Weekly Update – October 17, 2010

on October 18, 2010 in Weekly Update

Hello San Jacinto College Community –

In last week’s update, I indicated that I was going to spend the next four weeks highlighting the strategies and actions related to the strategic goals. I decided to postpone that plan in order to highlight some meetings and discussions from this past week.  

We are midway into October, and all of us are going full force ahead to reach the November 1st deadline for completion of our Individual Performance Plans (IPPs). By this time, each leader should have released the IPP in the system and should have completed at least preliminary discussions with each employee about the development of his or her IPP.  If you haven’t reached these two checkpoints, then you are a bit behind and will need to pick up your pace this week.

On Friday, I met with the officers of each of the employee groups to hear their comments. We had frank conversations about concerns and areas that will require more work (remember our Plan, Do, Check, Act process).  One area that was discussed in great detail, with more than one of the groups, was the appeals process regarding employee evaluations. While there have been communications regarding the process, I heard that additional communications are needed to explain the details and the timeline. The appeals process for employee evaluations follows the College’s concerns policy. On Friday afternoon, the Human Resource Department sent out a communication explaining the process in order to ensure that everyone received consistent information. If an employee has a concern about his or her individual evaluation, then I encourage that employee to follow the process to bring that concern forward.

One of the organization members made a comment that reflects the role of these groups at the College. In essence, he said, “We need to not bring you problems; rather, we need to bring you recommendations for solutions.” As I reflected on the time spent listening and talking with each group, it became apparent that this positive attitude was evidenced by each employee group, and it speaks highly of the leadership we have throughout San Jacinto College.  It is apparent that every one of us is working towards the same goal—making this College the very best that it can possibly be and serving our students and our communities to the best of our abilities.   

I presented the following concepts and documents to the groups:

1.     The completed annual priorities for 2010-2011.  You have seen various versions of this document before, but this one is very detailed. It includes the strategy, the action, the annual priority, responsible and secondary Strategic Leadership Team (SLT) member, and the related measures. This document is basically my IPP, and each SLT member’s IPP cascades from it. If you are interested in the details, click the above link.   

2.     The Annual Operating Cycle – Final 10-13-10. This document was developed by the SLT and reflects the timeline and due dates for key processes.  It does not reflect everything that we do; rather, it reflects those areas that we know must anchor the timelines of our work.  It is broken in several areas with the Board at the top of the calendar.  We know the Board meetings are firmly established dates that must be met. The second group is Leadership Communications. You will hear more about this later, but we continue to work to increase and improve our communications and information dissemination processes. The third group is one item – Strategic Planning. This is a critical item in our processes and cycle. In order to improve our effectiveness, we need to approve our annual priorities for the next year earlier (note that we will approve annual priorities in March 2011 for 2011-2012).  Now, that we have a three-year strategic plan in place, the annual priorities will develop from that plan, and many are already outlined for the next two years.  Approving the annual priorities earlier in the cycle will enable the IPP creation timeline to occur earlier which, in turn, impacts all phases of the evaluation, validation, and feedback processes. The Strategic Plan section of the operating cycle informs the People and Budget Cycle sections, while the Academic Calendar section reflects key processes related to classes and instruction. The operating cycle informs our key milestones, and we are committed to meeting these timelines. Each responsible SLT member will ensure that detailed timelines are put in place at the division and campus levels.  

3.     A charter for the Strategic Leadership Communication Council. This council is being formed to ensure that all levels of leadership have a clear understanding of, commitment to, and support for the one-college vision, the strategic plan, and annual priorities. This will be a large group of participants, and each will be contacted soon for our first meeting.  The members will also provide input for challenges, opportunities, and possibilities affecting the College. The group will meet four times a year and will be charged with leading communication and information dissemination throughout the College. Each member will be expected to facilitate staff and faculty discussions about the topics discussed at meetings in order to improve understanding and increase transparency.

I don’t want you to get bogged down in the details; instead, I hope each person will have a broad understanding of how the pieces work together.  In this way, we can make sure we are working together toward the same goals, along the same timelines.   

Have a great week and continue to enjoy this outstanding weather!


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