Update – April 18, 2013

on April 18, 2013 in Weekly Update

Good Afternoon!

I hope all of you got through April 15th (tax day) okay. I was surprised to hear that only 7% of Americans file an extension for their taxes!

As we think about this past week, I know each of us has been saddened by the incidents in Boston and West, Texas. My thoughts and prayers are with all of the victims and those directly and indirectly impacted.

These events and the event at Lone Star College last week continue to weigh heavy on each of us. Even though the incident at Lone Star College was across Houston, we received many phone calls and questions from concerned students and employees. We issued a statement that San Jacinto College was not under an immediate threat so we could alleviate those concerns.

We are all grateful that San Jacinto College has avoided this type of needless tragedy, but we must always be looking for ways to be better prepared.

  • We continue to review our emergency preparedness processes and our notification systems.
  • We are developing additional training activities to ensure the safety of our students and employees.
  • We continue to stress that the best prevention is for everyone to be aware of their surroundings and report any suspicious persons or behavior to the San Jacinto College police department at 281-476-1820, or extension 5555 from a Campus phone.

  • We encourage all students and employees to sign up for the SJC Alert Me System to receive email, text, and voice alerts if there is ever an emergency on a San Jacinto College campus. To do so, please login to SOS and click on the red Alert Me tab, or visit: http://www.sanjac.edu/alert-me.

For this update, I want to highlight what is happening in the legislative session, our recruiting efforts for the provost positions and faculty, Banner Revitalization, and professional development programs.

Legislative Update

We are tracking many bills being addressed in Austin. At this point in the session, the House and Senate are getting down to the end and we will begin seeing members spend less time in committee and more time on the House and Senate Floor moving legislation.  Here are a few key items we are tracking closely: 

  • The Senate passed a budget early in the session, which included most of the items on the five-point plan I outlined for you during college community week. The Senate did not meet our request on funding employee benefits and retirement. They agreed to increase the state contribution for health and retirement benefits from 42 percent to 50 percent but would not go to the 62 percent community colleges requested. Their intent is to place this funding level in statue so that we don’t have to deal with benefit funding levels each session.
    • Last Thursday, the House substituted their budget for the senate budget. The House version did not include the majority of the items community colleges requested. Rather, our items were placed in “Article 11” of the bill, which means all these items will be discussed by a conference committee of five senate and five house members. Hopefully, this group will be named next week so that deliberations can begin.
      • What does this mean?  There is still a lot of work to be done, but the community college leadership across the State is hopeful!
      • Both the House and Senate versions have provided language to discontinue the mid-biennium reallocation of formula funding for community colleges. This is a big step with both chambers being in agreement.
  • On Friday, the House Homeland Security and Public Safety Committee voted favorably on HB 972, which allows citizens with a concealed handgun license to carry handguns on the campus of a public or private institution of higher education. There are provisions in this bill that would not allow citizens to carry a gun in areas where a childcare center or early college high school is located. Currently, the bill provides for a local decision with colleges having an opt-out decision based on board policy. This bill does have a senate companion.
    • We will continue to watch these bills very closely.  
    • The Board and I have had discussions around this proposed legislation and its potential impact on San Jacinto College and our constituents. Discussions will continue and we will engage the college community at the appropriate time.

Recruiting Efforts

  • Status of Provost Positions
    • The Provost Hiring Committee narrowed the candidate pool down from 57 to 12 candidates.
    • Video interviews will be completed by April 24th.
    • The final 4 – 6 candidates will be invited for on-site interviews between April 29th – May 7th with a final recommendation submitted to the Chancellor by May 8th.
    • During the on-site interviews, forums will be held in the afternoon for the college community. Details will follow as the process continues.
    • The Chancellor will make a final decision by May 13th.
  • Faculty Hiring
    • The SLT approved the filling of 54 faculty positions with additional labor costs (salaries and benefits) of approximately $954,000.

The breakdown is as follows:

  • New FT faculty additions:……………………………….. 10
  • FT temp faculty conversions (FTTC) to FT:………….. 13
  • New FT temp faculty:……………………………………..  6
  • Replacements of either FT or FTTC:…………………..  19
  • Extension to 2nd year for FTTC:……………………….. 6
  • All positions have been posted and several are beginning the interview process.

Banner Revitalization for HR and Payroll

There are some new initiatives that will be coming your way over the next several months as a result of the Banner Revitalization.  Features to come include:

  • Web Time Entry, an online timekeeping module within the Banner payroll system
  • Electronic Personnel Actions Forms (EPAF) that route electronically to replace paper PARs
  • Annual benefits enrollment changes entered through employee self-service in SOS
  • New hire and life event changes affecting your benefits submitted through employee self-service in SOS
  • Reporting tools and capabilities to assist leaders in managing human capital

More information will be provided as we move through development, pilot, and rollout. These enhancements are designed to allow for expedited processing through automation, thus providing for greater efficiencies and productivity.

Professional Development:

  • SJC Leadership Development  launched in March

Our goal is to build leadership capacity through various interventions and training which strategically align with our mission, vision and annual priorities.

  • The first module, Foundations for Success,   is a two-day workshop that establishes new standards for leadership success at the College and will feature topics such as Managing Performance, Interviewing Skills, Responsible Budgeting and more.
  • All leaders are expected to attend this module.  Sessions will be offered at numerous dates and times between March and September 2013.
  • We added Skillsoft On-Demand Learning to demonstrate our commitment to the professional development of our leaders and employees.
  • Skillsoft offers courses, e-books and videos that cover a wide variety of topics that will be of interest to all of our employees.
  • This online learning resource can be accessed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • Access to Skillsoft has been rolled out to leaders.  All employees will have access by early May.
  • Training on this new system will be offered for leaders during the month of April and for all employees beginning in May.
  • New Onboarding Program – SJC Connections launched in February
  • Our goal is to help our new staff and administrators get up to speed more quickly, get them engaged right from the start, and enhance their productivity. 
  • To date, we have hosted three SJConnections programs and connected almost 40 people to the College, information and each other.
  • SJConnections has been well received.  New employee surveys report the activities and information regarding our SJC values has given them a better understanding of how the College functions, and how they contribute to student success.
    • For faculty onboarding, we have the New Faculty Orientation which was rolled out several years ago. This year, for our part-time faculty, we have started a Teaching and Learning Conference. The second one was held this past Saturday.     
  • Performance Management Status Update

We have made improvements to the performance management process for this year.

  • Simplified forms that are quicker and easier to complete.
  • A new validation process for faculty that is based on teaching disciplines rather than campus-wide validation.  This change creates a Once-College validation approach for faculty and aligns with the One-College validation process we have been using for staff and administrators since 2009.  the Although there was some concern from faculty about how effective this new process would be, we are pleased to be receiving so much positive feedback from Department Chairs, Deans, and Interim Provosts that the new process creates consistency among the disciplines and has been easier to implement.
  • We have completed the improvements on the appeal process.  Information on the new secondary review process will be communicated to all employees as well as distributed to leaders to aid in the understanding.
  • Staff and administrators will begin self-evaluations on April 22nd.

It is my desire to continue to provide these college wide updates on key activities so that you are better informed. I hope that these updates are valuable to each of you.

Best,

BH

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