Weekly Update – June 28, 2009

on June 28, 2009 in Weekly Update

We are reaching the end of June, and the realization just hit me that 2009 is half over.  It is amazing how fast life moves, and each of us must find the time to relax, reflect. and smell the roses.  I hope you find some time today.

This week I received a demonstration of the web refresh project.  Information gathering for this project has been in the works for months through focus groups and interviews with SJC employees and students.  The purpose of the project is to redesign the college website using the “WOW” factor.   The new site will be interactive, organized for students, less cluttered but with more information available, and with enhanced search capabilities.  Processes such as the application and payment will be simplified and more user friendly, as will the ability to update and change pages by departments. The site will be tested by students and employees during July and August and will be rolled out no later than October.   I know you will be very impressed with what you see.  Thank you to everyone who has worked on this project – the result is a website that will be first class!!

Over the past few weeks I have attended several meetings with the Economic Alliance of the Port Region (known as the Alliance) and the Bay Area Houston Economic Development Partnership (known as BAHEP).  Both of these organizations are instrumental in economic development for our region and are supporters and partners with San Jacinto College including being our ally on the legislative front.   We are working with them on numerous projects including expanding and developing maritime education programs, enhancing relationships with the petrochemical and energy sectors, and strengthening the P-16 pipeline (preschool through grade 16) with more seamless programs.  Additionally, these groups are gathering information on the Ike Dike project (a proposal to extend the seawall in Galveston), regional transportation and freight issues, and our homeland security corridor.  Groups like these are critical to the economic vitality of our region, and they know that SJC’s role is vital to that current and future success.

On Thursday, the Executive Management Team (EMT) had an all day retreat at the North Campus.  Our foci were on team development and defining the 2009-2010 annual objectives for the college.  We made great progress and have ten major objectives which we will be taking to the Board of Trustees for discussion.  We are still working on defining the critical strategies and measures under each objective.  Once these objectives, strategies, and measures are approved by the Board, they will be the basis for the development of individual performance plans (IPP) throughout the organization.  Also from this retreat, we finalized a document that defines the one-college vision.  Our goal was to develop a document that provides a clearer understanding of what is trying to be accomplished through our one-college approach.  Again, this needs to be discussed with the Board of Trustees and then the document will be distributed to all employees.  There will also be discussions and presentations around both these documents later this summer and into the fall.

From this retreat, we did determine that one of the focus areas for next year will be in defining the shared governance and accountability structures throughout the college. This includes reviewing committees, councils and task forces; clarifying and chartering their purpose; and revising names, membership, and functions as deemed necessary to accomplish our objectives.  To this regard, the EMT has changed their name to the Strategic Leadership Team (SLT).  Our focus must be on leading the organization, sharing the vision, demonstrating the values, and putting the organization into the best strategic position to fulfill our mission and serve the changing needs of our students.  To refresh your memory, the SLT consists of myself, the three campus presidents, the four vice chancellors (Fiscal Affairs, Human Resource, Instruction, and Administration), the chief information officer, and the associate vice chancellor of marketing. No more EMT, we are using SLT from now on.

Remember to smell the roses and to reflect on what you would like to do differently during the last six months of 2009. Have a great week!


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