Friday, January 13, 2012

Gary’s ChancePers

     SOCCCD Chancellor Gary Poertner has issued a kind of update/opinion piece, evidently sending it to all members of the district community. It’s called “Chancellor’s Perspective.”
     Some (well, I) have carped about the lack, this semester, of a Chancellor’s Opening Session, an innovation for which, no doubt, there are very good reasons. I suspect that this “Chancellor’s Perspective” (or “ChancePers,” as I shall call it) in some ways replaces the old opening session—a much-anticipated spectacle that once provided festive fun, fraud, and foolishness, such as Raghu Mathur’s Carnac, his brother-in-law’s Elvis/Neil Diamond impersonation, and, of course, the Las Vegas Nude Review and Spiritual Puppet Show, sponsored by the Pacific Research Institute.

     How I miss those days.
     Evidently, Gary will have none of it. Here, he straight-forwardly lays out the state budget facts and their implications for community colleges. In this ChancePers, he notes that our particular district is spared some of the budget’s more lurid horrors owing to our “basic aid” funding, but the situation could get more serious, even for us. Gary urges us all “to attend the upcoming budget workshops on Jan. 19 (IVC) and Jan. 20 (SC) where Vice Chancellor Debra Fitzsimons, the college fiscal directors and other members of DRAC will discuss the state budget in more detail.” Sounds like a good idea. Fitzsimons strikes me as pretty sharp. Don’t know about the rest of ‘em.

Say what you like about the man, but former Chancellor Raghu P. Mathur sure does put on a hell of a show.
     At the last board meeting, trustees fretted about “recent stories regarding [the] Orange County Board of Supervisors plan to take $73.5 million in property tax intended for local school districts to make up for its own county budget shortfall.” Looks like we’ll just have to wait and see about all that. In the meantime, we need to chill.
     Gary ends by noting the recent reveal of the Statewide Student Success Task Force’s “final report.” Their recommendations are summed up (says Gary) by State Chance Jack Scott as follows:
“The … recommendations will make community colleges more responsive to the needs of students and the economy, which is increasingly demanding college-educated workers. It is aimed at rebalancing priorities to focus on the core missions of remedial education, workforce preparation, certificate and degree attainment and transfer. Students who make progress toward meeting their goals will be rewarded with priority enrollment, and colleges will adjust course offerings according to the needs of students based on their education plans. The recommendations also will improve the student assessment process and promote better use of technology to help students reach their educational goals on time.”
     Looks like we’ll be clearing out some deadwood.
     Exciting times ahead. Let's hope we and our State survive 'em.

4 comments:

  1. I appreciate the straight talk about the budget. Too often we hear only about the possible threats without the information that we are immune.

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  2. Thanks, Chancellor Poertner.

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  3. It is refreshing to have a chancellor who is knowledgeable, honest, forthright, and ethical, someone who stays current both in terms of our fiscal demands and our educational demands. I am honored to work with such a person.

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  4. I like the chancellor as well. He is honest and forthright. How refreshing. I just wish he knew paid more attention to IVC. Help!

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