing the grant is challenging as district policies are prohibitive and hiring takes too long.
  • Buying into and long term support for a grants office is a key institutional issue.
  • Grants office would make a lot of these staffing/data/grant writing problems go away.
  • Culture of the colleges/district must value research.
  • Grants must be vetted to see that they fit into the mission of the college/district.

 In a general discussion the following idea/recommendations were made:

  • From the outside world FHDA is one entity.
  • Grants office should be a district department reporting to the VC Business services.
  • The fiscal agent is the district.
  • Have to have a strategic plan for the grants office.
  • Grants office should be a clearing house for grant opportunities.
  • Grants should have strong linkage to the colleges.
  • Not useful to have grants that do not serve the colleges/district and are not sustainable/useful/integrated into the culture of the colleges.
  • A website is crucial.
  • Our current grants accountants are located at the district.
  • Use the resources and skills available district wide but need to staff a grants department.
  • Do we need an on-site De Anza located grants person in addition to the district based staff?
  • Staff in grants office should be proactive in finding grants for both colleges and know which grants would work well at the colleges.
  • Grants office should be a seamless entity that serves both campuses and use resources from both campuses.
  • Build collegial/cooperative relationships across the district.
  • Build a grants office staffed by experienced people who would bring their expertise to FHDA and are able to start up an office smoothly, efficiently, and quickly.

Reza suggested that Rosenberg, Ostrander and Lee go to the district meeting to share the information directly.

3) Burning Issues

None were reported.

Apologies: Jeanpierre (jury duty) and Argyriou.

Present: Bloom, Gerard, Jenkins, LeeKlawender, Michaelis, Patlan, Schroeder, Reza. Notes: Gibson.

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