Sunday, June 8, 2014

Who Am I and What's My Agenda?

I can imagine there is a natural curiosity as to why this Ohioan and former Michigander would be coming to New Mexico, to become the next president of Doña Ana Community College (DACC).  Certainly people are wondering where I might be taking the college (Vision & Agenda) and what I might be like.  The purpose of this post is to try to answer those initial questions.

Being in office for only a week, it would be premature to articulate a vision for the college.  The college has been extremely busy during the past year and has put into place a number of important initiatives focused on enhancing academic quality and student success while ensuring a culture of shared governance.  I want to build upon those initiatives.

There have been consistent themes I have heard during my interview process and since signing my contract on March 12th.  Those themes have been articulated by both internal and external constituents.  They include:

1.  Transparency and communication:  This can include consistency when applying policy and procedures as well as aligning policy and procedures.

2.  Accountability:  Ensure that when we say we are doing something, we actual complete the task at hand.

3.  Academic Quality:  Ensuring that all programs that can be accredited are accredited.  This also includes developing a robust program review process that ensures quality and relevancy of programs to ensure the educational needs of our students and the business community are being met.

4.  Our relationship with New Mexico State University (NMSU):  Ensuring that there is a strong, collaborative, mutually beneficial relationship between DACC and NMSU.

5.  Dual Credit & Early College High School:  Continuing to improve our relationship with our public school partners in order to ensure that high school students have the opportunity to earn college credit while completing their high school diploma.

6.  A Pathway from DACC to NMSU for Transfer Students:  With the proposed admission standards at NMSU, ensuring that students who attend DACC earn college credit that is transferrable to NMSU and applicable to the degree programs of their choice.

In the next few months I will be working closely with my administrative team to review the initiatives currently underway that are designed to address the above themes that.  Additionally, my short term goals include:

1.  Familiarizing myself with college and university policy, procedures, and practice.
2. Developing internal relationships.  This includes: visiting different divisions within the college; attending division meetings; visiting branch learning centers; attending internal meet & greet events.
3.  Developing external relationships.  This includes visiting local businesses and industry, meeting with business leaders and community partners, meeting government officials, meeting local school officials, meeting with donors, and attending external meet & greet events.
4.  Exploring opportunities to building relationships with DACC alumni.

Last, there is a natural curiosity about me.  What am I like?  I could answer that question by describing activities I enjoy, but instead I will list adjectives that describe me as a person.  I am:

Passionate
Reflective
Introverted
Visionary
Optimistic
Principled
Spiritual
Objective
Realistic

Those are the qualities I bring to what I do.

In the next few months I am looking forward to learning more and more about DACC, Las Cruces, and the many communities within  Doña Ana County that we serve.


Las Cruces Sun News Article

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