Weekly Update – May 8, 2009

on May 8, 2009 in Weekly Update

Good afternoon everyone!

It has been an extraordinary first week here at San Jacinto College as your Chancellor. I enjoyed my first Board workshop and meeting Monday evening. At the workshop, the Faculty Performance Management System was presented by the Implementation Team. The Board was quite impressed with the work that has been done by this team, and they are anxious for updates as the pilot rolls out. There are some interesting items that were passed at the Board meeting regarding vending and food service at the campuses. Here is an update:

  • We will be renewing our contract with Coca Cola. Hilda Boyce, director of auxiliary services, will be writing an article for an upcoming issue of the Water Cooler with details. And I am happy to report that Coca Cola will by contributing $20,000 per year for scholarships for our students as well as increasing the amount of commission the college will receive on items sold.
  • In addition to beverages, we have changed the vending machine contract and will be working with Mcliff Vending and Office Coffee Service. We will transition from the current vending contract to Mcliff on May 25th, and Hilda is working on a transition process that as old machines are removed, new machines will be installed. Mcliff will double the number of vending machines available on the campuses, and Hilda is working with each campus president on the locations for new machines.
  • The big change in the food service area is that effective May 15th, San Jacinto College will no longer be under contract with Chartwells Food Services. The Board approved a contract that will allow the college to open two franchise operations (A&W and Pizza Hut) on the Central and South campuses which the college will operate. There will be a significant transition process on this change. Hilda will explain the details in her article in the Water Cooler, but here are a few of the major bullet points:
    • Barnes & Noble will increase the variety of food and price points for students in the interim period. They are significantly expanding their food options and will have items in a price range starting at $3 for breakfast sandwiches and going up to their higher priced Panini sandwiches currently being offered.
    • We are looking into a Pizza Hut kiosk for Central and South campuses but are awaiting permitting issues before that can be installed.
    • Construction plans are already in process, but permitting issues may slow down the construction. We hope to have the new food services areas operational by fall but with permitting issues, that probably will not happen. Please note, these food service changes are at Central and South only. There will be no changes to the service or operations at Chablis on North.
    • Again, please watch for the article in an upcoming issue of the Water Cooler from Hilda Boyce with details about this change. In the long run, we believe we will be able to offer a better food quality for our students at prices they can afford, and we are very grateful to the folks at Barnes & Noble who are willing to really step up to take care of our students in the interim.

Another item I would like to talk with you about is the Legislative session. As many of you may remember from the last legislative session, proportionality as it relates to the payment of health benefits for community college employees became a line-item veto issue for the Governor. Through this current legislative session, there have been multiple meetings and ideas about how the State can handle the proportionality issues without hurting community colleges. The Texas Association of Community Colleges (TACC) has been working very closely with the legislators on this issue, and a bill endorsed by TACC passed 142-0 in the House last Friday. This bill is being presented to the Senate on Monday, and we are hoping the bill will pass there as well.

The college has also submitted nearly $8 million in Federal appropriation requests. All items have been submitted through our federal legislators, and we are waiting to hear if any additional information is needed. And yesterday, I received a call from Congressman Pete Olson offering his assistance to our projects, and he commended SJC on our work in southeast Harris County. I will update you on these requests as information comes available.

Again, it is a pleasure to be here, and it was great to meet so many friends and colleagues at the mixer at Johnny Tamales yesterday! It was exciting to drive into the parking lot and see it completely packed. Thank you for coming out and thank you for all you do to make this college successful. Best of luck to all of you on the graduations this weekend and next weekend. Student success is why we are here, and I hope you’ll join me in celebrating our students’ accomplishments at the ceremonies.


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