Update – July 31, 2012

on July 31, 2012 in Weekly Update

Good Morning San Jacinto College Community –

We are rounding out July and summer classes and aggressively preparing for fall. As I mentioned earlier in the month, there is nothing moving slowly for us. Rather, we are moving at high speeds to process, package, orient, test, enroll, and register 5,500 first-time-in-college (FTIC) students and another 25,000 in returning student for the fall semester. Along with these activities, we are

  • finalizing the annual priorities and budget for 2012-2013,
  • closing out the evaluation process,
  • hiring new faculty and staff to support our student success initiatives, 
  • conducting a variety of trainings including department chair and Success at San Jac, and
  • closing out the 2011-2012 fiscal year.

I want to highlight four areas today. (Please note that the highlighted words are links to supporting documents).

  1.  Annual Priorities and Budget for 2012-2013:
  • On August 6, 2012, the Board of Trustees will be asked to approve both of these items.
  • The Annual Priorities expand on our 2010-2013 strategic plan and our four goals of Student Success, P-16 Pipeline, Workforce and Economic Development, and Our People.
    • The Strategic Leadership Team (SLT) focused on what we need to start doing, stop doing, or keep doing. We also discussed how we need to measure this work.
    • The annual priorities reflect areas that are receiving state and national attention.  For example, career and technical education is a hot topic on the local front and at both of these levels and non-course based instruction and assessment revisions are being mandated at the state level.  Several annual priorities will focus on these and similar areas.   
    • A new strategy focused on maximizing participation and success in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) will be added. San Jacinto College has robust STEM programs, but we need to be more aggressive in marketing, promoting, and expanding those programs.   Additionally, the STEM programs could potentially impact our funding through the Student Success Points (a form of performance funding to be considered during the next legislative session).
    • Under the “Our People” goal, the annual priorities will focus on continuing to recruit, retain, and develop our employees. Much of the work will be based on several continuous improvement initiatives, including continuing the implementation of recommendations from the compensation study, assessing individual and team recognitions, rewriting policies and guidelines, enhancing and simplifying the performance management system, and mapping and revising business processes.
    • The annual priorities place a greater focus and awareness on strengthening the One College Vision through consistency and coordination efforts.   
  • The SLT created a budget that is aligned with our strategic plan and annual priorities. Throughout the development we asked many questions about how each of our decisions would affect students and our strategic goals. Budget priorities include the following:
    • Teaching and learning.  $1.4 million in faculty positions were approved. These positions were in new full-time and full-time temporary positions. The intent is that all of these positions will be filled by the start of the fall semester.
    • Student and instructional support. Recommendations for positions, technology, and other support were included in the budget.
    • An allocation for salary increases was established as a priority.
    • Significant cost increases related to the onboarding of the new facilities, security, insurance, technology, and student receivables were built into the budget.
  • The college community across the board will need to employ a stronger commitment to controlling costs, eliminating waste, and exploring ways to conserve. All members of the SLT have been asked to work throughout their areas to conserve and reduce non-essential items. Everyone needs to find ways to repurpose dollars and to be more cost effective. 
  • Following the Board’s adoption of the budget and annual priorities on August 6th, I will send out more details, including the salary adjustments, in order for each of you to gain a greater understanding of our strategic work plan for 2012-2013.
  1. Compensation Follow-Up:
  • Market salary adjustments were approved by the Board of Trustees in April.
  • Currently, we are working through the process for employee concerns.  109 employees (3 faculty and 106 staff and administrators) submitted concerns.  The process for concerns includes:
    • Each concern has been reviewed by the Vice Chancellor of Human Resources and the assigned director.  Each concern has been categorized by nature of concern, SLT member, and job classification.
    • Internal current and historical documents were reviewed and discussions with the consultants have occurred in order to clarify the concern with the assumptions used in the study. 
    • Concerns are now going through the leadership chain in order to understand the main issues and the information provided.
    • Meetings will be scheduled with employees initiating a concern and their leaders in order to allow employees to express and clarify components of the concern.
    • Goal: All meetings completed and the majority of the concerns resolved by the end of September.
  • Compensation models for salary adjustments for 2012-2013
    • Results from the performance validation process were used to develop several different compensation models to determine the budget impact. 
    • They will be reviewed by the Board of Trustees and increase amounts determined at the August Board Meeting.
  • Compensation study next step:  rewrite the compensation guidelines and policies. This step has been included as an annual priority for 2012-2013. 

3. Enrollment

  • San Jacinto College’s enrollment compared to last year is down over 4% in both contact hours and headcount.
    • This number will continue to change over the next few weeks, especially as first-time students get their meningitis vaccinations and we complete the first purge of unpaid students which will occur on August 16th
    • Enrollment always fluctuates as students make last-minute decisions on enrolling (whether affirmative or negative).
    • Each one of us can take a role in helping to recruit students.
      • Over the next few weeks, we will be calling students who have attended orientation and not enrolled, hosting clinics for meningitis vaccinations, and providing lists to faculty members to make calls. 
      • Instructional administrators, chairs, and faculty are reviewing enrollment data on programs and classes, analyzing where we might increase marketing or find another way to recruit students. 
      • As each of you encounter students or potential students, please encourage them to complete the processes to enroll. Your encouragement and guidance may be that motivation that pushes them to the next step of becoming a San Jacinto College student. 

4. Centers of Excellence for Veterans Student Success

  • During this past week, we celebrated the grand opening of three Centers of Excellence for Veterans Student Success! Each campus has a center. I encourage you to stop by and see the centers.
  • These Centers were developed based on feedback from our veterans. Each center has a coordinator and educational planner and provides resource and collaboration areas for the over 1,500 veterans served across the college.  
  • These centers were under development for quite some time as we considered fiscal implications. I am happy to report that all of the designs, construction, renovation, furnishings, and equipment for these centers were donated! I cannot thank these contractors and suppliers enough!
  • A Wall of Honor has been established at each center. The Wall allows donors to recognize a veteran with a plaque. Donors can contact Ruth.Keenan@sjcd.edu with questions and for more information.
  • Be sure to direct your veteran students or potential students to visit the Centers of Excellence for Veterans Student Success and to contact the veterans’ coordinators for support.
    • South Campus (Administration Building S-8.2066 – Eugene Bernard
    • North Campus (Administration Building N-8.101) – Melanie Neill
    • Central Campus (Administration Building C-3.1654) – Alex Sanchez (currently deployed) Susan Mikeska (certifying official)

In closing, I hope you are enjoying some of the Olympics. As I watched the opening ceremonies Friday evening, I thought it provided a timely metaphor for San Jacinto College. Let me explain. There were 204 teams, from the two-person Sierra Leone to the 529-person Great Britain team (268 women and 261 men, the women outnumbering the men for the first time in history). Each team, regardless of size, carried a “leaf” in the processional. All the leaves were placed on a podium, and each lit separately. But then all 204 leaves rose up to form, together, the Olympic cauldron and there stands the blazing Olympic flame. 

It was beautiful, and it showed what a massive, formidable flame it was when all the leaves were united to one purpose. And the significant part to recognize is that all 204 were equally important. Each team has its strengths, but they are consistent in their focus, in their goals, and in their desire to excel. It is the Olympics, and it is all about commitment to the team, to working together, and to achievement.

So what is the metaphor for San Jacinto College? It is a metaphor for unity and the concept of one college being stronger than separate campuses; of similar departments working across the college to be stronger than departments working separately; and of people working across the college to ensure alignment and focus on our goals. In the end, the flame is stronger and burns more brightly because all of the countries are working together.

Have a great week!



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